DevExpress Mail Demo (deprecated)

ASP.NET Team Blog
12 August 2009

Update: This demo has been deprecated and the url now points to our native ASP.NET MVC Extensions, thank you.

Check out this demo which shows you how to use our current ASP.NET controls in an ASP.NET MVC environment.

Disclaimer: These are NOT ASP.NET MVC controls. Rather, they demonstrate how to use and leverage the current DevExpress WebForms ASP.NET controls in an ASP.NET MVC based website (more on this below). The good news is that we’re working on a native ASP.NET MVC control: MVCxGrid.

This demo is intended to show you how many of our current WebForms controls, which have a ton of functionality, can be used within ASP.NET MVC. Using the current controls means your previous investment still pays off, both in terms of the rich ClientSide-API, feature set, and your general understanding of the current controls.

Here’s a screenshot of the mail demo website that’s using the ASPxGridView (and several other DevExpress ASP.NET controls):



The ASP.NET team has created a slick demo application that shows how to use our current ASP.NET controls in an ASP.NET MVC environment.

Check out the sample here:

The MVC Mail demo is an online mail application similar in basic features to or So have fun playing around with it. And don’t worry about breaking the database because there isn’t one. Instead, this demo uses session state to persist the tiny amount of data. This allows you to tweak and bend the demo without us having to reset some database.

So go ahead and …

  • Compose new emails
  • Save email drafts
  • Delete emails
  • Move emails
  • Browse folders
  • Mark emails as read/unread
  • Add contacts to Address book
  • Delete contacts
  • Check for new mail Smile

And as you’re doing all these activities, check out the DevExpress controls used in the demo. For example, in the Inbox folder (or the Mail/List view), check out the ASPxGridView’s features. Try sorting, column moving, or filtering. These features work seamlessly in ASP.NET MVC.

The MVC Mail demo uses a ton of the DevExpress ASP.NET controls. Here’s a full list:

  • Grid View (ASPxGridView)
  • Combo Box (ASPxComboBox)
  • Html Editor (ASPxHtmlEditor)
  • Menu (ASPxMenu)
  • Navigation bar (ASPxNavBar)
  • Page control (ASPxPageControl)
  • Text box (ASPxTextBox)
  • Memo (ASPxMemo)
  • Label (ASPxLabel)
  • HyperLink (ASPxHyperLink)
  • Popup control (ASPxPopupControl)
  • Button (ASPxButton)
  • Upload control (ASPxUploadControl)


Because these are WebForms controls used in an ASP.NET MVC environment, there are some drawbacks. For example, it’s necessary to use the <form runat=server> which generates a little ViewState.

In the mail demo’s source code (web.config), you’ll see that the Pages->ViewState is set to false. However, in any ASP.NET page the Form element with server tag will generate a hidden field with a small amount of ViewState. And our WebForm controls require a server form even if our ASP.NET control’s ViewState is disabled.

Test Drive

Want to download this entire demo and test it in your development environment? Here’s what you do:

  1. First read this knowledgebase article: How to use DevExpress web components in ASP.NET MVC apps
  2. Then, grab either the C# or VB.NET versions of the code at the bottom of the knowledgebase article.
  3. Load the solution in your Visual Studio and have fun!

Skill Level

ASP.NET MVC is a new framework for ASP.NET projects which has some benefits (testing, separation of concerns). If you’ve never played with ASP.NET MVC before then I’d recommend checking out the introductory videos at I encourage developers at all levels to download and try our mail demo project in your local machines.

If you’re not interested in ASP.NET MVC then rest assured that the DevExpress ASP.NET controls will still work in your WebForms projects.


The ASP.NET MVC mail demo source code is completely free. You’ll need the DevExpress ASP.NET controls installed in your Visual Studio instance. And you can get a free copy of the fully-functioning trial here:

I look forward to seeing what kind of websites you create in ASP.NET MVC. So be sure to post any links and images of your ASP.NET MVC websites that use the DevExpress ASP.NET controls.

So what are you waiting for? Download the sample code and have fun.

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