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Mehul Harry is the DevExpress Web Program Manager. Follow him on twitter: @Mehulharry

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August 2007 - Posts

  • Case Study: TRI-S

    Want to see how and why others choose Developer Express tools? Want to see what type of applications they're creating with our tools?

    Then check out our many case studies. In the coming weeks we'll bring you several more case studies like this one about TRI-S and DXperience.

    Learn why TRI-S chose the DXperience Professional Suite to develop their flagship product, eXcelans.


    TRI-S is an ISV in Belgium that has been providing their eXcelans framework for the financial and bookkeeping markets since 2007. With such a high quality of numerical precision that is required for the financial markets, TRI-S chose Developer Express's DXperience Professional Subscription to ensure their UI has the same high quality precision and is also up to their demanding customer's standards.

    Read the full TRI-S Case Study.

  • ASPxGridView FAQ: How to Enable Editing

    Want to enable your ASPxGridView to edit data? It's very easy and similar to the GridView method. Let me show you how:

    To enable editing, simply set the 'Enable Editing' checkbox from the smart tag:


    Be sure to set the DataSource to support editing by defining the InsertCommand, UpdateCommand, and DeleteCommand. There is a easy way to do this by simply configuring the DataSource:


    Now after you define the connection and your SelectCommand then you have the opportunity to allow the DataSource to generate the other command statements for you. Simply click on the Advanced Button when you're on the 'Configure the Select Statement' dialog. Make sure the checkbox labeled 'Generate INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements' checkbox is checked and then simply click 'OK'.


    Now you're DataSource should look something like this:


    <asp:AccessDataSource ID="AccessDataSource1" runat="server" DataFile="~/App_Data/nwind.mdb"
        DeleteCommand="DELETE FROM [Customers] WHERE [CustomerID] = ?" InsertCommand="INSERT INTO [Customers] ([CustomerID], [CompanyName], [City], [Country]) VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)"
        SelectCommand="SELECT [CustomerID], [CompanyName], [City], [Country] FROM [Customers]"
        UpdateCommand="UPDATE [Customers] SET [CompanyName] = ?, [City] = ?, [Country] = ? WHERE [CustomerID] = ?">
            <asp:Parameter Name="CustomerID" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="CompanyName" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="City" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="Country" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="CustomerID" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="CustomerID" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="CompanyName" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="City" Type="String" />
            <asp:Parameter Name="Country" Type="String" />


    You're now ready to start editing, inserting and deleting records within the ASPxGridView.

    Note: If you've enabled editing in the ASPxGridView but your DataSource doesn't contain these commands then you'll likely see an error like this when trying to edit:


    To remove this error message you can:

    1. Create your own customer error message
    2. Suppress the error message

    In both cases you'll want to intercept the data changing event as soon as the button is clicked. For example, to intercept before the row is updated simply override the ASPxGridView.RowUpdating method. For the other edit events, please use these corresponding methods: RowInserting, RowDeleting, and RowValidating.

    So to create your own error message simply throw an exception from the event like so:


    protected void grid_RowUpdating(object sender, DevExpress.Web.Data.ASPxDataUpdatingEventArgs e)
        throw new InvalidOperationException("Data modifications are not allowed");


    To suppress the message simply call the Cancel method like so:


    protected void grid_RowUpdating(object sender, DevExpress.Web.Data.ASPxDataUpdatingEventArgs e)
        e.Cancel = true;



    Do you need to manually update your own data without going through the DataSource?

    Then you'll need to use the RowUpdating method again. This tutorial give a good example of how to implement this in your own code:

    Customize data updates using the RowUpdating event


    You may find this tutorial helpful if you want define your own buttons for editing or enable editing by double-clicking the row:

    Switch to the edit mode by clicking a status bar button or by double-clicking a row


    So do you feel like an editing guru yet?



  • Check out the DXperience ASP.NET Subscription


    Do you want to get the best deal on ALL of our ASP.NET Suites?


    The DXperience ASP.NET Subscription is your answer. Simply for two reasons, the price and bundled software. Every one of our ASP.NET suite is included in this subscription and you also get some extra products for free!


    Free extras

    Along with all of our ASP.NET tools you also get two great WinForms suites for free: XtraReports & XtraCharts.

    The XtraReports and XtraCharts suites give you functionality for both the WinForms and ASP.NET platforms. So the reports and charts you designed for your ASP.NET application can be easily reused in a WinForms application without much coding!


    A small price

    You can buy each suite individually, but that would cost you almost $1,600.00. The DXperience ASP.NET Subscription will only cost you only $799.99 for the first year and $299.99 for renewal years! About half the price of what every suite is worth together.


    Subscription means more

    For one full year, you get access to every release which includes bug fixes, enhancements, and new features. You also get new controls that are added to this subscription at no extra cost. For example, we recently announced plans to deliver three new major ASP.NET controls: a rich text editor, spell checker and scheduler. When these controls are released, they'll automatically be included in the DXperience ASP.NET Subscription.


    What do you get?

    You'll receive five major suites that includes a wide range of functionality such as: Grids/Data Entry, Navigation/Layout, Charting/Data Analysis, and even Reporting/Printing Suites. Check out individual suites below to see the details and benefits of each. If you want to test drive the suites then click on the Live Demo links:

    ASPxGridView and Editors™ Suite (Live Demo)

     ASPxGridView  ASPxGridViewExporter
    ASPxLabel ASPxHyperLink ASPxCheckBox
     ASPxTextBox  ASPxMemo  ASPxImage
     ASPxButtonEdit  ASPxComboBox  ASPxListBox
     ASPxRadioButton  ASPxRadioButtonList  ASPxCalendar

    A grid and editors library that combines blazing fast server-side data loading and manipulation along with the high responsiveness of an AJAX-enabled UI. Fully optimized for ASP.NET, it has a minimal footprint, renders to the XHTML standard, fully supports cascading style sheets and ensures seamless integration into any web application.


    ASPxperience™ Suite (Live Demo)

     ASPxCallback  ASPxCloudControl  ASPxDataView
     ASPxHeadline  ASPxMenu  ASPxNavBar
     ASPxNewsControl  ASPxObjectContainer  ASPxPageControl
     ASPxPager  ASPxPopupControl  ASPxPopupMenu
     ASPxRoundPanel  ASPxSiteMapControl  ASPxSiteMapDataSource
     ASPxTabControl  ASPxTimer  ASPxTitleIndex

    The ASPxperience Suite comprises a package of nearly 20 components designed for the ASP.NET 2.0. These components allow you to build advanced web navigation systems, browse data, embed media objects into web pages, control application flow and much more.


    ASPxPivotGrid™ Suite (Live Demo)




    A comprehensive multi-dimensional analysis component library for ASP.NET 2. The ASPxPivotGrid allows you to deliver fully configurable visual reporting solutions so that your end-users can mine and analyze their data with ease. The ASPxPivotGrid is both dynamic and fully configurable and is certain to improve your productivity and significantly improve the effectiveness of data centric applications. 


    XtraReports™ Suite (Live Demo)

    Report Controls
     Subreport  XRBarCode  XRChart
     XRCheckBox  XRLabel  XRLine
     XRPageBreak  XRPageInfo  XRPanel
     XRPictureBox  XRRichText  XRTable
     XRZipCode  XRShape  WinControlContainer
    User Design Controls
     XRDesignPanel  XRDesignBarManager  XRDesignDockManager
    Web Controls
     ReportViewer  ReportToolbar  

    XtraReports Suite is our market-leading reporting platform for Windows Forms and ASP.NET developers. XtraReports integrates directly into the Visual Studio IDE to give you the same power and flexibility for report development that you have for application and website development.


    XtraCharts™ Suite (Live Demo)




    A universal charting and data presentation system for .NET, the XtraCharts Suite allows you to address your business needs regardless of platform. From Windows Forms and ASP.NET to the printed page, the XtraCharts Suite offers you a rich collection of chart types, unrivaled design-time experience, and superior object model.


    So do you have your DXperience ASP.NET subscription yet?


  • Speed up your page loads with a lighter ViewState

    Have you noticed your ASPX pages loading slower? Are you using grids? Many third party grids provide a lot of functionality in one control. However, if the control wasn't designed properly then you'll be paying the performance price. When using such grids, you'll notice your pages load slower and you may start to suspect the web server or database indexes. Or worse, the end-users will notice that the pages with some xyz grid are very slow.

    You might be suffering from heavy ViewState, ASPxGridView can help rescue you from slow grid pages that suffer from heavy ViewState.

    Heavy what?

    What is ViewState? Basically, it's a method to persist state for controls between page requests. Click here for a detailed explanation.

    ViewState on a diet

    The ASPxGridView was designed to generate as little ViewState as is needed. Resulting in faster web pages for you. There are other solutions to remedy heavy ViewState on your pages but they all involve you having to manually code and/or configure each page. ASPxGridView is a drop-in solution.

    Designed differently

    The R&D team have implemented a smart state caching engine. This engine stores the difference between the control's initial and current state within the "callback state". This way the entire control hierarchy doesn't need to be recreated for every postback. With the new cache design, there's much less code downloaded to the client. That means every action, every callback, is much faster than other grids.

    And it's not just in grids, our new smart caching is included in the ASPxperience Suite of controls.

    Need proof?

    Want to check the ViewState size for yourself? Here's a simple test you can perform on your pages to find the ViewState size. You can use the following JavaScript code from Dino's excellent article. Simply bind this method to any HTML Button control:

    <script language="javascript">
        function ShowViewStateSize()
            var buf = document.forms[0]["__VIEWSTATE"].value;
            alert("View state is " + buf.length + " bytes");

    For comparison, I've set up a small project with the ASPxGridView on one page and a standard MS GridView on another page. You can see the ViewState size for the GridView is 1856 bytes. Not bad, but the GridView doesn't do much besides paging and sorting.

    MS GridView:



    Now take a look at the ASPxGridView with the following powerful features enabled:

    • Grouping
    • Filtering
    • Exporting
    • Paging
    • Sorting

    With all these features enabled, the ASPxGridView's ViewState is still smaller: 1428 bytes.




    Download ASPxGridView and try it out. And then be sure to let me know how much faster your pages load. I love hearing success stories :)



  • Make Your ASP.NET App More Appealing

    Scott Mitchell, MVP and founder of, has a great article in the September 2007 issue of MSDN Magazine's Toolbox section.

    Scott talks about the ASPxperience Suite and how it can help you improve your web applications.

    The look and feel of your web applications is important however it usually takes a backseat to functionality. However as Scott says:

    "While an application's substance is paramount, the importance of an intuitive and aesthetic user interface should not be discounted."

    The ASPxperience Suite for ASP.NET 2.0 helps you create better aesthetics and intuitive user experiences easily. With 18 great controls to use in your websites today, you have everything from navigation to layout and more.


    Check out Scott's article online: Make Your ASP.NET App More Appealing 



    Which controls out of the ASPxperience Suite are your favorite?

  • Refactor for Visual Basic in Visual Studio 2008 (Video)

    The new CodeRush and Refactor! Pro 2.5 have just been released.

    111 Refactorings and Counting...

    Refactor! Pro has broken the 100 refactorings barrier and is set to reach 125 by the end of the year. No other tool on the market comes close to these many refactorings in one product. Since Refactor! Pro sells for $99, this means you're only paying 91 cents for each included refactoring.



    The Channel 9 Video/Demo


    Refactor! for Visual Basic has also gotten stronger with support for Visual Studio 2008 (Beta 2). There is a great video on Channel 9 that demonstrates some of these cool features where Kit George, a Program Manager on the VB Team and a former member of the CLR Team, shows off Linq, VB in Orcas and, of course, Refactor! for Visual Basic.

    Here are the highlighted video times to find the sections for Refactor! for Visual Basic within the video:



    Easy Install

    You'll find installation is a breeze because you only need to download one install file. You can read more on Mark's Orcas Beta 1 Support post.


    Have you downloaded your copy of the version 2.5 of Refactor! for VB yet? Trial versions are also available.

  • VSM Awards: The Best of 2007

    We've been honored in the Visual Studio Magazine "Best .NET Products of 2007" Awards. Clearly, you guys know a good product because we've been chosen in three categories:

    UI Components—Web Forms
    Readers Choice Merit Awards: ASPxperience

    Grid Components -- Windows Forms
    Readers' Choice Merit Award:  XtraGrid Suite

    Grid Components -- Web Forms
    Readers' Choice Merit Award:  ASPxGrid Suite
    (ASPxGrid now replaced by ASPxGridView)

    Thanks to all the VSM readers and loyal customers.

  • Free Refactoring Tool For ASP.NET


    Refactor! For ASP.NET was released in May 2007 as free download.

    You'll find 29 great refactorings (10 ASP.NET related) that you can use right away on your ASPX pages. The refactorings include:

    1. Add Validator
    2. Extract ContentPlaceHolder
    3. Extract ContentPlaceHolder (and create master page)
    4. Extract Style (Class)
    5. Extract Style (id)
    6. Extract to UserControl
    7. Move to Code-behind
    8. Move Style Attributes to CSS
    9. Rename Style
    10. Surround with Update Panel

    You can find more information on each refactoring from Mark's excellent post. Make sure to check out the funny and informative 12 minute screencast on the ASP.NET refactorings.

    Even the Microsoft ASP.NET Team has blogged their excitement about Refactor! For ASP.NET:

    Note to Refactor! Pro Customers: You already have these refactorings available to you in the latest release.

    So have you tried Refactor! for ASP.NET yet? How do you like it?


  • Dogfooding the ASPxperience

    We use our own controls all over the website. They make the site look smooth and professional without a lot of effort. Our homepage is a great example, let's take a look at where ASPx controls are used on the DevExpress homepage:


    1. ASPxMenu - At the top.


    This menu is also used through out the site as the main navigation control. (Check out this Screencast that shows how to change the menu to look like the Office 2007 Ribbon control)


    2. ASPxHeadline - Part of our ASPxNewsControl


    The ASPxHeadline control is fully customizable and can be bound to XML files as well.


    3. ASPxNavBar


    The ASPxNavBar can display icons in a number of different ways.


    4. ASPxRoundPanel - Used for entire middle section


    The ASPxRoundPanel can emulate just about any round panel look, even MacOS!


    5. ASPxNavBar - Used with collapsible groups


    The ASPxNavBar can even be configured to dynamically load each group with a callback.


    That's four we use on the homepage, we've got our components all over the site. I'll probably write more on that later but for now you can check out the demos and try them all out.

    The ASPx controls get a serious workout on our homepage. It gets the most traffic and the controls never skip a beat.

    Where are you using the DevExpress controls on your site?


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