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

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July 2008 - Posts

  • DevExpress CodeCentral Tips Video

    Check out this 7 minute video on how to use CodeCentral. To learn a new product or tool, I find one of the best ways is to play with sample source code. CodeCentral is your portal to search, download and run tons of sample source code. To get started, just install a small tool direct from the website and then run our samples in your local Visual Studio.

    CodeCentral’s main purpose is to be a learning tool. A good tutorial is almost like a cheat code for a game. It can help raise you to a new level in a short time. CodeCentral is kind of like cheat codes but without the guilt. Wink


    What’s in DevExpress CodeCentral?

    Sample projects with source code of our ASP.NET Tutorials and also the many support issues which contain samples for our other products (including WinForms).

    Does it cover all DevExpress components?

    Yes, however there are more ASP.NET samples at the moment.

    Is it only DevExpress components?

    Yes. Though some samples show you how to integrate with other technologies like Microsoft Ajax.

    Is it available to anyone or just DevExpress customers?

    It’s available to everyone. No need to sign in.

    Is it free?


    Does it work with the trial?

    Yes. Our trial is fully functional.

    Do you need to have Visual Studio Professional, Enterprise, or Team System to see the code?

    Not necessarily. You can also use the free Visual Studio Express Editions.

    What about Delphi?

    Sorry, we're aiming to get .NET fully supported before we look at VCL.

    What about browsing the code?

    Yes, you can browse many of the samples online. Though, it’s to browse on a local system where you can execute and step into source code.

    Are these DevExpress written samples, user samples or both?

    Both but for the most part, they’re written by the support and R&D teams.

  • Ajax Callback Error in ASP.NET – Video on How-To Handle

    UPDATE: March 7th, 2014 - The approach in this video is not needed anymore. Please read this post to learn why: "Three simple ways to handle DevExpress ASP.NET Callback Errors"

    Check out this 6 minute video that shows you how to handle those pesky Ajax callback errors. If you’ve ever experienced one of these then you know how frustrating they are. The usual cause is a server error that occurs during a callback and fails to notify the client side. Now you can handle these errors with elegance by just enabling the ASPxHttpHandler module within your ASP.NET website or project. This module sits within the ASP.NET Request pipeline and is able to track the control that initiated the callback as well as subsequent errors. The module also allows you to either report back to the control or redirect to a general error page.

    Click the image below to see this video on the brand new DevExpress Channel:


  • 7 Things You Might Have Missed About the New DevExpress Video Channel



    The DevExpress Channel is now broadcasting! There are videos on training, screencasts, demos, interviews, and some fun stuff that we do around the office. So, it's obvious that it's a clean, simple design and there are a ton of videos to watch, but here are 7 things you might have missed:

    1. Filter by Tag: Allows you to filter by a product or tag associated with the video.


    2. Click the ‘More Videos’ button to see a list of the available videos by category. This list comes up in the same area as the video player to save space and give you a central view to browse the videos.

    image image

    3. Find similar videos by clicking on the tags below the player.


    4. Download the videos to watch on your desktop or home theater.


    5. You can also link to a video using the direct URL which ends in .movie


    6. I have to stop getting cheap supercuts haircuts.

    Click through to see my deadly supercuts hair spikes almost stab Mark Miller in the face:


    7. Full-Screen: Watch the newer videos in full-screen.


    Click here and check out all the great new videos.

  • DevExpress ASP.NET Themes – Easy 3 Step Customization for Your Projects

    Check out the difference between a *** ASP.NET project and the same project using a Developer Express theme:

    image image

    Nice upgrade, isn't it? Here are the 3 simple steps to add Developer themes to your project: 

    1. Add a Combo Box for Selecting the Theme

    First you’ll need to decide on which page you want to put the theme selection combo box. You can put it on a master page so that it’s available on all derived pages. Or you can put it on a user customization page, like an options/settings page. Putting the the combo box at the top of the page will make it easier for the user to find and select the theme. You can see a sample of this in the ASP.NET demos. I recommend binding this combo box to an XML file that contain a list of the available themes.

    2. Use DevExpress ASP.NET Theme Deployment Tool

    There are several great pre-built themes that ship with our ASP.NET controls like the Office 2003 themes. Check out the ASPxThemeDeployer video to learn how to copy the DevExpress ASP.NET themes to your local web projects. Click the image to watch the video:


    3. Add Code To Load/Save the Themes

    In this last step, we’ll add some code to bind as well as handle the load/save of the themes to cookies. Add this code to your CodeBehind file which contains the combo box. This will load and save the selected theme into a cookie so the users don’t have to re-select their favorite theme every time. And to make it easier handle these cookies, include one of JavaScript utility files in a new folder called ‘scripts’:

    • C:\Program Files\Developer Express .NET v8.1\Demos\ASPxGridView\CS\ASPxGridViewDemos\Scripts\Utilities.js

    Please note that with the DXperience v2010 vol 1 release, we've moved the local demos location to the User Documents area. For example, on my Windows7 install, the file is located here now:

    • C:\Users\Public\Documents\DevExpress 2010.1 Demos\Components\ASPxGridView\CS\ASPxGridViewDemos\Scripts\Utilities.js

    This file contains some methods which we’ll call from the client-side to save the theme whenever the user selects a new theme:

    <dxe:ASPxComboBox AutoPostBack="True" DataSourceID="xdsThemes" Width="150px" 
    ID="cbSkins" runat="server" EnableViewState="False" 
    ClientInstanceName="cbSkins" OnDataBound="cbSkins_DataBound">
    <ClientSideEvents SelectedIndexChanged="
    function(s, e) {   
    }" />

    Here's a complete sample project that shows the combo box for themes in action [Sample project: (C#) | (VB)].

    Soft Orange Red Wine
    image image
    Youthful Black Glass
    image image

    Improve your UI by adding these Developer Express themes. Then leave a comment below about how much your users love this feature.

  • ASP.NET Video Tutorial: How To Edit LINQ To SQL using LinqServerModeDataSource

    Check out this 4 minute video on a very useful feature in the 2008 vol 2 release. The video/screencast shows you how to enable editing using the LinqServerModeDataSource component. Check out this video To get a good overview of the LINQ Server Mode support.

    The Server Mode feature is one of the most unique and intelligent approaches to dealing with large datasets. And now it’s even more flexible with support for editing so you won’t need to write your own events to save, insert, and/or delete. Three new properties were added to the LinqServerModeDataSource to support these editing functions.

    If you still need to do custom updates even with the new features, then you can still use the RowUpdating, RowInserting, and/or RowDeleting events. Watch the video and let me know how it changed your life. Wink


  • ASP.NET Html Editor Video: How To Create Custom Buttons And Toolbar

    The ASPxHtmlEditor is not just a standard web WYSIWYG HTML editor. You can also extend it and add custom toolbars and custom buttons. This makes adding custom functionality much easier.

    Check out this 7 minute video which shows the process of creating the custom toolbar and buttons. It also shows the process of finding the required methods that’ll be needed for this approach. You’ll find this section helpful because it’s the same process I use when trying to figure out which method/property to use with our controls.


  • What's New in 2008 Volume 2 for ASP.NET?

    The 2nd major DXperience release of 2008 is just around the corner. This three (major) releases per year cycle is very useful. Each major release means new features, controls, functionality, etc. And in the 2008 Volume 2 (aka v8.2) release there are some great features from the ASP.NET team. Read below for the full list. This post also ties in with the other announcements about the v8.2 release:

    Common Changes Across All ASP.NET Controls


    Useful Class for Client-side Scripting

    A new ASPxClientUtils class allows you to easily perform some typical client-side actions such as:

    • Determine web browser type
    • Work with arrays
    • Access an object's parent or child object
    • Obtain event parameters

    Enable/Disable Controls and Control Elements on the Client Side

    Previously, enabling/disabling a control or a control element required a round trip to the server. In 2008 vol 2, the controls from the ASPxEditors and ASPxperience Libraries allow you to change their enabled state or the state of their elements (tabs, menu items) on the client side. This reduces the number of round trips to the server and increases web site responsiveness.

    Distinguish Between Callbacks and Postbacks

    A new server-side IsCallback property has been added to our web controls. This property allows you to find out whether a control takes part in callback processing.

    Native Rendering for Data Editors

    Some controls from the ASPxEditors Library (ASPxTextBox, ASPxMemo, ASPxListBox, ASPxComboBox and ASPxButton) can now be rendered as HTML INPUT elements of the appropriate types. This allows you to enable native rendering for these elements thus providing Windows® style UI in your web site. Native rendering results in less HTML code which improves an application's overall performance.


    Integrated Spelling Checker

    The ASPxSpellChecker is now integrated into the ASPxHTMLEditor which enables spelling validation in the editor's Design View. To check spelling, end-users can now simply press a built-in toolbar button.

    Predefined Styles for Text Formatting

    Previously, every toolbar button performed a very basic formatting operation – for instance, applying bold or italic formatting, changing background color, etc. Now you can create buttons that change multiple style attributes at once. This is extremely useful if end-users need to highlight multiple text fragments using the same style settings.

    To enable this functionality, all you need is to create a custom CSS style and expose it via a toolbar's specially designed dropdown editor.

    Responding to Focus Changes via Client-side Events

    Newly implemented client-side events allow you to respond to the focus event being received or lost by the editor's Design View. For instance, this enables you to implement client-side user input validation when an end-user tries to leave the editor.

    Complete XHTML compliance

    HTML code entered into the editor's HTML View can be automatically validated and transformed into XHTML 1.0 Transitional compliant markup. As the result, the editor's content is always kept safe, since the editor removes all potentially harmful code - unknown tags and attributes, script elements, client-side event handlers and URLs with script content. Automatic validation also helps to keep HTML code validity by correcting invalid tag hierarchies and changing invalid attribute values.

    The ASPxHtmlEditor exposes several options to control which automatic transformations are required. You can also update HTML code manually by overriding an event.

    ASPxperience Suite


    Obtaining Settings from Data Fields

    Some controls like the ASPxNavBar, ASPxMenu and ASPxTabControl, now expose properties which allow you to specify data fields from whose items settings are to be obtained. Examples of settings that can be fetched from a data table are item tooltips, navigation URLs, image URLs, etc.

    Data binding, an entirely new feature in this release, is now supported for the ASPxTabControl. Prior to v2008 vol 2, it could only work in unbound mode.

    Easily Transmit Any Data onto the Client

    All AJAX-enabled controls in the ASPxperience Suite now allow the same easy data exchange with the web server as in the ASPxGridView Suite. The Controls expose the CustomJSProperties event, which enables you to declare custom properties for the client control. You can specify these properties' values on the server side and then access them on the client, as you would do with built-in properties.

    New Media Formats for Object Container

    The list of allowed video and audio types has been extended with QuickTime Video and QuickTime VR (virtual reality) types.

    ASPxCallbackPanel Improvement

    The panel's content can now remain visible during callback processing. This behavior is optional – a loading panel is displayed by default.


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