- Multipage. Think "Subject". Use this when there is are different kinds of information to be collected or displayed and one thing. Each page on a multipage is independent from the others with respect to layout and data presented.
- Tabstrips. Think "Context". Use these when you need to present or gather the same information, just about different things. Each tab on a tab strip shows the same information, except in different context.
- A page of a multipage control is a container, i.e., when a textbox is added to a page, it's parent is the page. The purpose of the page is to group content.
- A tab of a tabstrip is related to the controls it masters, and the bottom-level controls (e.g. textboxes) are often contained in a Frame object. The purpose of the tab is to communicate to the frame (or other controls), the context.
- Financial reports have sections for Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, etc.
- An employee multipage control might have different pages for personal information, education and training, experience, and performance reviews.
- Outlook is a "multipage" application for managing a person's appointments/meetings, emails, assignments/tasks, etc.
TabstripsTabstrips are for collecting or presenting the same type of information about a group of people, places, things. If someone hands you a sheaf of resumes, they are like tabstrips, only messier.
- Tabs can present the budgets and consumption for a number of departments.
- Reports from different periods (e.g. previous quarter, 2 quarters ago, etc) can be triggered by tab selection. Two sets of tabs could be used for monthly reporting over multiple years.
Using Multipage and Tabstrips together
- Suppose the objective is to provide different facets (Budget, Expenses, Headcount) of the Departments of a company. In this case, the context (tabstrip) would list the Departments from the outside of the Multipage control.
- Suppose there is a page for Operational Dashboard. On this page could be a tabstrip to control whether it is the current or a past time period.