Integrating products in DXperience

03 October 2007

Recently Tony in our XtraScheduler team came to the management team with an interesting proposition.

With our XtraScheduler product, we ship a very basic AppointmentEdit form. Since the scheduler ships with the XtraEditors library, we designed the form to use just the editor controls so that all owners of XtraScheduler could use and develop with the product "out of the box".

Tony noticed a couple of things: first, there are an awful lot of customers using the scheduler who have the full DXperience product, either at the Professional or at the Enterprise level, and so have access to the full panoply of our WinForms controls; and, second, those users are constantly reinventing the wheel as they develop nicer looking and more functional AppointmentEdit dialogs with the controls they also own.

So Tony wanted to create a new more sophisticated AppointmentEdit form that would ship with DXperience, but not with XtraScheduler. A form that would use XtraLayout, XtraBars, the Ribbon, and XtraSpellChecker, for example, and that would remove the need for customers to write their own.

Sure, we said, and he did.

Here's a few screen shots of the new form that's based on the traditional toolbars, The first one shows the form partially filled in, the other three show various features of the form.



And here's a corresponding set of screen shots for the new form that's based on the Ribbon, and that show the same four views of the form as above:



I think he's done such a good job that we're now looking at doing other integration projects where we combine controls from several of our products, and whose results would be part of DXperience but not the individual products themselves. This would obviously add extra value to the DXperience products, but also provide us with ready-made examples of how to use our controls and that we could use for demoing.

Forms like AppointmentEdit are an obvious example, and in a way eXpressApp Framework is another, albeit at the opposite end of the spectrum. Are there any other integration points you've wished for? Are there any forms in the individual products you'd like to have jazzed up like this as an extension to DXperience? Apart from this particular form, it's probably too late for any more such extensions in 2007.3, but next year is a whole new ball game.


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