From the DevExpress Labs: Early preview of ASP.NET MVC grid

19 June 2009

We can't help it. We love grids. We love new technology. So the opportunity to marry them together is irresistible. Here's a very early preview of what could become a new product, although I emphasize there is a very long way to go. So don't ask about release dates or betas just yet, just enjoy.

We were slightly dissatisfied with the "force your ASP.NET controls to work in ASP.NET MVC" solution and wondered if there was a way to write a "native" control for ASP.NET MVC. You know the patter by now: MVC gives you full control over your HTML and CSS, etc, and ASP.NET controls tend to be "heavy" in that kind of environment. So, a team went off and did some experiments and wrote some code.

Here's a screenshot of the resulting control:


First off, it's read-only; no editing of data yet. But, nevertheless, it's fully interactive: click on the column headers to sort by those headers, drag a header to rearrange the columns:


As you can see by the navigation links bottom right, the grid is paged.

And the pièce de résistance: a snapshot of the HTML behind it:


Is that clean or what? Some nifty REST links, and it's all ready for that extra touch of custom CSS.

At present there's quite a bit of code that needs to be written to get this up-and-running, and, as this is likely to change, I won't go into any details here. But, note that MVC, in comparison to the traditional ASP.NET, will always require you to write some code. It's that whole "getting full control" thing again.

But, despite all that, a brilliant bit of work from our ASP.NET MVC team. Thanks, guys.

18 comment(s)


I think MVC could get some serious traction.  It is nice to know DX is considering and working toward a goal to support this new and important feature.  REST is definitely getting more important every day.

19 June, 2009
Chris Fillebrown

This looks is a great start!

We are on our way to adopting ASP.NET MVC for new web development. Obviously life will be easier with Devexpress controls in our toolkit.

19 June, 2009

This is really nice. I can't wait to see the end result.

19 June, 2009
David Carter

Fantastic! I can only encourage you to carry on with the MVC support, the sooner the better!

20 June, 2009
Martin Hart


That is very impressive indeed. I am currently studying MVC and like the philosophy and the cleanliness of the code, so seeing DevExpress dipping their toe into the pond of MVC is great.

Looking forward to seeing and hearing more.


20 June, 2009
Miha Markic - DevExpress MVP

I am glad that you are officialy on MVC route. Out of curiosity, how does the grid's definition look like?

20 June, 2009

Stop wasting time experimenting on new stuff.  We do not have time for this.  Rather finish bugs, suggestions, etc. on existing stuff.  Get v.2009.2 on the road.  Developers have no time to waste.  Please guys.  Do not lose focus as your products are the best.  Keep it that way.

21 June, 2009
Crispin Horsfield

Great stuff!  Having just read Steve Sanderson's excellent book on MVC, this is the way I'm heading.

21 June, 2009

Thank you for submitting this cool story - Trackback from DotNetShoutout

22 June, 2009
Devexpress MVC Grid « EricDotNet

Pingback from  Devexpress MVC Grid « EricDotNet

22 June, 2009
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Schalk, dear chap. You are making unwarranted assumptions about how we as a company divide up our work and our development. That, for example, because a couple of developers in our ASP.NET team have time to work out what it means to have a "component" in ASP.NET MVC, we're delaying v2009.2. I mean, come on.

Cheers, Julian

22 June, 2009
Bill Sheppard

I agree with Schalk...time is time, resources are resources...for mine id rather see them focused on existing products.....

On the other hand ya gotta try new stuff or ya get left behind or miss important developments if ur on the bleeding edge...

Like all things happy medium....

22 June, 2009
Fergal Moran

Great work Julian, any idea when we may be able to get to have a play with this ourselves?

@Schalk, Devexpress MUST devote resources to new technogies and new frameworks. I am personally quite anxious to get my hands on a decent MVC grid control. If devexpress didn't research things like this their products would simple stagnate and forward thinking developers would be leaving for their competitors. It's stuff like this that has kept me with Devexpress for years now.

24 June, 2009
Russ Painter

DevExpress are smart doing this.  My company has made the switch to MVC and rolling our own controls now.  I've used the DevExpress controls in the past, but they're no use to me now.  It's going to be important they're early to market with MVC based controls if they want to maintain their market leader position.

I'm anxiously awaiting any good MVC controls, or maybe MINE will be first to market....

I'm curious how this works.  Are there helper classes that have to be called in the controller manually?

2 July, 2009

I'm so glad to see that DevExpress is looking into the MVC direction. Is there ANY way I can get involved with beta testing?

6 July, 2009
Corey Meredith_1

We're using DevEx components for a heavy WinForms admin and we're going to use ASP.NET MVC for the web interface.  While it's exciting to see DevExpress playing with MVC, I'm THRILLED that you're not falling into the same trap Telerik has by jamming their heavy ASP controls into MVC.  Bravo!  It's an excellent goal that mirrors the spirit of MVC and it takes some guts considering the potential effort involved.  Every ASP.NET MVC developer should hope it works out.


15 July, 2009
The ASPx Blog - Mehul Harry's DevExpress Blog

Check out this slick web-based mail application we’ve created which shows how to use our current ASP

13 August, 2009

I'm really waiting for the ASP.NET MVC grid

12 March, 2010

Please login or register to post comments.