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January 2009 - Posts

  • Contemplating the WinForms and ASP.NET pivot grids

    The pivot grid controls are done by a small team on its own and so they were reported and discussed separately at the summit.

    For v2009 vol 1, like all of our other products, a lot of effort has gone into fit and finish, implementing user suggestions and TBDs. Some examples of what will appear:

    • ASPxPivotGrid: Added a FilterControl like the one in XtraPivotGrid
    • ASPxPivotGrid: Improved the layout of the row area headers:

    New row header layout

    • XtraPivotGrid: Added word wrap support for the row area headers (matching the web version!):


    For later on in the year, we’re looking at providing some major ticket items. The first one, probably for v2009 vol 2, is emulating some of Excel 2007’s features:

    • Creating a new filter popup:


    • Adding the ability to have a more compact form for the pivot grid:

    From this:  image  to this: image

    • Adding a customization form:


    And, finally, for later in the year, a WPF version and some printing improvements.

  • WPF Controls: where we are and where we’ll be

    Currently we have a set of nascent products for WPF, the majority in beta: the grid, the navigation bar, the carousel, and charting. I’ve already blogged about charting from the Summit here in Vegas, and there’s not much to say about the carousel at the moment.

    But the rest? Well, we decided that our main goal for our WPF controls should be the replication of our WinForms controls, particularly with a view to making them integrate into XAF (one of our goals or this year is to have WPF as a presentation layer for XAF applications – the success of this depends of course on having the basic set of controls that XAF wants).

    To that end for v2009 vol 1, we’re aiming for several features for DXGrid. Included are

    • AutoFilterRow – displaying a row with text edits, etc, to quickly filter
    • Drop down filtering (note this is low on the priority list and might not make it into the release)
    • Fixed Columns, such as fixing the first column and letting the others scroll left and right
    • Horizontal scrolling virtualization (see below)
    • Row Indicator
    • Vertical lines
    • Cell tooltips (when the content doesn’t fit)
    • Sorting by group summaries

    (Aside: “horizontal scrolling virtualization” is our term for the design where the grid only creates the visual elements that are in view. Before you say “duh”, consider a grid that is showing 20 rows and each row has 100 columns, not all of which can be displayed. What we do now is to create the visual element tree for all the columns whether they are currently visible or not, but this takes some time. A better strategy to to only create the visual elements that are visible at this moment and then trap the horizontal scrolling events to create the elements that then come into view.)

    Later on in the year, we’ll be looking implementing the “new row” feature (that is, displaying an empty row of editors to insert a new row), master-detail, more editors, multiple selection of cells, a grid navigator control, more filtering support, and so on.

    For v2009 vol 1, we’re going to be introducing a new product, DXBars, a toolbar product. This will be for standard toolbars that many business applications use as an Action-type container, consisting of several bars of buttons, editors, and so on encased in a bar container. We’re supplying all the standard functionality: drag & drop of bars, the ability to drag a bar off the container completely so that it floats independently, end-user customization of the elements on a bar, and so on. One of the tasks for our graphic designer is to provide several themes or skins for the control. Later on we’ll be improving the initial editor support, and possibly a ribbon (although more discussion about this is needed).

    Another new product for v2009 vol 1 is our docking product, DXDocking. This will comprise, dock panels (fixed and floating), autohide mode, drag and drop with the Visual Studio docking look and feel, and so on. More information will be forthcoming, but we’re looking at replicating an MDI mode for the document area..

    For the rest of the year, I’ve already talked about printing support, but there might be time and resources to implement a tree grid, gauges, a scheduler, and so on. More discussion is needed.

  • News about Windows controls, particularly the WinForms data grid

    More news form the DevExpress Annual Summit, where we’ve been discussing the WinForms controls. (To be exact, I’m not including the Frameworks, nor charting or reporting in this.)

    As I’ve hinted at before, we’ve been making some great strides in implementing a whole slew of minor, yet important, suggestions provided by you, our loyal customers. This will be the major theme for v2009 vol 1: fit and finish, stability, polishing off items the TBD list, and so on.

    Date Filtering in XtraGrid 9.1 The XtraGrid is probably the largest recipient of all of this feature love. The team has implemented some great functionality, which we were introduced to in a quick demo. The nicest new bit of UI was for filtering a date column: In the current version the is accomplished with a long list of dates, which you’ll readily admit is an awful way to allow end-users to select a date or a range of dates. For v2009 vol 1 this has been replaced with a pop up that looks like the pop up you get in Windows Explorer when you are trying filter on a date. You get a calendar control and you get a set of simple quick options (“today”, “yesterday”, “last week” and so on so forth). A great boost to the user experience.

    For the remainder of the year, we’ve also decided to concentrate on user feedback, especially your suggestions, and solving those. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any new major pieces of functionality, but that we’re not ready to talk about them at the moment. We have several paths to follow: the aforementioned user feedback, improving the interoperability with our own XAF product, improving the usability of the controls (one of Mark Miller’s tasks at the moment is a review of our own controls for usability issues), and so on.

    Stay tuned.

  • News about reporting for WinForms, ASP.NET and (cough) WPF (cough)

    We’ve just had the presentation from the XtraReports team about what they’ve been doing and what they have planned for v2009 vol 1 and later.

    For v2009 vol 1, the team has been hammering out a lot of minutiae. We’ve been concentrating on the fit and polish of the product a great deal, addressing weaknesses, increasing quality and stability. We’ve completed a few suggestions as well, but there won’t be any big features.

    However, once that’s out the door, the team are going to be designing and implementing a WPF printing library, the precursor to a reporting suite. This will enable us to provide printing for our growing portfolio of WPF products, including, of course, the grid.

    Later on, we’ll also be doing things like mail merge, using our WinForms Rich Text Editor.

  • Charting for WPF: walking the stony path

    In another post, Oliver is describing a couple of the new features for DXCharts for WPF for v2009 vol 1. I thought I’d take a different tack and dive deep into the internals and talk about what sets our charting product apart from the pack.

    When we started DXCharts over a year ago, WPF was still very new, and writing components was still a bit of a black art. Still is a little bit, to be honest. It’s not only the different run-time to consider, but also how to expose the functionality along two different axes (pun intended!): the designer axis and the developer axis. I’ll admit, we got it wrong the first time (ah, the joys of programming on the edge), and DXCharts internals have now been rewritten over the past year.

    What did we concentrate on? We recognized that the really great thing about WPF is all about the user experience. The designer is god. (Well, OK, so is the developer, but don’t tell those who are prone to wearing all black gear from Armani.) If you want a standard-looking chart, there’s a lot out there. But if you want a chart that is customizable to the nth degree, DXCharts is the one for you. For example, we think that the ability for creating custom models is very important. Take a look at these examples:

    pencil bar chart  

    DXCharts is displaying a bar chart here, but the designer has customized it so that pencils are displayed instead of the usual bars. This would, for example, a great chart for an office supply application.

    Another in the same vein:

    Bars as pyramids

    Here the customization not only extends to the shape of the bars, but also to the coloring. Each bar is a different color, indicating that the customizing does go deep. In fact, overall the level of customization exposed in XAML is broad: the  designer has control over all aspects of the chart, such as labels, legends, and so on.

    Another area we’ve spent a great deal of time is in the rendering of the charts, Here’s an example of a sloppily-drawn WPF chart from another (unnamed) component vendor, possibly due to conversions and calculations with integers:

    Badly drawn pie chart

    Notice that there is a very small gap between the two pie slices. They don’t come together. Although this example is zoomed to a certain extent, it is still visible by the end user at normal settings and we feel is not good enough.

    Smmoth, no joins donut chart

    So our pie/donut charts look whole, and not as separate slices stuck badly together. We feel that such quality bars (hah, another pun) for WPF have to be set high right off the bat. So we spent a lot of time thinking about highlights and shadows, and such like. Another quality aspect I’d like to show that we embraced WPF completely is in our 2D chart demos. You’ll see a nice glassy reflection:

    Glassy reflection effect

    This effect, currently all the rage, is done through some clever WPF code on our behalf using transparency (go, us!), but is exposed to the developer through a simple property in XAML. This of course means that the feature can not only be exposed by the developer, but also by the designer at a later stage.

    Now, of course, all this deep understanding of WPF and exposing its functionality to both designers and developers would not be worth it if the chart types and the functionality were not there. So for v2009 vol 1, we’re adding more 2D charts (Oliver’s post is the place to go for that news), for later in the year we’ll be adding yet more types and also things like scrolling and zooming and secondary axes (but more about that later).

  • Accepted – Release TBD

    Back at the start of December, there was a popular thread on our General Discussion forum discussing whether we should stop researching and implementing new features and instead concentrate on the many suggestions in our database that have been marked as “Accepted – Release TBD” (henceforth “TBD”). At that time, Ray promised that we would set up a project to go through all the TBDs and review them and decide what to do with each.

    From our viewpoint, there are several options open to us for each TBD. First is the continued acceptance of the suggestion. Now, obviously, we have to then make the actual determination of when we’re going to implement it, otherwise, there could be the distinct possibility that we’ll just slide into the status quo again and we’ll be having this conversation again next year.

    The next resolution — a step down the perfection ladder, as it were — is to write a workaround, usually as part of the knowledgebase. The thought behind this one is that, because the workaround is available, the urgency of completing the suggestion is greatly reduced. It may even be that the workaround is deemed “good enough” to stand in for the suggestion completely, in which case we won’t make any plans to implement the suggestion at all (obviously, this would depend on a number of factors, including how difficult the workaround is to use or set up).

    The final resolution — at the bottom of the ladder, to continue the metaphor — is to decline the suggestion completely. There will be many reasons for doing this, but I suppose there will be some that will be used many times. For example, the suggestion has merit, but would be very difficult to implement it in our current design and so would have to await a redesign or a from-scratch implementation. Another, for client-side behavior, may be that the suggestion would require too much JavaScript to be downloaded to the client, and therefore would impact other areas of our product (performance, or download sizes, etc). Another may be that too few people have evinced interest in the suggestions (maybe only the one suggesting the item is the only one tracking it).

    Anyway, as you may have noticed, I’ve dropped a hint here and there that this project is actively under way. We didn’t want to completely halt everything we’re doing, complete this project, and then start up again, and so it’s getting done alongside all our other work. In parallel.

    I have some surprising news though: since the date of Ray’s promise to do something about this, we’ve implemented 370 suggestions. No, I didn’t miss out a decimal point there, right now, at the time of writing, the teams have reviewed and completed well over three hundred and fifty suggestions for DXperience (our .NET products). VCL? 48. Overall, then, well over 400 suggestions implemented. See below for the .NET list.

    Now, as part of this, the teams have also declined some items. We have started to change the status of these (and by “we” here I mean me and the evangelists — and so the teams have to convince us first), and those customers tracking these items will start to receive these status change emails. As a resolution of these suggestions, we are describing the reason for the rejection, and obviously if you feel that we’re wrong or misguided, you have the opportunity to re-open the suggestion and provide more reasoning or discussion in support of the suggestion. Of course, you can also email me if you want (julianb@devexpress.com).

    Please be aware that we don’t like declining so many great suggestions, but we have to thin out our list, having promised to do so. We are reasonable people, so if you do have further information available that could sway our decision to decline your particular suggestion, then do please let us know.

    So, are you ready? Here’s the table of suggestions implemented since the start of December. Of course, this list will be larger tomorrow, and the next day, and so on.

    ID Subject Product
    - Technology: .NET (Count=370)
      A1092 Extend the behavior of linked identifiers to work with linked words DXCore for Visual Studio.NET
      A1233 XtraBars - use the full screen area for the subItem'd DropDown Menu for cases when it is not completely visible XtraBars Suite
      A1262 GridView.CopyToClipboard - add Column.Caption to the exported data as well XtraGrid Suite
      A1511 Save/RestoreLayout - GroupSummarySortInfo - add ability to store restore this setting with layout XtraGrid Suite
      A1646 Printing - Add the PrintingSystem.EndPrint event XtraPrinting Library
      A1900 GridView - add ability to put some space between master row and its detail view XtraGrid Suite
      A2115 PictureEdit - add ability to paste images of different formats XtraEditors Library
      A2244 Export to PDF - Need to compress XRChart data XtraCharts Suite
      A2397 Column header context menu - add the "hide column" menu item XtraGrid Suite
      A442 Add an ability to format the QueuedEdits Refactor! Pro
      A738 BarButtonItem with DropDown style and ActAsDropDown must open the popup control when its mnemonic is pressed XtraBars Suite
      A745 Toolbox registration - we need to improve it or change the process DXperience Enterprise
      A831 Add an option that will prevent the selected rows from remaining selected when a View is resorted XtraGrid Suite
      A901 Filter display text for default filters is not localizable .NET Windows Forms Component Collection
      AS10242 XAFCore.Web: The callback functionality takes no account of possible errors during server processing eXpressApp Framework
      AS10243 Templates.Web: The default web-templates are too high eXpressApp Framework
      AS10259 Security: A user should always have permission to change it's password eXpressApp Framework
      AS10272 ErrorHandling: A page with explanations should be shown in case a user clicked on a ShowPopupWindowAction button and an ASP Session was unloaded by a timeout after the last request eXpressApp Framework
      AS10345 Documentation - Describe limitations of CriteriaOperator.Parse eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS10369 PropertyEditors.ApplicationModel: The EditorType attribute within the DetailViewItems\PropertyEditor\DefaultEditor has wrong choice behaviour eXpressApp Framework
      AS10431 XAFCore: The "TargetObjectType" property should be of the "Type" type instead of "string" type. eXpressApp Framework
      AS10628 PropertyEditors.Web.Lookup: The clicks to lookup buttons (New, Search) should be correctly processed after the Session was unloaded by a timeout eXpressApp Framework
      AS10883 XAFCore: Save persistent object if it was modified but OnChanged() was not called eXpressApp Framework
      AS11446 Documentation - Add a topic about passing a parameter to a report XtraReports Suite
      AS11491 Describe the specifics of NotEqual filters when they are applied to object references eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS11542 Impossible to identify the original exception inside the InvalidValue event XtraGrid Suite
      AS11763 RibbonControl - add the ability to disable the buttons animation feature XtraBars Suite
      AS11980 Layout.Web: Redunant double caption in aggregated collection nested frame in web application eXpressApp Framework
      AS12081 Providers - fetch string fields size from the underlying database when creating persistent classes based on this dartabase eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS12472 SystemModules: Problem with refresh of child list on detail view eXpressApp Framework
      AS12482 Documentation - XPView.Sorting vs XPCollection.Sorting - describe the difference in documentation eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS12762 Add the capability to change the scroll step XtraLayout Suite
      AS13181 Ribbon - Tooltip on application menu XtraBars Suite
      AS13257 Important change to VB that affects Expand Ternary Expression and Compress to Ternary Expression Refactor! Pro
      AS13345 Documentation - ValueConverter - complete the sample code eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS13460 Introduce the ColumnPositionChaned event XtraGrid Suite
      AS14142 Documentation - Generation help error should be corrected DXperience Enterprise
      AS14240 PropertyEditors: Provide visualization to show a list of ReadOnly conditions for each editor on a DetailView eXpressApp Framework
      AS14968 PropertyEditors.Win.Lookup: Add a capability to define the initial size of a lookup drop-down window in Windows Forms applications, and save user customizations eXpressApp Framework
      AS15160 Web - Support clustered environments (Web farms and Web gardens) XtraReports Suite
      AS15195 Implement BarManager.FindItem method that would locate a BarItem by name XtraBars Suite
      AS15238 MS office 2007 style filtering XtraGrid Suite
      AS15643 Summary - Calculate summaries for System.TimeSpan values in XtraGrid XtraGrid Suite
      AS15675 Add a property to disable the built-in popup menu XtraGrid Suite
      AS16551 Support for composite key is required ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      AS16873 Data Summaries - Change AVR to AVG XtraTreeList Suite
      AS16956 Print Options Form - Make this form fully customizable (e.g. make all buttons protected) XtraScheduler Suite
      AS17191 Encapsulate Field - Do not show the "Replace call" message if the field name isn't changed Refactor! Pro
      AS17497 Performance problem in DevExpress.Data.Helpers.ListSourceRowsKeeper XtraGrid Suite
      AS17530 Make IL available for one line statements Refactor! Pro
      AS17568 ASPxPageControl - Correct the behavior of displaying the LoadingPanel, so that it should be always visible on screen regardless of the tab page's content size ASPxperience Suite
      AS17713 ASPxGridView - Horizontal Scrollbar is required ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      AS17719 Convert Function to Procedure Refactor! Pro
      AS2407 VS2005 - DataColumn.Caption property has not any affect on the grid XtraGrid Suite
      AS2577 Add the AddVisible overloads to the GridColumnCollection XtraGrid Suite
      AS2770 Customization Form - The Properties window is not updated when another category is selected, although another item is highlighted in this case. XtraBars Suite
      AS2773 Customization Form - Disable the Clear menu item if there are no items in the Items list XtraBars Suite
      AS2796 Multiline text in the status bar XtraBars Suite
      AS2936 New Item Row must be saved when clicking the empty grid area XtraGrid Suite
      AS3073 Apply the appearance settings supplied via the RowStyle event when the XtraGrid is printed XtraGrid Suite
      AS3122 Add a MaxWidth property for a grid column XtraGrid Suite
      AS3126 Grouping by display text feature is needed XtraGrid Suite
      AS3208 Ability to obtain editor content as plain text XtraRichEdit
      AS3262 Skins - highlighting of the dropdown BarButtonItem must have the same height as its main area XtraBars Suite
      AS3340 Save/restore the FormatConditions property when the layout is saved/restored XtraGrid Suite
      AS3648 DXperinece installation for Delphi 2006 - must not show the "Cannot register XPO types" error on the last page Installation for .NET
      AS3882 BarManager must provide a way to use custom helper classes instead of the predefined ones XtraBars Suite
      AS3905 Printing - Ability for the WeekView to span for more than one page XtraScheduler Suite
      AS4378 Refactoring: Consolidate Conditional Blocks Refactor! Pro
      AS4468 Vertical alignment of column captions XtraTreeList Suite
      AS4831 XpoDataSource - implement a Criteria property of type CriteriaOperator eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS4962 The Move mouse cursor must be displayed when mouse is over the toolbar's drag area XtraBars Suite
      AS5424 Smart parenthesis - move the caret after ) when ')' is typed CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      AS5821 Bands' MinWidth in BandedGridView must be taken into account when columns are resized XtraGrid Suite
      AS6135 Add possibility to define filter display text XtraGrid Suite
      AS6380 Add support for scrolling RibbonPages and RibbonGroups XtraBars Suite
      AS6644 Documentation - Add a topic describing the report style sheet XtraReports Suite
      AS7106 Custom display text supplied via the CustomColumnDisplayText event should be used for incremental search XtraGrid Suite
      AS7157 When Editable is False, row deletion and appending must be also disabled XtraGrid Suite
      AS7158 Print (export) only selected rows and their details XtraGrid Suite
      AS7180 Windows Vista silver skin XtraBars Suite
      AS7375 XtraScrollableControl does not display snaplines for inner controls XtraEditors Library
      AS7754 EditorShowMode.Click+MouseDown is needed XtraGrid Suite
      AS7831 Improve Ribbon Designer - Add the Customize... design-time menu option for a SubMenu and Gallery bar items XtraBars Suite
      AS8181 Suppress the error trying to create virtual directories when installing DevExpress controls for WinForms Installation for .NET
      AS8297 BarManager controls (toolbars and items) should be visible in the Designer when they are used on a UserControl and this UserControl is embedded into another UC or Form XtraBars Suite
      AS8700 Bullet lists support XtraRichEdit
      AS8702 Numbered lists support XtraRichEdit
      AS8704 Multilevel lists (mixed bullet and numbered) support XtraRichEdit
      AS8706 Ability to search text XtraRichEdit
      AS8707 Ability to search/replace text XtraRichEdit
      AS8833 Create Method Stub and generics Refactor! Pro
      AS8969 Ribbons: Add the capability to control the visibility of item links in code XtraBars Suite
      AS9332 mssql provider: string size eXpress Persistent Objects
      AS9483 Preserve non-conflicting formatting in selection XtraRichEdit
      AS9487 Ability to load from or save to a string in RTF format XtraRichEdit
      AS9575 DXDesignSettings - Display an error when the registry cannot be updated and include this tool in the installation DXperience Enterprise
      AS9723 Improve horizontal scrolling in Group mode XtraGrid Suite
      AS9851 Column autoscoll delay interval XtraGrid Suite
      AS9957 "Break Apart Arguments" should be available on case clause list Refactor! Pro
      B2670 XtraGrid - Add CaptionText property similar to DataGrid XtraGrid Suite
      B30543 Documentation - Default ExportToXls method behavior is not described XtraPivotGrid Suite
      B30963 ASPxSpellChecker demo - prevent multiply dialogs ASPxSpellChecker
      B31238 Parser: "embedded resource" files should not be parsed at all DXCore for Visual Studio.NET
      B31276 Rename is not available from inside XAML Refactor! Pro
      B31786 PropertyEditors.Win.Criteria: Introduce a Property Editor to edit string properties that hold criteria used to filter object collections eXpressApp Framework
      B32444 Documentation - Describe the DevExpress.XtraPivotGrid.PivotGridOptionsChartDataSource class XtraPivotGrid Suite
      B32917 Loading panel of the ASPxComboBox is not centered when the items' area is dropping down with animation. ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      B33382 TODO: CodeFixHint: caret movement in the code should drop the Code Issue hints CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      B33456 Add autoscrolling when selecting text by the mouse. XtraRichEdit
      B34172 Describe the XPQuery class in the documentation eXpress Persistent Objects
      B34328 TODO: Hints on the left column -- those should match the hints in the code CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      B34329 TODO: For the hints on the Document Column -- if I move my mouse into the hint, it should stay up CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      B34332 TODO: If I move the mouse across all the files, I see a lot of flicker as the file hints close and then reopen CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      B34333 TODO: Zoom Window: there is a lot of flicker there as I move left and right CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      B34334 TODO: When the zoom window is up, I need to see the portion of the project/file bar that it corresponds to CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      B92496 Sorting XPCollection on a calculated PersistentAlias property eXpress Persistent Objects
      B95472 ASPxPopupControl - If the ContentUrl property is defined, hide the content of the popup window being dragged ASPxperience Suite
      B97439 Provide descriptions for all public properties All .NET WinForms Components
      C18 Better exception for invalid entries in DisplayableProperties eXpress Persistent Objects
      C22 Using the PersistentObject V2 template should include DevExpress.Data eXpress Persistent Objects
      CS10776 Add AllowBandResizing etc property to BandedGridOptionsCustomization XtraGrid Suite
      CS15399 "Declare Method Stub" to work with VB AddHandler and RemoveHandler Refactor! Pro
      CS2459 Vista's new Filter on Columns XtraGrid Suite
      CS39545 Hints over footer cells XtraGrid Suite
      CS39659 TabStop property in a grid column XtraGrid Suite
      CS40416 Improve column labelling / tooltips in column chooser XtraGrid Suite
      CS42878 xtratreelist custom node management XtraTreeList Suite
      CS45104 SimpleButton - Align image relative to text XtraEditors Library
      CS45827 ListEditor: detail lines eXpressApp Framework
      CS49652 Provide small application samples, how-to videos All ASP.NET Components
      CS52034 Printing - Print only appointments in selected range XtraScheduler Suite
      CS52829 BeforePopup of GalleryDropDown is not cancellable XtraBars Suite
      CS5305 Add methods to access the focused row XtraGrid Suite
      CS53934 Create Links in code that take me to a predefined code target CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      CS54871 Improve the scrolling behavior when the PageDown/PageUp keys are used to scroll rows XtraGrid Suite
      CS56182 Align bar items within a RibbonPageGroup XtraBars Suite
      CS56214 Center items when the alignment is set to Center and the SmallWithTextWidth property is set XtraBars Suite
      CS60210 pattern column name XtraGrid Suite
      CS60239 Enhancements for RibbonBar XtraBars Suite
      CS60536 xtragrid showing only group footer summaries with sorting capabilities of summary columns XtraGrid Suite
      CS62940 Column Header Auto Height with Word Wrap XtraGrid Suite
      CS64368 Preview - Ribbon - Embed the ZoomTrackBar control into the status bar for setting a zoom factor XtraPrinting Library
      CS904 Allow GridLookupEdit's Designer to be quickly accessed XtraGrid Suite
      D1965 Put a marker after outmost closing smart parentheses CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      DS13045 Weekly/Monthly Report Time Appointments Appearance XtraScheduler Suite
      DS14858 Designer - Option to sort Fields XtraGrid Suite
      DS16923 Summary Format should be taken from the Column XtraGrid Suite
      DS3026 Why not a RowClicked/CellClicked event? XtraGrid Suite
      DS30372 Project Converter for DXperience DXperience Enterprise
      DS3117 C++ member variable access type Refactor! Pro
      DS33271 Ribbon - make QAT buttons infinitely tall XtraBars Suite
      DS42263 HTML Label Control XtraEditors Library
      DS52277 Add a large menuitem in front of small menu items to a Ribbon like Office2007 products XtraBars Suite
      DS52505 Multiple row selection in CellSelect mode XtraGrid Suite
      DS53998 Hide Unmovable Columns XtraGrid Suite
      DS5525 Localizing FilterPanel.Text XtraGrid Suite
      DS56096 Improve Project Converter behavior Installation for .NET
      DS6782 XPCollection/XPView Designer in Design Mode eXpress Persistent Objects
      DS9752 Inconsistent: GetFocusedRowCellValue is overloadded to accept FieldName or Column, SetFocusedRowCellValue only accepts Column XtraGrid Suite
      Q105268 Provide a way to set the generator name in FireBird eXpress Persistent Objects
      Q130650 LINQ - cast support eXpress Persistent Objects
      Q132104 Improve XtraLayoutControl constructor performance XtraLayout Suite
      Q132290 ASPxLoadingPanel - Add a capability to change the panel's text via client code ASPxperience Suite
      Q132431 VistaDB 3.4 support eXpress Persistent Objects
      Q132984 Documentation - Add information on ViewInfo and Painter classes used by GridLookupEdit control XtraEditors Library
      Q136868 Add editors to modify the text BackColor and ForeColor attributes XtraRichEdit
      Q139367 Documentation - How to get XtraScheduler synchronized with XtraGrid, XPO Version which supports recurrence XtraScheduler Suite
      Q35847 Add multiplier support for scale tickmarks XtraGauges Suite
      Q35848 Introduce an automatic scaling mechanism XtraGauges Suite
      Q36582 Documentation: XPO:CustomDocument4060.htm, LINQ to XPO eXpress Persistent Objects
      Q92707 Documentation - Finish Documentation on core classes implemented in the eXpress Persistence Objects framework eXpress Persistent Objects
      Q93412 ASPxComboBox - Provide a capability to control a delay of initiating a filtering callback ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      Q99856 ASPxGridView with the "ShowSelectionCheckbox" ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S130114 Documentation FieldValueDisplayText event: describe when the e.Field property returns a null reference ASPxPivotGrid
      S130149 Allow custom OptionsColumnFilter for custom GridColumn XtraGrid Suite
      S130191 "Declare Local/Field" should be able to infer a correct type from a generic method CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S130221 Introduce an option for DXValidationProvider to ignore hidden controls All .NET WinForms Components
      S130320 DXCore.Solution cache - Keep cache files in the [Documents and Settings] folder DXCore for Visual Studio.NET
      S130336 SplitContainerControl - a method to swap panels XtraEditors Library
      S130423 Add the BeforePopup event to the AgMenuItem AgMenu Suite
      S130449 Slovak localization All .NET WinForms Components
      S130461 Ribbon icons - update large glyphs for Bold, Italic, Underline items XtraRichEdit
      S130465 "Create Implementor" should copy comments for implemented members from interface CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S130470 New refactorings request - C# casting - Switch between Old C Style cast and "as" keyword Refactor! Pro
      S130512 Convert not implemented property to autoproperty or property with backing field Refactor! Pro
      S130524 AlertControl - Suggestion 'IsShowing' property and/or an 'OnClose' event XtraBars Suite
      S130560 Improve cloning persistent objects eXpress Persistent Objects
      S130588 Skin Editor - Correct the description of the "Grid->Indicators" skin element XtraPivotGrid Suite
      S130636 Simplify panel creation in a derived TabControl XtraEditors Library
      S130670 LayoutControl - Add the capability to resize items in customization mode AgLayoutControl
      S130688 Update the custom appointment form tutorial XtraScheduler Suite
      S130742 Cloned objects example E804 eXpress Persistent Objects
      S130779 GridLookupEdit - Problem with Smart Tag in Designer XtraGrid Suite
      S130821 Demo - Add a note about missing ability of exporting merged reports to XLS into the "Report Merging" demo XtraReports Suite
      S130823 ComboBoxEdit.SelectedIndexChanged documentation typo XtraEditors Library
      S130837 LayoutControl - Add the capability to drop an item into an empty space between or above/below other items AgLayoutControl
      S130842 Localization - Update Spanish localization XtraReports Suite
      S130849 LayoutControl - Customization: Add images to the alignment buttons on the Customization Toolbar AgLayoutControl
      S130859 LayoutControl - Customization: show actual (visible) horizontal and vertical alignments in the Customization Toolbar and update item's Width/Height if needed to produce the assigned alignment AgLayoutControl
      S130869 LayoutControl - Customization: ability to select parent LayoutGroup via Customization Toolbar (with preview of the selection) AgLayoutControl
      S18047 Improve the appearance of CheckBoxEdit control when a large DPI (120) setting is used XtraEditors Library
      S18086 Class Generator - generate properties for columns of type varchar2 in Oracle eXpress Persistent Objects
      S18150 Fix memory allocation algorith in DevExpress.Data / VisibleIndexCollection XtraGrid Suite
      S18184 Ribbon - Allow transparent background for ZoomTrackBarControl XtraEditors Library
      S18212 Option UseAdvVertNavigation must work for the New Item Row and Auto Filter Row XtraGrid Suite
      S18296 Improve the TreeList's performance when selecting nodes XtraTreeList Suite
      S18315 Add a client side method to obtain an instance of the AutoFilterRow editors ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S18367 Add new client side events which will allow a developer to decide whether a certain column can be moved to a certain position or not ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S18383 Pie Series View - When painting an exploded pie, before the slices are spread apart, consider its final size to prevent flicker XtraCharts Suite
      S18386 Drag&Drop nodes - use different arrow images (drag icons) in dependence on a new node position XtraTreeList Suite
      S18528 ASPXGridView support the frozen pane (fixed columns and rows) feature ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S18537 XAFCore.Web.Performance: Support the Web Garden mode eXpressApp Framework
      S18538 Convert to Extension Method Refactor! Pro
      S18659 Create Method Stub should be available for ASP Web Controls Events CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S18679 Shortcuts options page -- add Expand and Collapse all to the popup menu CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S18760 Add client- and server-side methods to obtain rows belonging to a certain group ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S18768 Declare Property should be available inside object initializers CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S18782 GridView.CalcHitInfo must allow a programmer to detect a detail tab under the mouse pointer XtraGrid Suite
      S18875 TreeList must not close inplace editor when it loses focus (optional) XtraEditors Library
      S18902 Skins - set skin color for a banded column gap XtraGrid Suite
      S19138 Documentation - Correct the BaseLayoutItem.Move method's parameter list XtraLayout Suite
      S19161 Implement a method that will make it possible to use my own descendant from the TreeListCustomizationForm as a CreateCustomizationForm in the XtraGrid XtraTreeList Suite
      S19209 MySQL 5.x support eXpress Persistent Objects
      S19279 ASPxGridView - add a method to scroll the ASPxGridView to a certain row ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S19291 The most useful controllers should be well documented eXpressApp Framework
      S19305 Create a KB article with the custom editor to illustrate how to work with the editor's painter, and view info classes in a descendant XtraEditors Library
      S19311 Screencast for Dock Functionality XtraBars Suite
      S19392 Include folders of the applied AutoFormat to a web application All ASP.NET Components
      S19448 XPO:CustomDocument3185.htm, Connecting XPO to a Database Server eXpress Persistent Objects
      S19505 CodeGen - Add support for generating compiler directive's code DXCore for Visual Studio.NET
      S19674 New CodeProvider: "make method void" CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S19721 ASPxObjectContainer - Support QuickTime objects (MOV files) ASPxperience Suite
      S19783 ASPxPageControl - Add a property allowing tab headers to be hidden ASPxperience Suite
      S19789 Allow ASPxHtmlEditor to be resized in a container ASPxHtmlEditor
      S19837 ASPxGridView - HeaderFilter - add a new option to define the number of visible items without scrollbar ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S20196 Make ScrollBarViewInfo.ButtonWidth virtual XtraEditors Library
      S20274 Use delegates to perform an action on all nodes XtraTreeList Suite
      S20298 AsPxGridView Height Irrespective Of Number Of Rows ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S20304 Documentation - Add VB.NET code to the 'How to: Validate Rows' help topic ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S20307 AlertControl - provide the capability to define the alert form's location XtraBars Suite
      S20308 AlertControl - provide the ability to access the list of currently displayed forms XtraBars Suite
      S30009 Add an Image Column ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S30016 Documentation - Create a screencast lesson about using the LayoutView XtraGrid Suite
      S30031 Improve the GridMainDemo project - add the print/export functionality to all possible modules XtraGrid Suite
      S30053 Appearances - Word Wrap and Trimming combination is needed XtraGrid Suite
      S30063 XRPivotGrid - Use the XtraReport.DataSourceSchema to allow setup of the XRPivotGrid XtraReports Suite
      S30073 Optimize Namespace References - Make it possible to sort usings if there are no unused namespace references Refactor! Pro
      S30109 Add Accessibiilty support (similar to MS Outlook) XtraScheduler Suite
      S30117 Add a help topic about the DataLayoutControl into the XtraLayout section, and provide a "Getting Started" section for it XtraLayout Suite
      S30145 ASPxGridView - support data inserting in an empty ObjectContainerDataSource ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S30164 "Use IsNullOrEmpty" - add an option to make it available when only one condition is met Refactor! Pro
      S30180 Create Backing Store should be available on simple properties without code Refactor! Pro
      S30221 Support HTML-lite markup for headers (and maybe other elements such appointments) XtraScheduler Suite
      S30244 ASPxPageControl - add a property which enforces the page control to reload content ASPxperience Suite
      S30245 ValidateRow and RowUpdate events don't fire in ServerMode with XPServerCollectionSource XtraGrid Suite
      S30283 ASPxPopupControl - fire CloseButtonClick when CloseAction=None ASPxperience Suite
      S30333 ASPxImage, ASPxObjectContainer - ID and ClientInstanceName cannot be equal ASPxperience Suite
      S30376 Code Issues - Allow hiding individual messages CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S30414 Hide the NavBarControl.BackgroundImage and BackgroundImageLayout properties as they do not work XtraNavBar
      S30418 Recurrence - editing the pattern should handle exceptions in a custom manner Core of ASPxScheduler and XtraScheduler
      S30540 Provide support for the Google Chrome browser All ASP.NET Components
      S30594 New Refactorings: "Compress Assignment" and "Expand Assignment" Refactor! Pro
      S30713 Documentation - Add a topic describing how to format values for embedded fields XtraReports Suite
      S30721 Demos - show how to use a hyperlink grid column to open a new page with query parameters ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S30730 Add useful properties to RefactoringEventArgs Refactor! Pro
      S30733 "Contains" filter mode in GridLookUpEdit with highlighting XtraGrid Suite
      S30741 "Declare Method Stub" - make it available on delegates CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S30746 Documentation - Add information to the CustomColumnSort topic XtraGrid Suite
      S30764 Help: Describe product requirements (Win and Web) for development and deployment environments eXpressApp Framework
      S30788 Add support for "Break Apart Arguments" refactoring to this code Refactor! Pro
      S30791 Add the capability to customize the popup form caption at runtime (applies to Appointment edit, Reminder, Go to Date forms) ASPxScheduler Suite
      S30830 View Headers - make them skinnable XtraScheduler Suite
      S30859 Template - Provide the capability to customize the TimeCell template ASPxScheduler Suite
      S30860 Provide the capability to customize the Time cell via event (like the ASPxGridView.HtmlDataCellPrepared event) ASPxScheduler Suite
      S30867 ListEditor: Provide the capability to save the focus in the list view in server mode eXpressApp Framework
      S30876 Improve the capability to create custom storages for user/logon differences and trace log files. eXpressApp Framework
      S30950 Add the client PerformCallback method ASPxGauges Suite
      S30966 Add a help topic about the PropertyCollectionSource class eXpressApp Framework
      S30978 Add project references to the DevExpress.Web.ASPxEditors and DevExpress.Web.ASPxGridView libraries for the MySolutioon.Module.Web project eXpressApp Framework
      S31065 ASPxGauge - improve usability - add a some public property like Value in root ASPxGauges Suite
      S31082 Split Conditional (logical OR) should be available on conditional statements with an else statement Refactor! Pro
      S31087 Alert Control - add an event that fires when the Alert Form is hidden and the capability to determine whether it was closed by a user or not XtraBars Suite
      S31091 ASPxComboBox - Provide support for the Byte type of item values and a capability to choose this data type when editing the ValueType property ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S31186 Help.Reports: Demonstrate different parameter types in report's criteria string in the FeatureCenter application eXpressApp Framework
      S31282 ASPxPopupControl - Add a new Closing event to make it possible to cancel closing ASPxperience Suite
      S31301 Documentation: describe the Session.DropIdentityMap method eXpress Persistent Objects
      S31302 Include an example demonstrating how to use the XtraTabbedMdiManager into the documentation XtraBars Suite
      S31311 Documentation - Describe which series views are affected by the Top N feature XtraCharts Suite
      S31328 Hit-testing - Provide API for determining clicked rows/cells, etc. DXGrid for WPF
      S31330 Data Binding - Support for observable collections (INotifyCollectionChanged and INotifyPropertyChanged) DXGrid for WPF
      S31362 Documentation - add a note to the Reload and ReloadChangedObjects methods about the fact that these methods do nothing in a Nested UnitOfWork eXpress Persistent Objects
      S31363 ASPxRoundPanel - Provide a capability to specify the content height of a panel ASPxperience Suite
      S31382 Localization Support DXNavBar for WPF
      S31393 Support for UI Automation DXNavBar for WPF
      S31396 Make internal client methods operating with selection available within the editor's public client-side API ASPxHtmlEditor
      S31397 Web - Add a ReportViewer.EnableCallbackCompression property XtraReports Suite
      S31402 Help: Introduce a reference to the FeatureCenter, PropertyEditors group, FileAttachments entry to the "File Attachments Module Overview" topic eXpressApp Framework
      S31404 Declare Class should create properties automatically when initialization syntax is used for instantiation CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S31411 New CodeProvider: Declare Property with Initializer CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S31419 Documentation: UnitOfWork.CommitChanges Method - remove a note. It's not true since 8.2 eXpress Persistent Objects
      S31420 Add a new method to convert LINQ expressions to XPO criteria eXpress Persistent Objects
      S31424 Marshall a background thread exception to the main thread if this exception is caused by an invalid cross thread operation Data Library
      S31428 When declaring classes with constructor arguments, it should be the default to introduce properties for these arguments automatically CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S31429 Demos - Modify the detail popup displayed within the Templates - Cell demo ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S31440 Help: Describe the SecuritySimple.AllowNonAdministratorNavigateToUsers property eXpressApp Framework
      S31458 Project Converter - If a WpfApplication contains a reference to DevExpress.Wpf.Charts.v8.3, it is necessary to add a reference to DevExpress.Wpf.Utils.v8.3 Installation for .NET
      S31463 ProjectConverter - /sc command line switch - auto-close the converter when done Installation for .NET
      S31467 Add support to the IsNull Function Operator for the Oracle database eXpress Persistent Objects
      S31472 "Manual Load Assemblies" tool window issues/suggestions DXCore for Visual Studio.NET
      S31477 XRPivotGrid - Add the ExpandAll and CollapseAll methods XtraReports Suite
      S31478 Help: show the main concept of creating new nodes in the model eXpressApp Framework
      S31514 Show the hand cursor for the HyperLink in-place editor in the TreeList XtraTreeList Suite
      S31523 Add a capability to insert the SPxListViewWebPart to any WebPart page and choose a SharePonit List to be displayed ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S31526 FeatureCenter: add a demo showing how validate data against of related object properties via the RuleCriteriaAttribute ( Q140264 ) eXpressApp Framework
      S31527 Add ability to load deleted records in XPView eXpress Persistent Objects
      S31531 TODO: If a Code Issue hint is still up and at least one marker exists and I press escape, I still end up jumping to that marker instead of dropping that hint CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S31533 Suggestion: Decompose Initializer should be available here Refactor! Pro
      S31535 Help.ClickOnce.UserSettings: Update the "ClickOnce Deployment" section of the "Deploy a Windows Forms Application" topic (http://www.devexpress.com/Help/?document=expressapp/customdocument2853.htm) eXpressApp Framework
      S31553 Help: Update the "Use the DiagnosticInfo Action" topic (DetailView items and Validation rules information are included now) eXpressApp Framework
      S31596 ProjectConverter shouldn't update DevExpress.AgDataGrid assembly's version Installation for .NET
      S31620 Calculated Fields - Add the capability to evaluate field expression via the specific event XtraReports Suite
      S31644 Promote to Parameter should be available on primitives Refactor! Pro
      S31667 CheckedComboBoxEdit - load items when requested in bound mode XtraEditors Library
      S50106 DevExpress.ExpressApp.SystemModule.FilterController.SetFilterAction: Add a capability to set a custom tooltip eXpressApp Framework
      S90141 auto-close splitter in SplitterContainer XtraEditors Library
      S90261 Make Explicit and Make Implicit refactorings for the block scope variable declaration in the VB "For Each" statement Refactor! Pro
      S90295 Provide methods to get/set cell values in a focused row XtraGrid Suite
      S90335 The "Declare Local" should be smart and use the variable name as a hint for determining the intended overload and use the type of the parameter in that overload. CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S90348 Add wait/progress indicators when launching built-in forms XtraScheduler Suite
      S90478 Dragging a column header outside of control should always indicate an 'X' XtraGrid Suite
      S90523 Gauge and KPI (Key Performance Indicator) ASPxPivotGrid
      S90544 Jump to next Code Issue using the mouse CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S90608 Automatically set MenuManager property XtraEditors Library
      S90612 Update the XpoDefault.GetConnectionProvider help topic eXpress Persistent Objects
      S90624 Xtra Grid NULL value in cell, Min formula (group function or footer function) shows "MIN=" with blank XtraGrid Suite
      S90626 PictureEdit: Add method that triggers Load menu functionality XtraEditors Library
      S90711 Add option for "Conditional to Case" Refactor! Pro
      S90857 Change term "Style Conditions" to "Format Conditions" in designer XtraGrid Suite
      S90865 Format text in SuperToolTip XtraEditors Library
      S90940 How to disable command buttons and columns in new release 8.x ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S91114 Add ShowGroupExpandCollapseButton XtraGrid Suite
      S91130 SetFocusedRowCellValue override for fieldName XtraGrid Suite
      S91143 ASPxGridView Popup EditForm add an ability to resize it ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S91152 RowCellStyle arguments XtraGrid Suite
      S91162 Make CardView.CardCaptionFormat 'Record N {0}' localizable XtraGrid Suite
      S91186 CodeProvider - Change method to extension method Refactor! Pro
      S91217 Load speed ASPxHtmlEditor
      S91289 5-Star rating control XtraEditors Library
      S91454 Add an "Under development" option to the new plugin wizard DXCore for Visual Studio.NET
      S91479 add new property to disable column hiding by dragging XtraGrid Suite
      S91546 New code provider: Declare Method Stub (abstract) Refactor! Pro
      S91554 SplitContainerControl - provide the ability to set a panel's size less than 25 pix XtraEditors Library
      S91632 Documentation - The client GetRowValues method is not properly documented ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S91679 Add a FilterStateChanged event that occurs when the current filter state is changed XtraGrid Suite
      S91695 Hide the footer cell beneath the indicator. XtraGrid Suite
      S91704 Hide the list with code file issues at bottom of editor windows, make it a separate window CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S91713 Add a property DropDownRows to CheckedComboBoxEdit XtraEditors Library
      S91766 Code provider: "Implement Memory Backing Store" CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S91792 Project Converter: Show me what version you're updating to Installation for .NET
      S91833 AutocalcPreviewLineCount Max = provide the ability to restrict the height of the preview line XtraGrid Suite
      S91845 ASPxGridView - automatically discover the key field name when using the LinqServerModeDataSource ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
      S91911 Update SQLite to 1.0.51 eXpress Persistent Objects
      S91950 Change SummaryType at runtime via menu XtraPivotGrid Suite
      S91957 Improve sorting/grouping of repository item list XtraGrid Suite
      S91999 "Auto Declare Variable" enhancement for interface names CodeRush for Visual Studio .NET
      S92039 Documentation - create a new demo project re. popup menu customization ASPxScheduler Suite
      S92177 Restore the Model Editor's previous state after it's been reloaded eXpressApp Framework
      S92221 Implement GridView.GetFocusedDataSourceRowIndex XtraGrid Suite
      S92301 ASPxComboBox - Provide support for the Char type of item values and a capability to choose this data type when editing the ValueType property ASPxGridView and Editors Suite
  • Can I sell you a roadmap?

    OK, I exaggerate. It'll be free. Smile

    Roadmap with LA as goal Next week, all the R&D team leads and evangelists and we management will (metaphorically) lock ourselves in a Luxor-iant conference room and discuss topics of great import to our company — especially given the state of the economy — and also to nail down what we shall be doing this year. Yes, it's that portion of the great DevExpress annual cycle when I get to write the one post that is guaranteed to generate whoops of delight, sighs of disappointment, or grumblings of discontent from our customers: the roadmap.

    This year will be slightly different. You see, over the past month or so, we have been running Project Accepted TBD: an honest evaluation and assessment of all of those suggestions that have been marked as "Accepted - Release TBD", some for, shall we say, quite a while. Some of them have been truly accepted (in which case we'll be deciding which release we'll be putting them in — of significance to the roadmap, of course), some of them have been declined since there is a usable workaround available, usually findable in the knowledgebase; and some of them have been rejected. We're entering the phase where we'll be altering their public status (although it must be said we're still discussing some of them). If you're tracking some of them, you'll be getting notifications.

    So, for the releases this year, more than ever before we'll be making great strides in stabilizing and polishing our products as well as in adding new features and functionality. At some point though, it becomes self-defeating to add all these little polished gems to the roadmap — we'd have to ship coffee to everyone to help them to read through it. I do have to say that v2009 vol 1 is already shaping up to be a great release, not necessarily because of several large ticket features, but because of a plethora of small completed items all designed to make your lives easier and more productive. The normally quiet Christmas/New Year period has been very productive for the development teams.

    So, the roadmap is upon me, and as usual I will be making every effort to get it out by the end of this month. Stay tuned.

  • Evaluation means, er, evaluation

    For some reason, this particular topic has reared its head twice in the past few days, so I thought I'd set the record straight about what we mean by the evaluation edition (or trial-run as many call it) of DXperience.

    First of all, and most important, the evaluation edition comes with its own clauses in the EULA (End-User License Agreement):

    If the SOFTWARE COMPONENT PRODUCT(S) you have obtained is marked as a "TRIAL" or "EVALUATION," you may install one copy of the SOFTWARE COMPONENT PRODUCT(S) for testing purposes for a period of 30 calendar days from the date of installation ("Evaluation Period"). Upon expiration of the Evaluation Period, the SOFTWARE COMPONENT PRODUCT(S) must be uninstalled and all copies destroyed.


    Developer End User MAY NOT REDISTRIBUTE any SOFTWARE COMPONENT PRODUCT(s) files if using an evaluation, trial, Not for Resale, or demo version of the SOFTWARE COMPONENT PRODUCT(s).

    So, the intent of our evaluation is for the potential customer to test our product with their scenarios to make sure that our product works as expected and, more importantly, can be used within their environment. 30 calendar days is well sufficient for that purpose. Of course, in order that they gain the best results from their testing, we provide support to the potential customer during that period.

    Marking off the check listThe way I envisage potential customers doing an evaluation is much like an interview for a position. First of all, I would guess that there might be two or three candidate products in the running. The evaluator will have worked out a list of scenarios that they'll want to test for all candidates, a list of questions, if you like. It's very unlikely that all candidates will pass all questions adequately, so there must be some measure of success ("this question is nice to be answered correctly, but I won't lose sleep over it if no candidate can, but this one is imperative to get right").

    Next up, there must be some period of uninterrupted time to set up the evaluations. Each candidate product will have a different API, and so you must spend the time to understand each sufficiently well to get over the basic learning curve. The intent here is to see whether each candidate will work in your environment. You may have, for example, a data layer that cannot be changed. Can each product work with this data layer? Similarly, you may have a particular error-notification system: are the products flexible enough to work with this subsystem? And so on.

    The intent here is not to fully plug-in each product into your solution, but to gain an understanding of each candidate's strengths and weaknesses. Part of that understanding is also an evaluation of each product's support system, which is why we gladly provide such support. We want you to buy our products after all.

    At the end of the evaluation period you should have your original list of questions with a set of answers against each. A check list, if you like. Using this, you should be able to work out which product would suit you best. You will certainly not know everything about each product, you will certainly not have learnt every fancy little feature and API wrinkle. But you will know enough to make a purchase decision.

    So, good evaluations involve real work, sustained over a period of a couple of weeks, well within the 30 day limit. Our evaluations are not for the "play with it a couple of hours here and there, with gaps of a week or more in between" approach. I really don't see how that kind of evaluation helps you or the vendor.

    Another approach I've heard of is the "I'm plugging your evaluation product completely into my application, and then I'll buy" method. This is in complete violation of our EULA on several fronts: generally this process will take longer than 30 days, the evaluation edition is being used for development and not testing, and also typically there's more than one developer working on the project. (And of course, the final purchase usually involves a single license.)

    I've also heard of the "We only need to buy one or two licenses for the maintenance phase" assumption, the product being developed by a larger team using the evaluation edition. This is so in violation of our EULA, I don't know where to start.

    So, we welcome potential customers to try out DXperience. We'd love for you to come to the conclusion that our product is the best choice for you, so we'll help you along the way with our support team. We believe that the best way to do the evaluation is as I described above. And if you do find that, for one reason or another, that you need more time, just email me or support. We'll certainly consider your request.

    But please don't take advantage of our evaluation policy. I really don't want to get to the point where we have to put drop-dead dates in our evaluation editions.

  • Denver: Come on down!

    Nate Laff, on reading my previous post, told me that the same event will be held in Denver the very next day.

    So your intrepid DevExpress CTO will be making the trek north through the suburban wilderness that is Castle Rock Smile to go to exactly the same presentation. Bravery like this, suffering the Microsoft mind meld twice in succession, can only be rewarded with a pint at a local hostelry, so he'll be standing drinks at the Rock Bottom Brewery at the Park Meadows Mall afterwards, a couple of miles south.

    So see you there, Denverites. Come and see and learn all about the new stuff Microsoft talked about at PDC last year. I'd love to meet you and chat afterwards. I'll be the one in the white shirt with the stitched DevExpress logo (it took me hours).

    Rock Bottom Brewery
    9627 E. County Line Road
    South Denver, CO 80112

  • Colorado Springs: Your time has come!

    Well, OK, a little grand, I suppose. Here's the scoop: there's an MSDN event being hosted at Configuresoft in the north end of town at the end of January (the 26th). The topic is "The Best of PDC". My ex-colleague and friend, Ted Malone, has details here.

    I'll be there, hijacking it Wink, and I'll be giving out a couple of free licenses to DevExpress products. So come along, see and learn some new interesting stuff, and say hello afterwards. I'd love to see you.


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