Data Binding: Definition & Examples

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

In this lesson, we'll take a look at Data Binding, what it is, and some examples of where you might use it. At the end, you should have a good understanding of this commonly used technology.

Capitalizing Through Time

Time-to-market is an important concept in software-oriented companies. Mobile companies want to get the latest version of their cell phones out the door, software application companies want to provide timely updates to their systems, and software tool companies want to get their latest Application Programming Interface (API) in developer's hands. Everyone is trying to capitalize on the latest craze for a new device or capability. But if the pressure to get these things out the door is so great, how do developers accelerate the process? How do they ensure the timeframe is as short as possible? There is no simple answer to this as product development has many facets, but there are a number of techniques that can help. One of them is Data Binding.

What is Data Binding?

Data Binding is the process of connecting a display element, such as a user interface control, with the information that populates it. This connection provides a path for the information to travel between the source and the destination. For example, consider the main window on your favorite browser. Obviously, there are differences between browsers out there, but most have two important elements, a link bar where you type in the address of the page you want, and a display area where the requested page is drawn. Each of these is a user interface control that accepts, or displays, information for you.

What Does Data Binding Do?

Data Binding connects user interface controls with information sources. But it does more than that.

  • It simplifies the process of supplying user interface controls with information. The connection process is clearly outlined, with most of the heavy lifting handled behind the scenes.
  • It reduces the amount of code that must be written to establish the connection and maintain it. Again, most of the needed code exists behind the scenes.
  • It removes the errors that arise when writing new code. The binding code is written and tested prior to the developer employing it.
  • It shortens the time needed to implement the desired capability. This goes without saying, less to write and maintain reduces the time needed.

Examples of Data Binding

In addition to the link bar and display area in the browser example, there are literally thousands of examples that may use Data Binding. Some notable ones include:

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