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Difference between WPF and WinForms

Last Updated : 26 Apr, 2022
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WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation): WPF, as the name suggests, is a UI framework used for developing Windows or desktop client applications. It is the latest approach to the GUI framework being used with the .NET framework. It was introduced to develop Windows client apps that run on the Windows operating system, and the next generation of Windows forms. It has all the functionality that is being required to develop, run, execute, manage, and handle Windows client applications. 

It generally provides holistic means for combining or integrating UI, 2D and 3D graphics, digital media, and documents. It is responsible for developing, displaying, and manipulating UI, documents, images, etc., in Windows 7 and later operating systems. It is the current platform for developing windows applications.  

WinForms (Windows Form Application): WinForms, as the name suggests, is basically a GUI-based approach introduced to the .NET framework. Prior to WPF and Silverlight, it was the main API for .NET that is being used to build GUI. It does not require any type of support other than runtime and OS for developing a standalone application. 

One can develop apps that are easy to deploy, update, manage, and work offline while connected to the Internet. The development of WinForms is very simple as it is only based on the drag and drop placement of UI controls on canvas. It is the old platform for developing desktop applications.  

Difference between WPF and WinForms:



It is based on DirectX with XAML support.   It provides access to the native windows library of common controls.  
It uses markup language for designing UI allowing the design of complex user interfaces.   It does not use a markup language for design. In fact, it uses event-driven controls for the design. 
It can render fast as compared to WinForms, complexity, and support.   It renders slow as compared to WPF.  
It can be used to develop and design both windows applications and web applications.   It can only be used to develop and design windows applications.  
It has unlimited UI customization and controls can be customized easily as it is totally written from scratch.  In this, controls are limited and difficult to customize.  
It is easier to separate UI from back-end logic.   It is tough to separate UI from back-end logic. 
It allows you to handle large data sets because of its in-built feature “user interface virtualization”. It does not have a “user interface virtualization” feature.  
It takes up more RAM than WinForms.   It takes a smaller memory footprint. 
It is considered good when the application requires many media types, create a skinned UI, bind to XML, develop a desktop application having a web-like navigation style.   It is considered good if you want to develop an application without much added modern functionality, more online resources.  
It offers effective and fully supported data binding as compared to WinForms.   It offers data binding but in a limited way. Therefore, it’s less effective as compared to WPF. 
It also offers rich, interactive, animated, hardware accelerated, vector 2D and 3D capabilities for developing applications.   It does not offer any rich, Interactive, animated, hardware accelerated, vector 2D and 3D capabilities as compared to WPF.  
It is a little bit tough, time-consuming, and complex to use WPF as compared to WinForms.   It is simple to use WinForms as controls can be used easily, it’s less time-consuming and less tricky as compared to WPF.  
It has an inbuilt story boarding feature and animation model, it has the ability to use business objects in UI declaratively.   It does not provide such features. 


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