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

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December 2014 - Posts

  • ASP.NET - Improved Demo Code Viewing Experience (v14.2)

    Here's an improvement to the DevExpress ASP.NET demos that helps you to learn faster. It does not have a name so I'm calling it 'relevant code highlighting' or 'demo code - the good parts':

    DevExpress ASP.NET Demo Code Highlight

    Good parts - Highlighted

    All the DevExpress ASP.NET demos now highlight the relevant code bits of the demo that you're viewing.

    For example, in the image above, only the HTML markup and JavaScript code that is necessary for the multiple selection demo have been highlighted. But other code is still there to give us proper context

    Take a look the demo online here: DevExpress ASP.NET File Manager Demo - Multiple File Selection

    In a standard ASP.NET page we need various bits of code to display. But when you're looking at a demo, you don't want to hunt through the code to find which items are the ones needed for that particular feature.

    So our new online demos for v14.2 release highlight the relevant bits of code and saving you time.

    It's the little things

    This may seem like small feature but any UI changes that improve our life by saving time and giving us better context are worth it.

    Try the new v14.2 demos

    Check out all the DevExpress demos:

    Then let me know what you think about this new feature and how we can make our online demos even better. Thanks.


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  • ASP.NET - Visual Studio Designer Improvements (Now available in v14.2)

    Your Visual Studio design-time experience has now been improved with new time-saving designer dialogs for the DevExpress ASP.NET controls in the v14.2 release!

    Designer Dialog?

    A designer dialog is simply a dialog window that saves you time because it combines many sub-properties of controls into one area. For example, the DevExpress ASP.NET GridView control has separate dialogs that help you create and manage items like:

    • Columns
    • Summaries
    • Client-side Events

    Now with the v14.2 release, you can access them all in one dialog:

    DevExpress ASP.NET GridView Designer

    This is a big time-saver because you have items in one location without the need to go looking through the Visual Studio properties dialog.

    Client-Event Editor

    The DevExpress ASP.NET Controls support a rich set of client-side API and the designer dialog window provides a nice editor for you to create or modify your JavaScript source:

    DevExpress ASP.NET FileManager - ClientSide Events Editor

     And you'll notice that the editor also provides JavaScript syntax highlighting.

    Smart Tag Link

    To access the designer dialog window, click on the "Designer" link in the smart tag dialog which is available in the design view of Visual Studio:

    DevExpress ASP.NET GridView - SmartTag Designer

    WebForms Only

    Because ASP.NET MVC does not have any design-time experience, the new designer dialogs are only available for ASP.NET WebForms platform.

    WinForms Inspired

    The designer dialogs feature was inspired by our WinForms controls that have had these dialogs for many years. We found them so useful that we 'borrowed' the idea for our ASP.NET controls.

    So, if you're familiar with the DevExpress WinForms controls then you'll find these new dialogs helpful in ASP.NET too.

    What do you think about the new DevExpress ASP.NET designer dialog windows? Drop me a line below. Thanks!


    Your Next Great .NET App Starts Here

    Year after year, .NET developers such as yourself consistently vote DevExpress products #1.

    Experience the DevExpress difference for yourself and download a free 30-day trial of all our products today: DevExpress.com/trial (free support is included during your evaluation).

  • ASP.NET Scheduler Enhancements (Now available in v14.2)

    The DevExpress ASP.NET Scheduler control for ASP.NET and MVC is getting the following enhancements for the v14.2 release.

    Full Week View

    The Full Week view displays appointments for all days within a specific week. It is designed to replace the current Week view and allows you to specify the first day of the week.

    DevExpress ASP.NET Scheduler - Full Week View

    The arrow buttons at the top left of the Scheduler allow your end-users to easily navigate between the weeks as well as go to a specific date.

    And they can still easily create or edit appointments using the handy context menu built-into the DevExpress ASP.NET Scheduler.

    Try it for yourself here: Online demo

    Improved Time Zone Support

    Scheduler Time Zones now rely on time zone information provided by the .NET Framework. Proprietary methods used to obtain time zone information have been deprecated.


    Your Next Great .NET App Starts Here

    Year after year, .NET developers such as yourself consistently vote DevExpress products #1.

    Experience the DevExpress difference for yourself and download a free 30-day trial of all our products today: DevExpress.com/trial (free support is included during your evaluation).

  • ASP.NET MVC: Spell Checker Extension (Now available in v14.2)

    Good news, you now have the ability to spell check your ASP.NET MVC editors. We've added an excellent Spell Checker extension in the v14.2 release:

    DevExpress MVC Spell Checker

    We've had a great spell checker control in our WebForms platform for many years. And now that same codebase has been ported as a native ASP.NET MVC extension (yes, finally). This means that the MVC spell checker is based on a solid code base, is extensible, and ready-to use in your MVC web projects.

    Benefits

    The SpellChecker provides you a straightforward way in which to add Microsoft Office style spell checking capabilities into your next ASP.NET MVC application and offers you built in suggestion forms that replicate corresponding forms found in Microsoft Outlook. These forms will seamlessly integrate into any web application powered by DevExpress.

    Features

    And it comes with these great features built-in:

    1. Custom dictionaries - Built-in support for custom dictionaries in plain text or the following ready-to-use dictionary formats: Ispell, OpenOffice and Hunspell.
    2. Ready-to-use spelling dialogs - A Microsoft Office style error indication dialog. Pre-built Spelling Options editor. Dictionary dialogs allow end-users to add unrecognized words to a dictionary. As one would expect from this type of control, end-users can build a custom word list as their needs dictate.
    3. Spelling options - Spell checker options allow you to ignore emails, URLs, mixed case/upper-case words, repeated words and words with numbers within them.
    4. API - The SpellChecker's API includes methods to check an arbitrary string, a text editor's content or all text editor controls within a specified container. You can handle specially designed events to fully manage the spell checking process - including suppression of built-in forms, modification to suggestion lists, skipped words, manual error processing, etc.

    How to use

    1. Use the DevExpress MVC Insert Extension dialog:

    DevExpress MVC Insert Extension Dialog

    Watch this short 3 minute video to learn how to use the dialog. Or if you prefer, there's a help topic too.

    2. Or use the following code approach:

    To add a spell checker to your project, declare the ASP.NET MVC Spell Checker extension in the Partial View and define how the callbacks will be routed back to your controller using the CallbackRouteValues property. Specify the default culture and the ID of the text control being cheсked. To add the ISpell dictionary, use the AddISpellDictionary method and specify the path to the dictionary file, the grammar file and the alphabet file. A dictionary should indicate its culture and character encoding. The CacheKey identifier enables you to access the dictionary using the Session[Dictionary.CacheKey] object.

    You can subscribe to spellchecker events to perform certain actions before and after check:

    Partial View code:

    DevExpress MVC SpellChecker - Partial View Code

    To start the check, use the SpellChecker.Check method:

    View code:

    DevExpress MVC SpellChecker - View Code

    What do you think of the DevExpress MVC Spell Checker extension? Drop me a line below. Thanks.


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  • .NET Grid Controls: Faster Sorting, Grouping and Summary Computations (Coming soon in v14.2)

    DevExpress ASP.NET Performance: Speed with custom HTTP Handler

    Great news! If you use a DevExpress Data Grid control for ASP.NET, WinForms, and/or WPF then you'll experience better performance just by upgrading to v14.2!

    Which Grids?

    The performance enhancements we've introduced throughout 2014 apply to the following Grid controls:

    • ASP.NET: ASPxGridView
    • WinForms: XtraGrid
    • WPF: DXGrid

    What Changed between v13.2 and v14.2?

    As you probably know by now, over the last few release cycles, we've made the decision to move our codebase forward and take advantage of the newest features available in the .NET Framework (see Support for .NET Client Profile being discontinued and DXperience 13.1 will be .NET 4 or above).

    This decision freed us up to re-factor older code and throughout 2014, we rewrote major portions of our data processing engine in order to deliver improved grid performance for common data processing operations like sorting, grouping and summary calculations. We also tested these changes across countless use-case scenarios and made certain that performance was either improved or the same as previous releases.

    The exciting thing is that in some highly popular use-case scenarios, we succeeded in making our .NET Grid controls about 10 times faster!

    Of course, performance generally depends on your specific environment and on how you utilize grids in your apps – but I've shared our test results below so you can see a few of the reasons we think you should upgrade from older versions of DevExpress Grid controls to those shipping in v14.2 

    The Details

    Here are some specifics on how we squeezed more performance out of our grid controls:

    • If a data controller determines that sorting or grouping operations are thread-safe (for instance sorting properties of basic .NET Framework types with default comparers), it uses multiple threads to utilize the full potential of the modern computers.

    • Advanced caching strategies were introduced.

    • All if-checks logic was rewritten to make certain that all if-checks, which give the same result for all rows, are evaluated once (by generating function/delegate that contains only necessary code).

    • All code is now strongly-typed (whenever possible) eliminating the cost of boxing/unboxing and type-checking operations.

    • For some cases, upper-level and total summaries are calculated from lower-level summaries.

    Test Results

    I mentioned earlier that we tested our grids to cover a broad range of use-case scenarios. Here's one of our test results (comparing v13.2 and v14.2):

    The DevExpress WinForms Grid control was bound to 4,000,000 (4 million) strongly-typed objects. Tests were performed on a machine with an Intel® Core™ i5-2500 Processor. The table below lists tests operations and execution time (in seconds):

    XtraGrid Performance Improvements in v14.2

    Again, please remember that test results will vary on different machines/configurations - we invite you to compare for yourself and leave your comments/feedback below.

    What do think about these performance gains? Leave a comment below. Thanks!


    Your Next Great .NET App Starts Here

    Year after year, .NET developers such as yourself consistently vote DevExpress products #1.

    Experience the DevExpress difference for yourself and download a free 30-day trial of all our products today: DevExpress.com/trial (free support is included during your evaluation).

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