I created a app using Microsoft's WPF. It mostly handles data reading and input as well as associating relations between data within specific parameters.
As a total beginner I made some bad design decision ( not so much decisions as using the first thing I got to work ) but now understanding WPF better I'm getting the urge to refactor my code with better design principles.
I had several problems but I guess each deserves it's own question for clarity. Here I'm asking for proper ways to handle the data itself. In the original I wrapped each row in a object when fetched from database ( using LINQ to SQL ) somewhat like Active Record just not active or persistence (each app instance had it's own data handling part).
The app has subunits handling different aspects. However as it was setup it loaded everything when started. This creates several problems, for example often it wouldn't be neccesary to load a part unless we were specifically going to work with that part so I wan't some form of lazy loading. Also there was problem with inner persistance because you might create a new object/row in one aspect and perhaps set relation between it and different object but the new object wouldn't appear until the program was restarted.
Persistance between instances of the app won't be huge problem because of the small amount of people using the program.
While I could solve this now using dirty tricks I would rather refactor the program and do it elegantly, Now the question is how. I know there are several ways and a few come to mind:
1) Each aspect of the program is it's own UserControl that get's reloaded/instanced everytime you navigate to it. This ensures you only load up the data you need and you get some persistancy. DB server located on same LAN and tables are small so that shouldn't be a big problem. Minor drawback is that you would have to remember the state of each aspect so you wouldn't always start at beginners square.
2) Having a ViewModel type object at the base level of the app with lazy loading and some kind of timeout. I would then propegate this object down the visual tree to ensure every aspect is getting it's data from the same instance
3) Semi active record data layer with static load methods.
4) Some other idea
What in your opinion is the most practical way in WPF, what does MVVM assume?