How to find out the name of grid control?
September 19, 2008 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way I can find out which grid component a particular application is using in a particular screen?

I was looking to buy a Winforms grid component for my C# software development work, and zeroed in on 2 vendors: DevExpress XtraGrid and SyncFusion Grid.

I came across a WinForms application and download it from the net which was using both these grids - in different screens of their application. I could verify that they were using both DevExpress XtraGrid and SyncFusion Grid, coz the application had the DLLs for both these grids as part of the installed files.

Now I want to find out which grid they are using in a particular screen, coz it will meet most of my grid requirements and I will go ahead and buy that grid control.

Is there any kind of spy tool or something which I can point or hover over the grid control, and it can tell me what grid is that ?

I have tried contacting the application developer, but he is not willing to give this information.

Any help is appreciated. I do not want to tell the details about the application, so please only suggest some tools which can help me discover this on my own.
posted by inquisitive to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Don't the developers of these two components have information about their features that will allow you to identify them within the application?

Have you tried deleting one of the two installed DLL's to see if it only affects the part of the application that uses it? (after making a backup of course)
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 8:27 AM on September 19, 2008

Just by seeing them on screen, I cannot find out which of these 2 components is being used. I am not very familiar with these components, but I am looking to buy one of them.

Isn't there a tool similar to Spy++ but which works for WinForms controls ?
posted by inquisitive at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2008

I would contact the developers of the components and ask them about the application you're wondering about - they should be able to look at it and determine which component is theirs. In fact, they might be able to do that just based on screenshots. Alternatively, I'm sure they would each give you a demo version if you contacted their sales departments and asked.

Alternatively, you could try the great window examiner tool that comes with AutoIt, called "AutoIt Window Info". I'm not sure whether it will support Winforms, but it might.
posted by pocams at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2008

I tried deleting or renaming the DLL files for the grid components, one at a time. but for both the grids, the application detects that the DLL file is missing on startup and reinstalls it !

Since the same behaviour happens for the DLL files of both the grids, so I cannot figure out which grid they are using.

Simply looking at the screenshot may not tell enough information, coz both the grids can be configured in a number of ways, with different looks, themes, styles, etc.

Getting a demo version and figuring out which grid is being used will require me to understand the features of both the grids when I want to buy only 1 of them. Moreover it will take me a lot of time just to arrive at the buying decision.

I will try AutoIt. Lets see.
posted by inquisitive at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2008

Load the application in Reflector. This will show you which assemblies it references. Poking around in to the relevant Form class constructors, you should be able to figure out which forms are using which grids without any problem.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:50 AM on September 19, 2008

You may be able to decompile the application and then search for known static strings in the form you are examining.

Using that info you can narrow down your search.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 9:48 AM on September 19, 2008

ok thanks everybody. I got the info I wanted using Managed Spy tool.
posted by inquisitive at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2008

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