Developer Express 2008 Roadmap is live

07 February 2008

Finally we've all agreed on the text of the roadmap for 2008 and have now published it.

A couple of points before I read and reply to all the feedback.

First thing is that DXperience Universal can still be thought of as DXperience Enterprise plus eXpressApp Framework (XAF), at least for now. However I warn you that we are laying down some plans to make it even more of a deal than it is at the moment by adding some extra services and products over and above DXperience Enterprise. I would note though that these plans are still very much in the pre-nascent stage for us to talk about them yet, even in the roadmap. Stay tuned!

Second is to emphasize that the roadmap is our best effort in estimating what we could do this year, given everything that we know at the moment. I tried reading the tea-leaves but the tea bag got in the way, my wife wouldn't let me sacrifice a chicken to look at its entrails (although our cats were very enthusiastic about the idea), and I didn't foresee my tarot cards being stolen. So please don't berate us at the end of the year saying we didn't do everything we'd promised, as someone did just recently about the update to the Express Layout control pledged last year. We'll certainly do our best, but even so I bet we'll surprise you with some new functionality we haven't talked about.

21 comment(s)
Craig Stuntz

Looks good! Good job.

7 February, 2008
Steven Rasmussen

I am very excited for this year and see some great things in the line-up.  However, I was wondering if you could be a bit more specific with the following statement:

"As for XPO itself, we have some architectural changes in store. These will enable even better, more efficient XAF applications to be created, as well as provide advantages for other complex applications based on XPO."

Does this mean support for persistent Interfaces?  Support for N-Tier applications?  :)

7 February, 2008
Roberto Santana

I'll be waiting for SpellCheck's ASP version.

Thanks for your job! It makes my job easier...

7 February, 2008
Brad White

My only complaint is very minor.  When I first ran across it, I couldn't tell how recent it was because there is no date anywhere on the page.  Was this published in December or February?  I couldn't tell.  Pages with time sensitive info but without dates really bug me I guess.    8:-)

7 February, 2008
Carlos Guzmán

Excelent!

   •   Gantt timeline view for XtraScheduler.

   •   Server mode for XtraPivotGrid.

   •   Gauge Controls (+Pivot + Chart) Digital Dashboard.

   •   Cross-tab control to XtraReport.

Wou, I thing I can’t sleep to nigh…

7 February, 2008
Rich

This has nothing to do with the blog. But, I didn't know where else to post it.

My boss was using some DevExpress components. I started using some and found them delightful. They are done "the Delphi way".

I just today noticed Julian is the CTO at DevExpress and now I know why the components are "delightful to use".

7 February, 2008
Ben Ark

The enhancements to the control packages and new WPF controls look very encouraging.

Thank you for the "warning" about even more products and services only being available at the Universal subscription level. As an Enterprise subscription customer sold on the all-in-one concept, I find the addition of the Universal subscription to be troubling. Can you reassure Enterprise-level subscribers that we won't be left out when new control packages or features are introduced in the future?

7 February, 2008
Ben Hayat

Julian, I'm hoping the new XPO will incorporate remotting capabilities where Silverlight and WPF applications can use remote databases. Currently MSFT is working ADO.NET Data Services (Astoria) which uses Entity Framework as it's database modeling. This middle tier is powerful but carries a heavy weight. If XPO can be used in 3-tier with support for LINQ syntax, you'll have one killer middle tier data layer.

By solving this issue, XAF will can be used in so many remote applications.

Thanks!

7 February, 2008
Charles Russell

We need a set of end-user oriented documentation, in Word format, for the end-user report designer. Something that we can take and massage to fit our needs, that explains to the USER how to use all the features. Obviously it must be tailored to fit how we have set it up, but it would help to have a starting place.

I'm glad that you continue to support WinForms - there are a lot of us that must still live in that world...

7 February, 2008
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Steven, Ben -- The line about XPO was given to me by the team :). In essence they want to do some major work on XPO this year, but are not ready to divulge too much about it for now.

Benjamin -- We want to make the Universal subscription more attractive. I don't know (because we haven't decided) what extra things we can add to the subscription, but we will be adding something. Whether that means some new "controls" just for DXpU customers or just some extra services (like premium support, training, etc) is unknown at this point. My personal feeling is that controls and such would still be available to DXpE customers, leaving the extended or premium services to the DXpU customers.

Rich -- Nothing to do with me, happily. Our teams are way better at this kind of thing than I am. I'm continually amazed at what they do and how well they do it.

Brad -- Excellent point. A complete duh! escaped from my lips when I read it.

Cheers, Julian

7 February, 2008
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Charles

As it happened, we did discuss this in our offsite meeting. The pro side of the argument is irresistable: customers have a starting point for their own documentation and they're not constantly reinventing the wheel independently of each other. Unfortunately the con side is immovable: we don't have enough tech writers to even get our own documentation as good as we'd like it (the "state" of our help and docs is a regular complaint, rightly or wrongly). We are caught between a rock and a hard place, and we opted for the hard place: continue to put efforts into our own help and docs.

Cheers, Julian

7 February, 2008
Ali

Very nice Features for 2008.

But what about Right To Left Supprt?

7 February, 2008
Greg Shelton

Julian,

I've essentially switched to all DevEx controls except for a set of Gauge controls and a TimeLine control from two other vendors.  So as you can imagine, I'm really excited about the roadmap.

The XtraScheduler TimeLine control that was released last year was great, but didn't offer the ability to group the appointments by multiple fields.  I think you can group by Resource, but if you want to group by Sales Rep, Region and State you're out of luck.  I was hoping the TimeLine control that was released for the Scheduler last year would be more in line with the Outlook Journal/TimeLine control that offers that grouping functionality.

How is the new Gantt TimeLine different from the TimeLine control released last year?  Will it offer the same TimeScale options (Year, Month, Week, Day, Hour, etc) AND the ability to group by multiple fields?

I *know* things are subject to change, but just trying to get an idea of the differences between the existing Timeline and the Gannt Timeline controls.

Thanks for your time.

Greg

8 February, 2008
Joao Borges

I was hoping to hear something about Express Layout 2.0. What I most miss is the Tabbed UI feature implemented on XtraLayoutControl.

9 February, 2008
Diego Vargas

Please,

Take in mind the medium trust issues on ASP.NET controls.

Thanks a advance !

:)

14 February, 2008
Karlheinz Späth

Too bad. I hoped vor Express Layout 2.0 with control that can be arranged on several tabs and probably the possibility to have sizers in the layout.

From the things that are on the roadmap, I like NavBar 2 and PivotGrid 2.

14 February, 2008
Ton Soontiëns

I was hoping too for Express Layout 2.0. Oh well..maybe next year..:(

17 February, 2008
Howard Herrera

What about components for the .Net Compact Framework? is there a remote possibility of such thing?

26 February, 2008
Michael Potter

As a VCL customer, of course I'm most interested in your VCL plans.  I was glad to see CodeGear having a good year and hope the refocus on their Delphi flagship has helped give your VCL products a bigger boost.  Changes in Delphi this year, such as Unicode support, will have a huge impact on 3rd party component developers.

Even though I'm somewhat interested in "big" projects like a new Scheduler and NavBar (I know they are already in beta), I urge you to also make sure the VCL team is focused on bug fixes of the existing components.

There are several issues in the Editors that I have reported and which are "on the list" to implement, including stuff like fixing the TcxLabel so that the Alignment works properly when the label is rotated (AS2857), adding TcxImageList support to the TcxButton (CS41515, B1215) so that we can start using Skinned buttons instead of other 3rd party solutions, and continuing to fix all of the bugs in the ExpressSkins library.  Yes, some of these things seem minor, but remember that I might only have a single Scheduler or Grid or Tree in my application, but I have *dozens* of labels, buttons, checkboxes, and other components.  

With the release of ExpressSkins, it is better to try and use all DevExpress components and get rid of other 3rd party components that are not "skin aware".  However, as I try to get rid of other components in favor of the DevExpress versions, I tend to run into these "little" bugs that prevent me from switching.  Thus, I cannot yet use ExpressSkins in my application because I haven't been able to fully switch to all DevExpress components yet.  The sooner some of these component bugs are fixed, the sooner I can switch fully to DevExpress and abandon other 3rd party solutions.

As a fellow developer, I know that it's not much fun to just bug fix and work on "old" components.  It's a lot more fun to work on completely new components.  But it's your core components that form the base of all of our applications.  These core components need to be rock solid.  And while you continue to make progress every year, please keep that progress going.  Issues like the Alignment in rotated cxLabels have been on the "accepted to be fixed" list for almost 2 years now, which seems like a long time to wait for a "simple" fix.  I implemented a "fix" in about an hour, but I'm trying to stay away from making direct modifications to your source code because of side effects, and this particular bug cannot be fixed via inherited components.

Finally, keep up the great support.  It's because of your good support system that I renewed my VCL Subscription for another year.

15 March, 2008
Mihail Drobitko

Julian,

I've read your roadmap and found out that you rely on Unicode support by CodeGear.

Of course it is the best way for a Unicode solution to use native VCL libraries with built-in Unicode.

On the other hand there's the question – how long it should takes you to rewrite all existing DevExpress VCL components code and test the results? And this work cannot be started without Unicode in base VCL components. In addition CodeGear RAD can delay the Unicode VCL patch release for a while.

Therefore I have the solution of getting the Unicode support immediately. There it is - www.devexpress.com/.../S90895.aspx

You could avoid the need of wasting time and money rewriting new components that you will create while CodeGear makes its new VCL release.

Our team has done considerable work of rewriting the existing DevExpress code. We’ve also done important work to create base Unicode VCL controls inherited from CodeGear ones.

I feel it could be useful to use our solution. Why not?

18 March, 2008
Sebastian May

Hi Julian,

i am delighted that you will continue to make efforts within the VCL-market even though the .NET-market is far more bigger and more lucrative (as you once pointed out somewhere).  I am especially looking forward to the new TreeList 5.0

I am in a similar situation like Michael Potter  (though i have'nt renewed my vcl subscription admittedly) that i made several smaller suggestions over the last years (like DS10815, AS4307, AS4327, AS4328, CS18170 and CS37078)

which has been accepted but not implemented.

Since i am planning to renew the subscription in 2008 i would be glad if the probability that these suggestions will be considered is above zero.

Thanks for your time and keep up the excellent work!

30 May, 2008

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