Virtualizing an ItemsControl?

Cover Image for Virtualizing an ItemsControl?
Matheus Mello
Matheus Mello
published a few days ago. updated a few hours ago

📝 Virtualizing an ItemsControl? Here's What You Need to Know

Do you have an 📋 ItemsControl with a long list of data that's causing performance issues? You might have heard about using the VirtualizingStackPanel to improve performance, but is it not working for your ItemsControl? Don't worry, I've got you covered! In this blog post, I'll address common issues with virtualizing an ItemsControl and provide easy solutions to help you optimize performance. Let's dive in!

🤔 Is VirtualizingStackPanel not working with your ItemsControl?

You tried using the VirtualizingStackPanel.IsVirtualizing="True" property, but it seems to have no effect on your ItemsControl. Does this mean virtualization is not supported for ItemsControl? Not necessarily! There's another way to achieve virtualization in this scenario, which I'll explain below.

🔍 Understanding the Problem

In the provided code snippet, you have an ItemsControl bound to a collection called AccountViews.Tables[0]. Each item in the collection is displayed using a DataTemplate with a TextBlock. The Initialized event is used to track the number of times each item is initialized, and you're noticing that every item gets initialized, causing performance issues.

🛠️ Solution: Modifying the ItemsControl

To virtualize the ItemsControl and improve performance, you can make a few modifications to the code:

  1. Replace the ItemsControl with a ListBox: Modify the XAML code to use a ListBox instead of an ItemsControl. The ListBox control inherently supports virtualization, which will help optimize performance. Your updated code will look like this:

<ListBox ItemsSource="{Binding Path=AccountViews.Tables[0]}" VirtualizingStackPanel.IsVirtualizing="True">
            <TextBlock Initialized="TextBlock_Initialized" Margin="5,50,5,50" Text="{Binding Path=Name}" />
  1. Handle the Initialized event appropriately: Since virtualization will now be in effect, the Initialized event will only be triggered for visible items. Adjust your event handling code accordingly.

🚀 Why does using a ListBox work?

The reason virtualization works with a ListBox and not with the ItemsControl is because the ListBox control has default templates and styles that include the VirtualizingStackPanel. This enables efficient visualization of large data sets by rendering only visible items, optimizing performance.

💡 Pro Tip: Customizing the ItemsControlPanelTemplate

If you still want to use an ItemsControl instead of a ListBox, you can manually set the ItemsControlPanelTemplate property to a VirtualizingStackPanel. However, simply setting this property might not be enough, depending on your specific scenario. It's recommended to use a ListBox when virtualization is required, as it provides a simplified and optimized solution out of the box.

📣 It's Time to Optimize Your ItemsControl!

Now that you understand how to achieve virtualization in your ItemsControl, it's time to put it into action. Replace your ItemsControl with a ListBox or customize the ItemsControlPanelTemplate to include a VirtualizingStackPanel. Remember to handle the Initialized event appropriately for optimal performance. Say goodbye to performance issues caused by large data sets!

Share this blog post with your fellow developers and help them optimize their ItemsControl too! Let me know in the comments if you found this guide helpful or if you have any other tips to improve performance. Happy virtualizing! 🎉

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