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

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May 2008 - Posts

  • ASPxGridView's Cool New Feature: Header Filter

    A cool new feature was recently added to the ASPxGridView in the 2008 volume 1 release. 'Header Filter' is an alternative to the standard filter toolbar. Column headers can be displayed as filter drop-down buttons. By clicking a filter dropdown, the header filter lists the unique values within a column and enables you filter the column. Check out this live demo to test drive this feature:


    By default, the filter buttons are hidden. To show the filter buttons, just set the Settings.ShowHeaderFilterButton property to true. You can also change text for the '(All)' item above with the SettingsText.HeaderFilterShowAll property.

    In certain scenarios, the header filter can be more useful to you. Drop me a line below and let me know if you use this feature and/or which filter type you prefer to use.

  • Interview: DXperience ASP.NET v8.2 Features

    The last six months have been busy since releasing four major controls: ASPxScheduler, ASPxTreeList, ASPxHtmlEditor, and ASPxSpellChecker. You've sent us some great feedback on these and other Developer Express ASPx controls. So in the next major release, 2008 vol 2, your requests for things like printing in the ASPxHtmlEditor, editing in the ASPxTreeList nodes, and more will be implemented. Check out these and the other features for 2008 vol 2 in this short interview with Julian and myself.


    The ASPxGridView 2008 vol 2 improvement that weren't mentioned in the video:

    • Export Improvements: (S18181): Add the ability to print Title and Header. Include into Title and Headers, Date Printed, page number and so on. Currently it's impossible to even print the "Company Name" on the top of every page.

      (S18825): Improved support for hyperlinks. Currently it's exported as text. We will export them as hyperlink in PDF, RTF and XLS.

    • Changing the page size on client: (S90290) Add the API and likely change the pager so the end user will be able to change the number of rows displayed in the grid.
    • Lots of other changes: About 20 or so requests for properties, methods, or events will be added. In general, it'll allow you to implement common tasks using an easy to understand API and write less code.
  • ASPxGridView Screencast: Templates

    Templates are a great way to extend the look and feel of many ASP.NET controls. You can extend  the ASPxGridView using several different templates such the HeaderTemplate, EditFormTemplate and many more. You can embed just about any control and/or HTML element within a Template. In fact, the Master-Detail layout uses the DetailRow Template to embed another ASPxGridView within the master ASPxGridView.

    Check out this screencast on templates which shows you how to change the default look of the ASPxGridView's data rows. Learn how to insert an ASPxRoundPanel within the DataItemTemplate to give the ASPxGridView a nice visual change.

    In the beginning of the screencast, you'll see me briefly describe templates and what the screencast is about. Hope you enjoy it and please drop leave comment below. I'd like to hear what you thought about the screencast and/or what other items you want to see in the future.


    I also recommend checking out Dino Esposito's excellent MSDN article, Understanding Templates in ASP.NET, which explains in more detail about templates.

  • Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Beta and Performance

    <UPDATE: May 16, 2008> Scott Guthrie and his team picked up on this post. They have since verified and logged the issue mentioned below.</UPDATE>

    Last Friday, Microsoft released a beta of the upcoming Visual Studio Service Pack 1. Check out Scott Guthrie's post for a list of improvements and features included in the service pack. You can also find links to download the service pack in his post. Here is a short overview of what's included in the VS2008 SP1 beta:

    "Visual Studio 2008 SP1 delivers various improvements to Visual Studio 2008 such as support SQL Server 2008 and new ADO.NET features such as the Entity Framework, numerous improvements to the WPF designers, WCF Templates for Silverlight projects, debugger support for the .NET Framework public symbols and source release, control improvements and additions (such as the DataRepeater for Windows Forms and Office 2007 Ribbons for C++), and a number of general debugging and Intellisense updates. This Service Pack also includes fixes to improve the stability, performance and security of many areas of the product."

    The last sentence, which I highlighted in bold, is probably what's most interesting about the SP1 beta. Many of you have been waiting for such a release to address the issues in Visual Studio 2008. And while it does offer improvements, you should be aware that this is a beta release. For example, after installing the beta, you may need to run the ToolBoxCreator.exe to re-register our controls within VS2008. You can run this utility from the Start Menu under the Developer Express/Tools folder.

    For a small test I recreated the ASPxGridView's Detail Tabs demo page. The SP1 beta performed very well on my Sony Vaio laptop. The initial load times still may not be as impressive as running VS2008 on a quad-core cpu desktop machine with fast hard drives but there are noticeable improvements. However, there were some glitches. When switching the ASPX page to the designer view, VS2008 generates several extra entity spaces (nbsp) within the templates section. The extra items then make the project fail to compile. This can fixed by going back to the source view and removing the extra html.

    This service pack has some improvements, but it's definitely a beta release. Don't use it to compile any mission critical code. If are looking to increase performance for Visual Studio then consider a faster hard drive. Scott Guthrie outlines why hard drive speed matters for visual studio performance. He also lists some other performance recommendations which could improve your experience within Visual Studio 2008.

    If you do try the VS2008 SP1 beta then I'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let me know how it works for you if you try it. I love to hear about life on the cutting edge!


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