New tutorial screencasts available

27 September 2006

Just a quick announcement:

Our documentation team has just uploaded four new screencasts to our website on the basics of using the XtraBars library and .XtraLayoutControl.

XtraBars screencasts
XtraLayoutControl screencasts

The first video for XtraBars discusses how to create a simple form with a menu bar, a bar and a status bar, and how to add items to each, and how to set images with each item.

The second video for XtraBars discusses the docking functionality within XtraBars and quickly produces a form with Visual Studio-like docking abilities.

The first video for XtraLayoutControl discusses how to use the layout control by dropping and rearranging controls on it, both at design and at run time.

The second video for XtraLayoutControl discusses the grouping of controls on the layout control, as well as how to hide groups and how to make them into tabbed pages.

They've done an excellent job with all of these videos: they scripted them, recorded the visuals, and produced the final screencasts. My only involvement was limited to doing the narration in my best Richard Burton impersonation. Enjoy!

7 comment(s)
Geoff Davis
Absolutely fantastic!!!

Now we are cooking on gas! This is a much better way to show off the components features, it's professional, well paced and I would love this concept to become one of your core e-learning/marketing tools.

I'd love to see these screencasts expanded in the future to include but by all means not a complete list:

1. New features for new releases of your components. Seen other vendors do this and it does give you a feeling of WOW!

2. Advanced customisation of your components, design-time as well as runtime. Let's see some low-level screencasts as well, like how do you build a layout control at runtime or create and consume a XPO class. Even screencasting the 60 minute Outlook project in XAF would really look brill!!!

3. Possibly Transform some of your most read knowledge base articles. These articles are a good source of information but I reckon some of them could go into more detail.

4. In relation to 3. What about Problem, Cause and Solution screencasts, okay maybe i'm going a little over the top here but you see there is a multitude of (IMO) screencasts that I would like to see and i'm sure i'm not the only developer.

I fully understand how much time and effort goes into producing these screencasts but like I said above it's not just all about learning it's also about what your components can do and can be used as a marketing tool for new protential developers... Afterall if they can physically see what your components can do without having to download/install/read documentation (which IMO could be further improved because I think the documentation lacks a real natural learning flow element) then this is for the best.

In relation to 2... you could do what MS do with their webcasts... level 100, 200, 300, etc... Please, Please don't just do a couple of screencasts to cover a couple of basic features on all of your products and then come to the conclusion that it's enough because of the effort needed. That would be a real shame IMO.

Good work team, can't wait for the next installment!

27 September, 2006
Greg Shelton
Well done.  I thnk the screencasts are a valuable addition to your documentation for both prospective and current users.  And who doesn't like the foreign accent?  Although, I'm sure to many my southern drawl sounds just a foreign.  :)
27 September, 2006
These are great!!!  I've been using DevExpress controls for over a year and a half and I learned some new things in these videos.  I also think that these will go a long way in selling them to new customers.  Great Job!!!  Keep them coming.
28 September, 2006
Renaud Bompuis
Very nice work! Clear and simple. Screencasts are really the best way to quickly get started.
Nice fairly neutral British accent as well... that's sure to help your international audience. I always cringe when I have to go through a presentation made by someone with a really thick American accent, it can become difficult to follow sometimes.
I'd like to see tons more of these screencasts, for instance showing the various ways to merge bars in MDI apps, managing skins, binding DevEx controls with datasource including XPO, etc...
28 September, 2006
Geoff Davis
I did reply to this last night but it looks like it didn't get through, shame really it was a good reply... I'll just have to try and remember what I said...

Absolultely Fantastic!!!

Now we are cooking on gas! These new screencasts are much, much better than what we have previously been exposed to. They are intuitive, very well presented and I think the pace is spot on. Well done on what has been accomplished so far and you should be all very proud of what you have achieved.

Even though I have always been saying that screencasts are a must to showcase your components functionality I don't just see them being used in that area as a whole. Screencasts can be used to also market your product and you may have already explored this already. I've seen other vendors use this approach and it can be quite effective in convincing developers to purchase products.

There is a multitude of areas that could be considered and all of them IMO are viable:

1. New Features - Give us a screencast on the new features in major releases, what a perfect opportunity to let your current and future developers know how excited you are with new features and how they can be used.

2. Advanced Functionality - Up until now only the very basic of features in your components have been screencast. Most of the time they are shown using designers and i'd like to see more advanced features such as 'How to build a layout control in code', 'How to persist an XPO object and use the attributes', Even the 60 minute tutorial on building outlook in XAF would be a fantastic screencast to showcase.

3. Problem, Cause, Solution - You know, you have some very good knowledge base articles and IMO you can get a lot more across by screencasting some of these... Like caching in XPO, building a .NET Remoting Server/Client using XPO, Skinning!, etc etc...

4. Level 100, 200, 300... In relation to 2 and 3, you could group screencasts like MS do with their webcasts depending on complexity.

I fully understand that screencasts take up a lot of time and resource but I think it's well worth the investment. They not only provide nugget training, they also provide marketing and protential developers would welcome actually seeing how your components work and what can be build by using them rather than doing just enough to convince themselves to download/install and read the documentation which IMO is a good reference but not written in any particular tutorial style.

28 September, 2006
These are great!!!  I've been using DevExpress tools for over a year and a half and I learned a couple of new things. I also beleive that these will be an excellent selling tool for prospective customers.  Keep them coming!!!
28 September, 2006
Stefan Renzewitz
Fantastic videos!! Now I can show my buddies why it is an absolutely no-brainer to get the layout control (and the whole enterprise suite of course too).
28 September, 2006

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