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

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May 2011 - Posts

  • ASP.NET Docking - Create Drag-and-drop Style Widgets with New Docking Controls (available now in v2011.1)

    aspxdockingCheck out these slick new ASP.NET Docking Controls that are available now in DXperience v2011 volume 1.

    Benefits

    Our new ASP.NET Docking controls give you the ability to create a 'widgets' style layout with drag-and-drop functionality for your website. Other key benefits and features include:

    • Custom web page layout
    • Intuitive interface
    • Smooth drag-and-drop 
    • Extensive Client-side API and events
    • Callbacks (AJAX) support
    • Beautiful themes provided
    • Customize styles
    • Flexible layouts with standalone docking controls - big win for you… more on this below
    • Cross-browser support

    Introduction Video

    Watch the 'ASP.NET Docking Introduction' video and learn about the ASPxDocking controls' benefits and features for you:

    DevExpress ASP.NET Docking Suite

    ASP.NET Docking Controls

    The new ASP.NET Docking controls are called ASPxDocking and they will be released as part of the ASPxperience Library.

    ASPxDocking offers 3 new stand-alone controls that have been design to interoperate well:

    • ASPxDockPanel - As a content place holder, this control holds your content. It can be dragged among different 'dock zones'. Or it can float like our ASPxPopupControl
    • ASPxDockZone - A container control for dock panels. The ASPxDockPanel can be docked within the ASPxDockZones.
    • ASPxDockManager - A non-visual control that allows you as the web developer to manage the central layout and handle all the events

    Together the three components allow your end-users to move content panels between specific regions (dock zones) of a web page. A dock panel can either be docked to a dock zone or made to float. Dock zones can be placed within any section of a page; orientation and size is fully customizable. ASPxDockManager allows you to provide centralized programmatic control of all dock panels and dock zones contained within a page.

    Advantage: Flexible Layout Customization

    A key advantage for you is that the ASPxDocking controls are standalone. Therefore, our docking solution does not require you to place the dock panels and zones into some parent layout control.

    Why is this important? Because you can place standalone panels, zones and manager docking controls on different web pages!

    Here's an example of how you can place the controls on multiple pages:

    • A child page with a panel and manager docking controls
    • and its master page can have a zone control
    • and a user control instantiated inside this page can contain one more panel

    And all of the docking controls will work nicely with each other and give you a 'single layout' capability across multiple web pages!

    Features

    Watch the 'ASP.NET Docking Introduction' video to see many of these key features in action:

    • Forbidden zones
    • Load content via callbacks
    • Runtime layout customization
    • Client-side events and API
    • Server-side functionality - for example, the AllowedDockState property lets you change a panel's docking behavior on the server side
    • Server-side events

     

    What do you think of the new ASPxDocking controls? Drop me a line below with your thoughts, thanks!

    Save time and money...

    Save time and money with high quality pre-built components for ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight and VCL as well as IDE Productivity Tools and Business Application Frameworks, all backed by world-class service and support. Our technologies help you build your best, see complex software with greater clarity, increase your productivity and create stunning applications for Windows and Web in the shortest possible time.

    Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

    Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

  • Attend Live Webinar And Question The DevExpress ASP.NET Team

    Join me and the DevExpress ASP.NET team on Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at 10am PDT for your chance to:

    1. See DevExpress ASP.NET v2011.1 features and products

      download101

      2. Ask the DevExpress ASP.NET team any questions about features or issues:

       

      Register Now

      Click this link and register for the upcoming webinar now:

      https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/378604222

      Register for Ask the ASP.NET Team webinar

      Don't miss this chance to interact live with the DevExpress ASP.NET team and ask your questions. See you on the webinar!

      Save time and money...

      Save time and money with high quality pre-built components for ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight and VCL as well as IDE Productivity Tools and Business Application Frameworks, all backed by world-class service and support. Our technologies help you build your best, see complex software with greater clarity, increase your productivity and create stunning applications for Windows and Web in the shortest possible time.

      Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    1. Pictures from Microsoft Tech·Ed 2011 - DevExpress Awards and Fun! #msteched

      DevExpress booth @ TechEd 2011Check out these pictures of DevExpress crew having fun and working hard at Microsoft Tech·Ed 2011 conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

      Awards Recap

      Check out these posts describing the awards that DevExpress won at Tech·Ed for its products:

      1. The Code Project 2011 Members Choice Awards
      2. Best of TechEd 2011 Awards - We Win!

      Pictures

      Check out the fun we had at Tech·Ed (click image for larger version):

      1. Booth Pictures:

      Mark Miller showing the work that he and Seth did for CodeRush and Microsoft Xbox Kinect Mehul Harry talking about DevExpress ASP.NET MVC Extensions

      Rory Becker, Rachel Reese & Gary Short Mark Miller showing off the CodeRush and Kinect integration

      Rachel Appel & Rachel Reese: 2/3 of The Rachi - http://twitter.com/#!/therachii Amanda having some fun at the booth

       

      2. The massage area next to the DevExpress booth:

      Free massages at TechEd 2011

       

      3. Seth and Jeff having some fun:

      Seth Juarez and Jeff Cosby having fun at TechEd 2011 Jeff Cosby having fun at TechEd 2011 

       

      4. Julian recording a future CTO message live from the Tech·Ed show floor!

      Julian Bucknall recording a CTO message at TechEd 2011

       

      5. Always good to see friends at conferences:

      Dustin Campbell and the awesome Clippy shirt Scott Hanselman drops by for dinner

       

      6. The long week can take its toll though:

      Jet lag catches up with Gary Short

       

      I had a great time at Tech·Ed talking with so many new developers who are interested in both of the DevExpress ASP.NET platforms: WebForms and MVC!

      Leave me a comment below about any of the pictures above, thanks!

      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/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    2. Meet Me At TechEd 2011 in Atlanta And Don't Miss Scott Hanselman's Session

      DevExpress @ Microsoft TechEd 2011

      Drop by the DevExpress booth at Microsoft TechEd 2011 next week. I'll be there in Atlanta, Georgia with several of the DevExpress evangelists.

      Preview of 2011 volume 1

      While it's still to early to release any bits, I'll be happy to show you the alpha-alpha version of DXperience v2011 volume 1. Ok, it's more stable than that but I'm obligated not let any copies out (unless the price is right).

      All the DXperience v2011 volume 1 posts so far

      Don't Miss This Session

      hanselmanScott Hanselman, Microsoft Techie-extraordinaire, is doing a NuGet Package Management session that you don't want to miss:

      DEV338 | NuGet: Microsoft .NET Package Management for the Enterprise

      Breakout Session |  300 - Advanced |  Developer Tools, Languages & Frameworks

      Speaker(s): Scott Hanselman

      Wednesday, May 18 | 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM | Room: B309

      That's all I can say for the moment but watch this blog next week for more TechEd news. Winking smile

      And come by the DevExpress booth in the exhibitor hall and say Hi. I love meeting customers and talking about their development projects.

      I hope to see you at TechEd next week! Thanks.

      Build Your Best - Without Limits or Compromise

      Try the DevExpress ASP.NET MVC Extensions online now: http://mvc.devexpress.com

      Read the latest news about DevExpress ASP.NET MVC Extensions

      Download a free and fully-functional version of DXperience now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    3. ASP.NET Upload Control (WebForms & MVC) - Upload Large Files using less RAM! (available now in v2011.1)

      Check out the upcoming feature of our ASP.NET Upload Control that lets your end-users upload very large files without having your web server use lots of memory (RAM). And there are other benefits too.

      Watch my 'Upload Big Files' video to learn about the new feature in DXperience v2011 volume 1:

      Video: ASP.NET Upload Large Files

      ASP.NET WebForms & MVC!

      First, you'll be happy to know that the new 'upload large files' feature will be supported by both of our ASP.NET Upload WebForms control and ASP.NET MVC Upload Extension!

      New Property

      A new property is being introduced for our ASP.NET Upload Control and MVC Upload Extension called UploadMode. And it has 2 modes that determine how the upload control will behave and render:

      • Standard - Current/old mode - the upload control will send a file in one request. For small files, this is fine but if the file is very large then it can stress your web server as it has to load the entire file in memory
      • Advanced - New mode - the upload control will send a file using small packets. This gives you a few benefits…

      ...Benefits? Yes there are some pluses to 'Advanced' mode and one small caveat.

      Advanced Mode Benefits

      There are major benefits that you get when using the new 'Advanced' mode for uploading:

      1. Upload Large Files

      Upload large (2 gigabyte) files without using a huge amount of memory on your web server because the 'Advanced' mode uploads the file in small packets. The default PackedSize is 200 kilobytes and it saves these bytes to a temporary folder on your server (default is "~\App_Data\UploadTemp\").

      When the upload has finished, you can access this file using the file stream:

      protected void ASPxUploadControl1_FileUploadComplete(object sender, FileUploadCompleteEventArgs e) { 
          using(Stream stream = e.UploadedFile.FileContent)  { 
              //stream.Read(...); 
          } 
      }

      Or save the file using the SaveAs method:

      protected void ASPxUploadControl1_FileUploadComplete(object sender, DevExpress.Web.ASPxUploadControl.FileUploadCompleteEventArgs e) {
          // don’t use FileBytes with Large Files!
          // byte[] a = e.UploadedFile.FileBytes;
       
          string filePath = Server.MapPath("~/uploads/" + e.UploadedFile.FileName);
          e.UploadedFile.SaveAs(filePath);
          // DoProcessUploadedFile(filePath);
      }
      

      2. Client-side Validation

      The new 'Advanced' mode will validate the file size and extension on the client-side without sending files to the web server. This prevents unnecessary traffic to the web server. And to ensure proper validation and give you extra protection, our ASP.NET upload control will also perform a server-side validation check once the file has passed client-side validation.

      3. Progress Bar in Medium Trust

      'Advanced' mode also allows you to display the file upload progress bar even in web environments that only allow medium-trust. Learn more about 'medium-trust' ASP.NET applications from this MSDN article. In general:

      Medium trust will place a number of restrictions on an application, including limiting an application’s file access to within the virtual directory where the application lives. - K. Scott Allen

      4. Prevent DoS Attacks

      With the 'Advanced' mode, you also don't need to set a very large 'maxRequestLength' value in your web.config file. The 'maxRequestLength' property specifies the limit for the buffering threshold of the input stream. For example, this limit can be used to prevent denial of service (DoS) attacks that are caused by users who post large files to the server.

      Silverlight Required

      The small caveat to the new 'Advanced' mode is that it requires Silverlight (version 3 and above) to render the upload control. This will require your end-users to have the Microsoft Silverlight plugin installed in their browsers. And we still provide the 'Standard' mode which uses standard HTML.

      We chose to use Silverlight so you can quickly deliver to you a robust, proven solution for uploading large files. And by using Silverlight in the 'Advanced' mode, you get more benefits.

      Available Now In v2011 vol 1

      The new 'Advanced' mode feature of our ASP.NET Upload WebForms control and MVC Extension is available now with the DXperience v2011 volume 1 release.

      What do you think of the slick new features in our ASP.NET upload control? Drop me a line below with your thoughts. Thanks!

      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/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    4. ASP.NET PDF/XLS Export Speed Increased! (available now in v2011.1)

      photo © 2008 Nathan | more info (via: Wylio)

      Check out the speed improvements for exporting large amounts of data from DevExpress ASP.NET products.

      Julian, our CTO, blogged about the improvements coming in our WinForms Grid exporting. And as Julian mentions in his post, the DevExpress engineers were challenged to improve the performance for exporting data. And they delivered!

      Performance Increase In Numbers

      Here's the actual breakdown:

      What we used. The latest version of DXperience v2010.2 and a preview build for DXperience v2011.1.

      What we timed/measured. We used 4 benchmarks:

      1. ASPxGridView with 20,000 records and 5 columns. A quarter of a million cells.
      2. ASPxGridView with 50,000 records and 5 columns. Half a million cells.
      3. ASPxGridView with 100,000 records and 5 columns. A million cells.
      4. ASPxGridView with 50,000 records and 10 columns. Half a million cells.

      The results.

      Take a look at these charts that show the big increase in performance:

      Exporting 50 Rows with 10 Columns 

      Export PDF with 5 Columns 

      Export XLSX with 5 Columns

      Thanks Bryan, the DevExpress charting evangelist, for creating these slick charts using XtraCharts.

      Faster Exports

      The export performance is tremendous. For example, exporting a PDF with 100,000 rows is now 6 times faster. And exporting an XLS with 100,000 rows is 20 times faster!

      You're end-users will feel the benefits immediately when you upgrade to DXperience v2011 volume 1. And you won't have to make any code changes to get the performance benefits!

      Take a look at these charts to see the rate of change. As the number of rows is increased, the new exporting improvements only increase by small amounts:

      XLSX export: Rate of change PDF export: Rate of change

      Available now in v2011.1

      What do you think of these new export performance improvements in DXperience v2011 volume 1 release?

      Drop me a line below, thanks!

      Save time and money...

      Save time and money with high quality pre-built components for ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight and VCL as well as IDE Productivity Tools and Business Application Frameworks, all backed by world-class service and support. Our technologies help you build your best, see complex software with greater clarity, increase your productivity and create stunning applications for Windows and Web in the shortest possible time.

      Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    5. Webinar Available: Improving Web Site Performance and Scalability with Robert Boedigheimer

      Check out the "Improving Web Site Performance and Scalability with Robert Boedigheimer" webinar video that is available online now:

      Video: Improving Web Site Performance and Scalability with Robert Boedigheimer

      Robert gives some great insights and goes over techniques and tools for improving your web site performance. And the advice applies for all ASP.NET sites.

      Overview

      Robert BoedigheimerCan you really improve the customer experience and save money? There are many simple techniques and free tools available that can do both!

      In the session, Robert covered:

      • Start with a traditional ASP.NET web site and show step by step how to improve it for both client experience and cost savings.
      • Review the basics of caching and learn how to avoid costly server round trips by using expirations to maximize use of the client's browser and also reduce server side execution time with data caching on the server.
      • Use HTTP compression, minification of JavaScript and CSS, server side viewstate, and image optimization to reduce client downloads by 50-75%.
      • Take advantage of free CDN networks to host jQuery and Ajax files.
      • See how tools such as Ajax Minifier, Fiddler, Network Monitor, and Google Page speed can be used to help diagnose and verify improvements.

      Download Slides and Code

      Download the presentation slides and code that Robert used in the webinar here:

      DevExpress ASP.NET Performance

      The advice Robert gives is very useful and applies to all ASP.NET websites in general.

      The DevExpress ASP.NET products have been taking advantage of many performance tips already! To learn more about DevExpress ASP.NET performance, check out these posts:

      Watch the webinar to the end and you'll hear me discuss some of these DevExpress performance items with the webinar attendees.

      About Robert

      Robert Boedigheimer works for Schwans Shared Services, LLC providing business solutions with web technologies and leads Robert Boedigheimer Consulting, LLC. Robert has been designing and developing web sites for the past 15 years including the early days of ASP and ASP.NET. He is a columnist for aspalliance.com, an ASP.NET MVP, an author, an "Early Achiever" MCSD for .NET with C#, an MCPD: Web with C#, MCPD: ASP.NET 3.5, and a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Robert has spoken at industry conferences including the Heartland Developers Conference, DevLink, Tulsa Tech Fest, DevWeek, TechEd, AJAXWorld, and numerous national and international events.

      Thanks Robert!

      Contact Robert via email here. Follow him on twitter here. Be sure to also check out his blog here: http://blogs.aspadvice.com/robertb

      Thanks Robert for the excellent webinar tips on improving website performance and scalability while saving money.

      Do me a favor and leave Robert your thanks, feedback or questions in the comments section below. Thanks!

      Save time and money...

      Save time and money with high quality pre-built components for ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight and VCL as well as IDE Productivity Tools and Business Application Frameworks, all backed by world-class service and support. Our technologies help you build your best, see complex software with greater clarity, increase your productivity and create stunning applications for Windows and Web in the shortest possible time.

      Try a fully-functional version of DXperience for free now: http://www.devexpress.com/Downloads/NET/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    6. DevExpress in India - Video Mix from GIDS 2011 in Bangalore

      Check out the great time that Julian, Mark, Rachel, Gary and I had representing DevExpress in India for the first time!

      Watch this short 2 minute video of our recent trip to Bangalore, India for the Great Indian Developer Summit:

      Video: DevExpress in India GIDS

       

      Read about our booth and the sessions from my Day 1 notes here:

      Great Indian Developer Summit 2011 - Day One with .NET & DevExpress

      And we're also honored to win 2 awards while in India:

      DevExpress wins 2 awards at GIDS 2011 in Bangalore, India! #GIDS

       

      Thanks to everyone who dropped by the DevExpress booth. It was great to meet you.

      And thanks to everyone in Bangalore for their hospitality and for making our visit so memorable!

      Drop me a line about DevExpress' first visit to India, thanks!

      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/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

    7. ASP.NET HTML Editor (WebForms & MVC) - New Document Selector For Inserting Links (available now in v2011.1)

      Check out the new 'Document Selector' feature of the DevExpress ASP.NET HTML Editor that's available now in the DXperience v2011.1 release. This short 6 minute video shows how easily your end-users can insert hyperlinks in to documents using our ASP.NET Html Editor's built-in Select Document dialog:

      Video: DevExpress ASP.NET HTML Editor - Document Selector

      Insert Links with Ease

      The upcoming Select Document dialog is a useful addition to the Insert Link and Change Link dialogs. It will allow your end-users to manage content hyperlinks using a point-and-click UI, rather than typing URLs manually.

      ASP.NET File Manager Integration

      We've integrated our versatile ASP.NET File Manager control into the new Select Document dialog, giving you it's power and features without you having to code it manually.

      And with the ASPxFileManager control integration, you get:

      • all file/folder management
      • access control
      • upload capabilities

      All these features are available to you out-of-the-box.

      ASP.NET WebForms & MVC!

      The new Select Document feature will be available for both the WebForms control and MVC extension of our ASP.NET HTML Editor!

      New Properties

      To enable the new Select Document capabilities, simply turn on the corresponding options via the editor's SettingsDocumentSelector option set. For example, here's the settings we'll be using in our upcoming ASPxHtmlEditor demo for v2011 volume 1 release:

      ...
              </Items>
              </dx:HtmlEditorToolbar>
          </Toolbars>
          <SettingsDocumentSelector Enabled="True">
              <CommonSettings RootFolder="~/Content/FileManager/Documents" />
              <PermissionSettings>
                  <AccessRules>
                      <dx:FileManagerFolderAccessRule Role="" Upload="Deny" />
                      <dx:FileManagerFolderAccessRule Role="" Path="Upload" Upload="Allow" />
                  </AccessRules>
              </PermissionSettings>
          </SettingsDocumentSelector>
          <SettingsImageUpload UploadImageFolder="~/UploadImages/">
              <ValidationSettings AllowedFileExtensions=".jpe,.jpeg,.jpg,.gif,.png" MaxFileSize="500000">
              </ValidationSettings>
          </SettingsImageUpload>
      </dx:ASPxHtmlEditor>

      Available now in v2011 volume 1

      The new Select Document feature of the ASPxHtmlEditor is available now in the DXperience v2011 volume 1 release. Thanks!

      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/

      Follow MehulHarry on Twitter

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