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

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February 2010 - Posts

  • ASP.NET Captcha Control Sneak Peek

    ASPxCaptcha In the first major DXperience release of 2010, we’re introducing a new ASP.NET Captcha control called the ASPxCaptcha.

    What is a Captcha?

    A CAPTCHA or Captcha (pronounced /ˈkæptʃə/) is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. …[Wikipedia]

    Captcha Control Overview

    The ASPxCaptcha will be part of the ASPxEditors Suite which is included with the ASPxGridView & Editors Library. When designing the ASPxCaptcha, our ASP.NET team set two key goals:

    1. Make this control as flexible in configuration and customization capabilities as all our other DevExpress ASP.NET controls.
    2. Create a truly working and quality Captcha which is difficult for machine recognition but easy enough for the user (humans).

    And the team has succeeded! The ASPxCaptcha is a fully self-contained control which doesn’t require you to write a bunch of extra code to use it. In fact, the only code you’ll need to handle is what the next action will be if the user passes verification.

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a DevExpress control if you couldn’t customize it.

    Appearance and Customization

     ASPxCaptcha elementsThe ASPxCaptcha is made of 3 key functional sub-elements:

    1. ChallengeImage – An image displayed to the user
    2. RefreshButton – A button to change the image and generate a new code (in case it’s too difficult for the user)
    3. TextBox – To enter the code displayed in the ChallengeImage

    Check out the image on the right to see the 3 key functional sub-elements.

    All three elements can be positioned differently, relative to each other:

    ASPxCaptcha - repositioned elements ASPxCaptcha - repositioned elements

    The RefreshButton and TextBox elements are optional and can be easily disabled:

    ASPxCaptcha - No Refresh Button ASPxCaptcha - Challenge Image Only

    Each functional element has a wide range of properties for customization:

    ASPxCaptcha - ChallengeImage Properties ASPxCaptcha - RefreshButton and Textbox Properties

    You can even create a Google-like Captcha:

    Google Captcha ASPxCaptcha - Google Style
    Google ASPxCaptcha

    The only difference between these two is that the ASPxCaptcha looks better. :)

    Validation

    Validation is very simple with the ASPxCaptcha control. ASPxCaptcha has a boolean property called Valid. Use this property to decide your next action after verification. For example, you can redirect the user to a different page:

    ASPxCaptcha.Valid Boolean property

    The functional element TextBox has a built-in validation mechanism like all the rest of our Edit-controls. This means that you don’t need to write extra code, if ChallengeImage test doesn’t pass. The ASPxCaptcha will automatically display the error message for you:

    ASPxCaptcha - Built-in TextBox Validation

    Check out the validation properties available to you:

    ASPxCaptcha - TextBox Validation Properties

    Release Date

    The ASPxCaptcha control will be part of the DXperience 2010 volume 1 release. The unofficial release date is sometime in April 2010.

    The DevExpress ASP.NET dev team has done an outstanding job of providing a flexible, easy-to-use and powerful Captcha control. Drop me a line below with your thoughts on this new control.

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

  • Free CodeRush Plugin: Move Source Code With Arrow Keys

    Check out this CodeRush plugin video about DX_MoveCode. The plugin is super simple because you can move lines of code using your arrow keys! It’s so intuitive that you’ll wonder why Visual Studio doesn’t have a feature like this built-in.

    image

    Download DX_MoveCode

    Get the free plugin (and source code) from the Google ‘DXCore Community plugins’ website here:

    http://code.google.com/p/dxcorecommunityplugins/wiki/DX_MoveCode

    Thanks Rory!

    Check out the DX_MoveCode plugin video with the plugin creator, Rory Becker!

    Then drop me a line below to thank Rory for this sweet little plugin.

    Want to experience a better Visual Studio?

    Install CodeRush by downloading the a lite free version here: CodeRush Xpress

    Or better yet, try the full blown package free for 30 days – CodeRush and Refactor Pro Download!

  • Special Offer From EdgeRater

    Chris White recently sat down with me to discuss EdgeRater and how DevExpress was able to help him deliver a fantastic user interface. After publishing the video, Chris White saw an increase in hits and downloads for EdgeRater.

    So, to thank DevExpress customers and fans, Chris is offering a discounted price for the next 10 days. Check out the discount details using this special URL:

    http://www.edgerater.com/promo/j/k/devexpress/

    EdgeRater Video Overview

    To learn more about EdgeRater, click the image below and watch the Chris White PDC video interview:

    PDC Video: Chris White Demos EdgeRater

    In the video, Chris demos EdgeRater and describes how he used the DevExpress tools to save time and create a great user interface.

    To learn more about EdgeRater, visit: http://www.edgerater.com/

    Be sure to take advantage of the EdgeRater special offer before Friday, February 26th, 2010.

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

     

  • Video: Using The Project Converter

    Check out the “Using The Project Converter” video. The video gives an overview and explains the new features that have been added to the project converter:

    Video: Using the Project Converter

    Visual Studio Integration

    It’s useful to integrate the project converter into Visual Studio’s external tools menu. Here’s how:

    Project Converter and Visual Studio IntegrationHow to Add DevExpress Project Converter to Visual Studio

    For faster access, you can easily integrate this tool into Visual Studio. So you can launch it from the Visual Studio 2008 menu or the toolbar. Let me show you how:

    1. Click on the Tools -> External Tools menu option inside Visual Studio.
    2. Click Add and then define the following properties:
      • Title: Name as you would like to see it in the menu, e.g., DevExpress Project Converter
      • Command: Location where the Project Converter is installed. Typically this will be in a directory such as: "C:\Program Files\Developer Express .NET v9.3\Tools\DXperience\ProjectConverter.exe". Please note, that with every major release from us, you'll want to update the command path to the latest location. 
      • Arguments: These are arguments that will be passed to the Project Converter tool. Visual Studio should generate the "$(SolutionDir)\" for you but if not, enter it. This argument is the location of the project currently open in Visual Studio.
    3. Finally, click OK. You should now see a new menu item under your Tools menu.

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

  • Free Plugin: Tweet Your Code From Visual Studio

    Travis Illig Check out this great CodeRush plugin which allows you to share snippets of your code with the world.  Travis Illig is the mastermind who created this CodeRush plugin.

    Watch the “Share Code On Twitter (Travis Illig)” video below and learn how the plugin works:

    Video: CR_CodeTweet Plugin 

    Installation

    Follow these 3 easy steps:

    1. Download the free plugin here: CR-CodeTweet CodeRush Plugin
    2. Watch the “Share Code On Twitter (Travis Illig)” video and follow the few steps to setup the plugin.
      • The plugin uses the http://codepaste.net/ website by uploading your selected code snippet from Visual Studio to CodePaste.net. Then it provides you a dialog to to enter a short twitter message with the shortened CodePaste.net url. Brilliant!
    3. Install and start sharing your code with the world.

    This is one of my favorite plugins and I’ve already used it a few times to help answer DevExpress ASP.NET questions on twitter.

    Check out Travis's free CR-CodeTweet plugin and drop me a line below with ideas on creative ways to use it.

    PS. – Post your CodePaste.net profile link too please.

    Want to experience a better Visual Studio?

    Install CodeRush by downloading the a lite free version here: CodeRush Xpress

    Or better yet, try the full blown package free for 30 days – CodeRush and Refactor Pro Download!

  • How To Deploy DevExpress DLLs With Free Utility

    Brendon Muck [DX-Squad]  Check out Brendon Muck’s awesome utility that helps you deploy DevExpress runtime DLLs to your servers. Brendon has created a free and open source tool that’s built with DevExpress controls.

    Check out Brendon’s guest post for this blog that describes the tool. Oh and please ignore Brendon’s request in the PS line below. :)

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    DX Server Installer By Brendon Muck

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Based on some of the comments from Julian's EULA blog, I whipped up a little application to handle deploying DevExpress assemblies to a list of target servers and installing them into the Global Assembly Cache of those target machines.

    How it Works:

    This application uses the Microsoft PsExec tool to invoke console line commands on a remote machine. In this case, it calls the .NET GacUtil executable to install an assembly into the Global Assembly Cache. You select the assemblies you want to install, they are copied to the target server(s), and installed.

    How to Use It:

    Rather than retrieve assemblies from the Global Assembly  Cache, I went the lazy way and simply browse a directory for DevExpress dlls. This defaults at start-up to the directory where I have MY DevExpress dlls installed. Browse for a directory, or start typing one in (the ButtonEdit control will autocomplete your path for you--did you know that you can do that?) and click "Load Assemblies".

    Next, select the file(s) you'd like to deploy, and then head on over to the Target Machines group and enter the machine name for any server you'd like to deploy to.

    Finally, click the big install button at the bottom, and cross your fingers that it works.

    Requirements:

    This was built using DevExpress v9.3.2.0, so that would help. If you have a higher version of DevExpress installed, then use the Project Converter tool to change the references.

    The PsExec and GacUtil executables are already included with the package, so there's no need to download/install them.

    You will need appropriate network rights to be able to copy your files to the deployment target(s) and install into the GAC.

    Screens:

    DX Server Installer Screenshot 1

    DX Server Installer Screenshot 2 

    Downloads:

    Binaries only

    Source

     

    Feedback

    Please leave suggestions and application issues through the CodePlex project page: http://dxserverinstaller.codeplex.com/

    Support

    Please keep in mind that this application is not sanctioned or affiliated with DevExpress in any way. Please do not contact them regarding it.

    Disclaimer: (Some web site I copy and pasted this from)

    THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

    PS. In lieu of sending me monetary donations to express your gratitude, feel free to just punch Mehul in the stomach next time you see him at a TechEd or similar event.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Download the DX Server Installer tool and it’s source code for free from the CodePlex project home page. However…

    Please keep in mind that this application is not sanctioned or affiliated with DevExpress in any way. Please do not contact them regarding it. –Brendon

    You can leave Brendon feedback through the CodePlex project page: http://dxserverinstaller.codeplex.com/

    Thanks Brendon for the guest post and fantastic utility!

  • Video: Au Revoir Paris

    Check out this short 2 minute video of highlights from the Paris training class:

    Video: Paris Training

    The 2010 DevExpress European Training Road Show is over as Oliver and I have said goodbye to Paris.

    Paris is an amazing city and we had a great time meeting all the developers there. And we want to thank everyone who attended!

    IMG_7323 IMG_7298 IMG_7377

    DXperience? What's That?

    DXperience is the .NET developer's secret weapon. Get full access to a complete suite of professional components that let you instantly drop in new features, designer styles and fast performance for your applications. Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

  • Video: Zurich Has A Warm Heart

    Check out this short mix of the developer feedback from the recent Zurich stop of DevExpress European road show/tour:

    Oliver and I began our epic 4 city journey in London, UK then drove to Frankfurt, Germany and arrived at Zurich, Switzerland.

    Our goal is to train developers on the “Business Apps with DXperience ASP.NET” course. From the attendees feedback below, they enjoyed the class and experience very much:

    image 

    Thanks to everyone in the Zurich class!

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