From the Dept of the Ruddy Obvious :-) ...

05 July 2006

You must have noticed by now that we have a new look-and-feel on our main website and a Client Center that replaces the old website (trying to go to the latter redirects you to the new Client Center). Congratulations to the team that did such stellar work on getting this ready to go live, and over the holiday day too.

Our reasons for making these changes are many-fold:

  • The old website had been around for quite a while, way longer than I've been aboard at Developer Express (shhh, but I think it looked like that when I worked for TurboPower!). Sometimes, having a new look and feel is reason enough on its own, and I admit I like the freshness of the new layout. I dare say we'll be tweaking bits here and there over the next few days and weeks (yesterday, when we went live a few links were broken, for example), but I think we got the main "look" right.
  • We've been working on a completely new set of ASP.NET controls over the past few months and will be releasing them soon, in just a few weeks. What better way to talk about and show them off than to use and test them in our own website? (The term for this is dogfooding.) Unfortunately, the old website wasn't written in ASP.NET and so it indicated a rewrite.
  • Talking of dogfooding, our new ASP.NET controls are full players in the AJAX world. Can we talk about how efficient our controls are without having used them for real on a real website visited by many, many people every day? Er, no, of course not. So, real life AJAX testing? Check.
  • And since we were talking of dogfooding, we sell a product called eXpress Persistent Objects (known as XPO) and needed to show our customers that it too is fully able to do the heavy lifting for a full online store. So, we used XPO as our data access layer for the new site.
  • And even more dogfood than that (yep, we can't wait to have a filet mignon again), we've been working on an application framework (eXpress Application Framework), which is currently in beta. What better way to test and prove it and to show that it is getting ready for release than using it for the new Client Center?

So tweaking the visuals a little bit and a lot of dogfooding. The latter, especially, means that you can have confidence in our controls and frameworks because we do too. Now, if you'll excuse me, the grill is ready for the filet...

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