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

02 July 2008

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.


ASPxHtmlEditor

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.

16 comment(s)
Rick Bartlett

What, no ASPxGridView Horizontal Scrollbar :(

2 July, 2008
Timothy McCurdy

Good stuff, especially looking forward to the Spellchecking of the HtmlEditor.  I guess the "ASPxClientUtils" are for those not using the MS AJAX framework?  What advantage does this have over that? For example, there are some good extensions already in the MS AJAX framework for Arrays, Dates, and other base types.  Also, as far as the server side goes, there's always been a "Page.IsCallback" property to determine when something is a Callback vs a PostBack.  I'm not really critisizing, just curious about the specifics, can you list some examples of how this would be more benefical?

2 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Fredrick,

We’re still considering adding this feature but there are some compelling reasons not to. If we added it then it would mean:

1. Larger JavaScript files

2. Breaking XHTML compliance

3. Which would break cross-browser support

4. Instability with other features

Currently, and unfortunately, there isn’t a good approach for horizontal scrolling which can meet all the requirements. However, the R&D team hasn’t ruled out the possibility to add it. In the meantime, you can check out the following tutorial:

http://tinyurl.com/5oanqa

3 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Tim,

I'll look into it.

3 July, 2008
Kamran Shahid

IS all of the controls are FireFox 3 compatible ?

Also is there some functionality like autocomplete extender for textbox [not dropdown] as because of lacking of this functionality we have to use AJax control Toolkit

3 July, 2008
Jerzy Rzaniak

No tables editor in ASPxHtmlEditor ?

3 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Jerzy,

Unfortunately, not this release but the suggestion has been accepted so you can keep track of it here: www.devexpress.com/issue=S19611

3 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Kamran,

The aspx controls should work fine with FF3. As for the extender, you can use the AJAX extender with ASPxTextBox like this sample: http://tinyurl.com/5s29mw

Btw, email me as I'm curious why you can't use the dropdown version?

3 July, 2008
Mario Funke

No solution for RewritePath?

www.devexpress.com/Support/Center/p/B93021.aspx

4 July, 2008
Jamal Assaf

Something that really could make it much easier and productive when working the the Columns properties window in AspxGridView; Please add the type of column that is being viewed as a Label or update the dialog window caption, for example, a Spin Button and Command Buttton, etc. Right now, I have to close the Columns properties window and view the Aspx page source to see what type the column is, and time consuming and somewhat counter productive.

4 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Jamal,

This suggestion has been accepted (not yet implemented) but you can track it here to see when it'll be released: www.devexpress.com/issue=S91844

8 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Mario,

Sorry, that issue didn't make into v8.2 but the team is looking into it.

8 July, 2008
heather

Are you planning to support the new HIERARCHYID data type in SQL Server 2008?  It would be a great addition to support menu structures, etc right in the database.

10 July, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Heather,

Usually we don't support beta products but I recommend creating a suggestion. From reading about it at first glance, it looks like it may able be supported.

21 July, 2008
Tom Ward

I love the new release!  You guys have done a great job once again.  I love your products, they let me seem like 10 developers instead of just one.  The only thing that I really need that isn't available in your ASP.NET products are gauges.  Looking through your XtraGauges you just released, this is exactly what we need - but for ASP.  Are there any plans to release an ASP.NET version of this product?  I love the ASP version of XtraCharts and hope you will soon have something similar for XtraGauges.

15 August, 2008
Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Thanks Tom, We're planning to add Gauge support soon, you can track the following suggestion to get updates:

www.devexpress.com/.../Q108143.aspx

15 August, 2008

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