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Using dynamic data with Telerik RadPivotGrid

Using the Telerik RadPivotGrid is a great way to render out financial data such as balance sheets,  a UI can be knocked up very quickly:
The issue with this is you're required to use strongly typed entities (classes), what do I mean by this?

I mean the class being bound to the control has to have explicitly named properties which will be used for the columns and rows in the pivot grid. The 'Getting Started' pages on the Telerik website show how to use a collection of the following entity:
The binding is done in XAML:
As you can see the properties of the Name class are explicitly defined, this provider resource is then used as follows:
This gives you the following output:
I don't have a strongly typed entity, so what am I going to do?

What follows is a way to binding data with no structure, when I say no structure I mean the data is no more than name-value pairs or more commonly known as a dictionary\map.

I've split the metadata from the data - what I mean is the 'definition' of the columns & rows for the pivot grid are separated from the actual data to be bound:
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As you can see the data is an array of dictionaries, and because this data has no explicit structure it can't be bound to the pivot grid. To get round this I need to do 2 things, firstly create a .Net type on the fly and secondly create a LocalDataSourceProvider configuration and bind this to the pivot grid.

Both tasks are relatively easy to do, the first uses System.Reflection.Emit namespace to create a .Net type at runtime which is then used to populate a collection used for binding to the pivot grid. What's interesting about this is I'm only using the type for binding to the pivot grid control - I'm not using it as any kind of Model (MVVM\MVC) so the type of the collection does not matter and therefore it can exposed as IEnumerable<object> on the ViewModel - I've only included the property for brevity:
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Emitting the code is fairly easy, firstly creating TypeBuilder:
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This is then used create the actual type, you can see I'm passing in the required property names & types - for my usage these can be either a string or a nullable decimal value:
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I use these two methods as part of a service which processes the Definition & Data classes into the runtime .Net type - the type is called PivotItem:
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I use the service inside the ViewModel to populate the PivotItems collection.

That's the first task complete.

The second task as I said is taking this collection and binding it to the pivot grid. I won't be able to use the declarative approach of XAML to do this now the .Net type is being created at runtime. Couple with the fact I'm using the MVVM pattern with a DataTemplateSelector to resolve DataTemplates in a View first approach, means I going to have to use a Behavior, this is setup as follows:
As you can see the Behavior has two dependency properties, one for the Definition class which contains X & Y axis information and the other the PivotItems collection. These are both used to dynamically create the required Telerik LocalDataSourceProvider class for binding to the control:
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This will give you the output as shown at the start of the post.

The code is available for download:


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