Sneak peek: Improving the navigation bar support in our VCL subscription (coming in v2011.1)

03 May 2011

Normally, writing about removing support for an older control in favor of the newer one is enough to get me worried. In this case, the VCL team have done a bang-up job to make the transition as painless as possible.

In essence, we’re making the older ExpressSideBar (no, I didn’t know we had one!) obsolescent. You should be using the ExpressNavBar instead: it has more features, looks better, and is actively maintained. To help with migrating your legacy code to use ExpressNavBar, the developers on the team have implemented a design-time converter.

The dxsbar unit has been moved to ExpressNavBar. It contains the design-time templates for the TdxSideBar, TdsSideBarStore and and TdxSideBarPopupMenu controls. Note that this means, from v2011.1.3, the dxsbar unit can be used at design time only.

Here’s how it all works (click image to expand).


On the left, you can see the TdxSideBar in a previous version of the VCL subscription. If you open the same project in the IDE with v2011.1.3 installed, you’ll see that its look has changed to a warning box stating the side bar is now deprecated and that you should convert your older code to use a TdxNavBar. Double-click on the warning box (or right-click to get the context menu shown and click on the relevant menu option), and the reference to the old TdxSideBar is changed to use the current TdxNavBar to produce the result on the right.

After the conversion is done, you should delete the reference to the dxsbar unit from your uses clause of your application unit.

Seems pretty simple to me and the results will make your apps look better.

9 comment(s)
Birger Jansen

Looks good! Will you be adding some nice new features to the dxNavBar as well in the next update?

3 May, 2011
Hugh Bellamy

hey, sorry, I may sound stupid, but in the client center, under downloads,  there is no VCL or C++ area to download, and if I use the universal(10.2.8) it is not there!

Sorry again

3 May, 2011
Dave Frank

@ Hugh - I still see my VCL downloads in the new download manager here:

Is that where you're looking?

On the topic of the older bar, the dxNavBar has been around for ages now and there's no comparison between the quality of the two. Hopefully most people have migrated by now so it won't be much of an issue.

3 May, 2011
Hugh Bellamy

Hey again, I am sorry, but it is actually not there! Sorry, but could you send me a direct link? Thanks

4 May, 2011
Dave Frank

@Hugh - Strange, the link I provided above is the only one I know of. If you're logged into the site and have a current VCL subscription, but still don't see it, then I recommend you write support and ask. The .NET universal sub is only for .NET components so you definitely won't see it in there.

4 May, 2011
Hugh Bellamy

Hi, I am not subscribed to it, but want to try it out instead.

What next?

4 May, 2011
Dave Frank

You can go here and download the latest compiled demos:

It has the source code to the demos so you can look at it in Delphi, but I don't think they provide a "real" trial version of their VCL components. That may have changed, I don't know, but the download there doesn't use the word "trial" like the .NET components do.

Hope that helps.

5 May, 2011
Cary Moore

"Note that this means, from v2011.1.3, the dxsbar unit can be used at design time only"

Ah, that caught me with a re-compile of one project complaining it couldn't find designintf.dcu, it had been fine in 11.1.1 and 11.1.2

24 May, 2011
Anthony Caduto

uh, the dxsidebar was part of expressbars, by moving it to the navbar sku, you are forcing users to purchase another product that they may not need.  NOT COOL.

9 December, 2011

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