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DevExpress ASP.NET MVC Extensions Are Coming Soon

Update: Be sure to read the commitment that DevExpress has to ASP.NET MVC. Also, check out all the related ASP.NET MVC posts.

MVCxGrid displaying recent twitter stream for hashtag #DevExpressI have excellent news for ASP.NET MVC developers and DevExpress fans. We are about to release native ASP.NET MVC Extensions in the DXperience v2010.1 release.

These ‘native MVC’ extensions use .NET Framework 3.5 plus jQuery and produce no ViewState! They also include some great functionality and features, so let’s dive in and see...

Product: DevExpress MVC Extensions

Release time estimated around April 2010 with DXperience 2010.1.

Includes 5 major extensions:

  • GridView – MVCxGridView
  • Menu – MVCxMenu
  • NavBar – MVCxNavBar
  • TabControl/PageControl – MVCxTabControl
  • RoundPanel – MVCxRoundPanel

jQuery Integrated!

Callbacks in the extensions are made using the jQuery library, as well as all client-side functionality in the demos.

Semantic Rendering

3 of the DevExpress MVC Extensions render semantic HTML. The MVCxPager, MVCxMenu and MVCxNavBar render HTML using list items and CSS styling instead of tables. Using semantic rendering has many benefits:

  • Performance is increased because the amount of HTML output is reduced.
  • Accessibility is improved because screen readers understand semantic HTML
  • SEO is also improved because search engines also prefer semantic HTML

Other controls such as the grid also gain some benefits because they make use of the controls internally.

The WebForms counterparts (ASPxPager, ASPxMenu, ASPxNavBar) are also getting semantic rendering benefits in the DXperience v2010.1 release. More on this in a future post.

Built On .NET Framework 3.5

DevExpress MVC Extensions assembly code and demos are created using .NET Framework 3.5. Therefore, we use some of the Framework 3.5 approaches and technologies such as auto-properties, lambda expressions, LINQ, etc.

This means that .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 (or later) is required to use our ASP.NET MVC extensions. No exceptions.

Supports MVC 2.0 and VS2010

Our MVC extensions support ASP.NET MVC 2.0 which you can use in either Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Studio 2010.

Price

Free with DXperience subscription. Standard EULA applies.

Advantages

The DevExpress MVC Extensions will give many of the same features and functionality as our WebForms controls without producing any ViewState. For example, the navigation controls like the MVCxMenu have much of the same functionality as the ASPxMenu. And the MVCxGridView has the much of the same feature set as the ASPxGridView except for master-detail layout and functionality that uses the editors (i.e., inline editing, filtering and selection).

The advantages of our MVC extensions are:

1. Native ASP.NET MVC rendering via an extension of the HtmlHelper class. In your page it will look something like this:

<%
   Html.DevExpress().Menu(Page,
      settings=>
         {
            settings.Name= "mClientSideAPI";
            settings.AllowSelectItem= true;
            settings.Orientation= Orientation.Vertical;
            settings.Items.Add("Visa", "Visa", "~/Content/Menu/visa.png").Selected= true;
            settings.Items.Add("MasterCard", "MasterCard", "~/Content/Menu/master.png");
            settings.Items.Add("Union", "Union", "~/Content/Menu/union.png");
            settings.Items.Add("American Express", "American Express", "~/Content/Menu/amex.png");
            settings.Items.Add("Maestro", "Maestro", "~/Content/Menu/maestro.png");
            settings.ClientSideEvents.ItemClick= "MenuItemClick";
         }).Render();
%>

2. Lightweight HTML rendering – Using semantic rendering, the HTML output will be much smaller. More on this below.

Our ASP.NET team have worked hard to provide you many of the same features as our WebForms controls, such as:

3. Similar server-side API and properties types.

4. Similar client-side API.

5. Look and feel is the same as the WebForms version of our controls. We use the standard ASP.NET themes and skin-files which are similar to our WebForm controls excluding the root tag (e.g. ASPxNavBar -> MVCxNavBar). And our handy ASPxThemeDeployer tool can generate these skin-files.

6. Ability to use templates like in ASP.NET:

<%
   Html.DevExpress().PageControl(Page,
       settings=>
          {
             settings.Name= "pcTemplates";
             settings.SkinID= "None";
             ...
             settings.SetActiveTabTemplateContent(c=>
                {%>
                   <%  Html.RenderPartial("TemplatesActiveTab", c.TabPage);%>
                <%});
             settings.SetTabTemplateContent(c=>
                {%>
                   <%  Html.RenderPartial("TemplatesTab", c.TabPage);%>
                <%});
          }).Render();
%>

7. Ability to bind controls to business objects (model), navigation controls additionally to xml and sitemap files.

Because ASP.NET MVC is different than ASP.NET WebForms, there are a few things missing. For example, the postback fuctionality and some server side events are not supported but you will likely not miss them in ASP.NET MVC.

Features

Here is a list of just a few of the features of our ASP.NET MVC extensions:

  • DataBinding
  • Sorting
  • Grouping
  • Filtering
  • Paging
  • Scrolling
  • Preview
  • Summary
  • Editing
  • Templates
  • DataBinding To Model
  • Client-Side Events & Functionality
  • And many more…

We refactored our ASP.NET libraries in order to create a common basis for the two Microsoft web platforms. This refactoring provides you with a similar feature set for both platforms while still staying consistent with the respective frameworks.

Feedback

Please keep in mind that this is a first release so we’ll likely add more extensions and features based on your feedback.

Are you excited to try the DevExpress MVC Extensions? Drop me a line below with your thoughts. Your feedback is appreciated.

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/

 

Published Mar 22 2010, 08:00 AM by
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Comments

Timur Zanagar

That sounds really good. I can't wait to test them asap.

I hope the next MVC controls will be Scheduler and Reporting. Than I'll be really good with my projects.

March 22, 2010 11:17 AM

Timur Zanagar

Berfore I forget to say - don't forget a MVC HTMLEditor ;-)

March 22, 2010 11:19 AM

Aaron Smith

This is EXCELLENT!!!!!

March 22, 2010 11:29 AM

Bernard Simmons

This is good news! I'll try them as soon as they are available!

March 22, 2010 11:42 AM

Uwe Keim

And a MVC Splitter and ... well ... just MVC-ify everything!

March 22, 2010 11:54 AM

Kris-I

Is it a good news  ???  ......... YEEEEES  ! :)

March 23, 2010 2:46 AM

Rory Becker - DevExpress

I'm looking forward to stand alone MVCx_DateEdit, MVCx_NumberEdit, MVCx_TimeEdit, , MVCx_CurrencyEdit,, MVCx_TextBox , MVCx_MaskEdit etc :) hopefully these will be forthcoming aswell :)

March 23, 2010 12:10 PM

Joe Hendricks

What about XAF Asp.Net apps?

March 23, 2010 3:42 PM

Crispin Horsfield

Definitely MVC HtmlEditor - along with all the rest.

March 23, 2010 5:47 PM

Kervin Pierre

Excellent. Waiting very patiently for MVC for a while now so this is good news.  Hope we get the completed toolkit soon.

March 23, 2010 6:33 PM

Shaw Innes

This is definitely good news.  Just this week I started my first MVC project and was slightly dismayed at the complexity of implementing some DevExpress components.  (partly due to my not understanding MVC yet..)

It would be great to see all of the standard aspx editors available for MVC.

March 23, 2010 8:13 PM

Wayne Brantley

XtraReports web viewer worked fine as an ASP.NET server based control in MVC 1.0.   This of course has viewstate and such, but it worked and could be put on a page without a problem.

Taking a solution that works, upgrading it to MVC2.0, that same XtraReports web viewer stops working.

Any chance you guys can look at this and at least make it work?  While I would love a native MVC report viewer, until such time I will take a classic server side control that works in an MVC2 view.

March 23, 2010 10:33 PM

Jordan Lukov

And don't forget also for MVCxTreeList and MVCxDataView controls

March 24, 2010 5:20 AM

Gor

Looking forward for jquery in your asp controls :)

March 26, 2010 12:57 AM

Hamidul HUQ

Yes i'm really interested.

March 26, 2010 4:24 AM

Marcel Timmermans_1

GREAT!! I am really waiting for this...

March 26, 2010 4:48 AM

Todd Emory

Ditto to the above! Currently have a hybrid app using MVC and web forms with DX controls. Any ballpark time frame on when the 2010 release is going to go down?

March 26, 2010 11:03 AM

Charles Mussely

Great, that what was needed to make my boss accept ASP.NET MVC.

March 26, 2010 1:42 PM

Rodrigue Martinez

ETA? Second quarter 2010? third? forth?

April 7, 2010 3:30 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

@Rodrigue,

A beta of the DevExpress MVC Extensions will be available in the v2010.1 release.

April 8, 2010 3:11 PM

Manjit

When is v2010.1 scheduled to release? We have been waiting for Devexpress MVC controls.

April 30, 2010 4:58 PM

About Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Mehul Harry is an ASP.NET technical evangelist at Developer Express. You can reach him directly at mharry@DevExpress.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mehulharry
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