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Resetting the direction for the DevExpress Business Frameworks

Although we announced UI support for WPF and Silverlight in eXpressApp Framework (XAF) in this year’s roadmap last December, we are not going to be able to provide this feature by v2011 vol 2. There are a few reasons for this decision, but we feel the current uncertainty in the .NET market with regard to Windows 8 (as evinced by the past couple of months’ worth of news) is sufficient to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. We will all learn more about what Microsoft have planned at the BUILD conference in a couple of weeks.

House FrameworkFor Silverlight in particular, current events seem to point to a Silverlight-specific UI not providing good value for our resources or for your development dollar. For many Line of Business apps, having a thick client WinForms app or a thin-client ASP.NET app seems to hit the sweet spot. Nevertheless, we are working towards multi-tier support (it’s not dependent on a Silverlight UI), but current trends hint at a revamped and better ASP.NET UI (maybe with MVC) as being more beneficial to more customers. As I said, we’ll also be seeing what the near future will bring platform-wise.

This decision doesn’t mean that we’ve put XAF on the back-burner, far from it. We have been adding many new features, all requested by you, our customers, to the product, such as Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 integration, a new State Machine module, improved startup and ASP.NET UI performance, numerous improvements to the Model Editor, Easy Test, and much more. A couple of developers on the team have also been investigating OData support, amongst other things; especially given our pioneering work in this area (see Azret’s blog posts on the subject, for example: here and here).

Rest assured that XAF will be well positioned for whatever Microsoft might reveal in a couple of weeks. We’re looking forward to the challenge.

Published Sep 03 2011, 09:44 AM by
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Comments

James S K Makumbi

I dunno about this. I have mixed feelings. I was looking forward to skipping the whole asp.net part of xaf and going straight to silverlight.

I trust you guys to make the right decession though I feel a third UI especially silverlight will be great. Please don't force me to work with LightSwitch (It is too hard. Like self lobotomisation!).

September 3, 2011 12:59 PM

MarcPike

We sure could use some wizard ninja help with WPF using MVVM model for our ERP application.

September 3, 2011 2:50 PM

James Foye

I think WPF is going to continue to suffer from under-adoption until MS does a couple of things (like, improving the VS designer, and providing everybody with an easy-to-use-out-of-the-box MVVM framework). Even then, I think it will still be something of a niche technology for the desktop. It is good technology, though, and I don't think it's going anywhere.

Silverlight, on the other hand...

September 3, 2011 3:17 PM

Crono

I strongly believe that the upcoming Jupiter platform will unify WPF and Silverlight to provide a unique UI framework. In that regard, delaying support for WPF in XAF does seems to be a smart move.

That being said, I find all the speculations about Microsoft giving up on .NET and XAML-based technologies and Windows 8 applications being exclusively "HTML5 and Javascript based" really overrated.

September 3, 2011 4:21 PM

Miha Markic - MS & DevExpress MVP

Crono, overrated or not, they have an effect, don't they? Oh, Microsoft.

September 3, 2011 4:44 PM

Michael Thuma

I think focusing on one's own strengths is the better way. Honestly having 4 possible alternatives for the desktop will make no one happy or a clean decision can be found.

The sad part of the story is that the lot more powerful front-end alternative could disappear as the better option from a technical perspective but not accepted. My feeling is that MS is seeking for a solution based on web technologies.

Providing a second path for the desktop is an overkill at the moment and MS will not make the tablet market soon. So you will have to provide a web based alternative anyway.

Hardware vendors make money with data-centers and mobile devices support this and you are on the way.

This is just my opinion.

September 4, 2011 5:17 AM

Michael Thuma

Wait and see is always good.

September 4, 2011 5:18 AM

Nate Laff

Well, I can't say I'm not slightly disappointed, I've been looking forward to the Silverlight app. However, the only reason I've needed it was because the Windows and ASP.net application's performance was so poor in a SaaS scenario. If that can be made better, I'll be a happy camper.

September 4, 2011 9:57 AM

Andre Azevedo

I agree. Silverlight/WPF rendering on XAF is a big step.

But you could replace it adding full AJAX support and ASPxPopupControl windows on v2011.2, giving us a better UI experience on ASP.Net.

September 4, 2011 12:46 PM

Defacto Software

>> we are working towards multi-tier support (it’s not

>> dependent on a Silverlight UI), but current trends hint at a

>> revamped and better ASP.NET UI (maybe with MVC) as

>> being more beneficial to more customers

Agree, the way Silverlight is handled by Microsoft makes me avoid this platform if possiible, looks you guys made the right decision.

September 4, 2011 3:02 PM

Sigurd Decroos

No SL here either (not even WPF). Winforms and ASP.Net (preferable MVC) is the way to go for the moment. Most controls exist for these technologies anyway.

And hey, this will givve DX the time to develop the Gantt control for WinForms :).

September 4, 2011 9:53 PM

Jascha

>This decision doesn’t mean that we’ve put XAF on the back-burner

Quite the opposite - isn't this a good example of how XAF insulates us from such vagaries?

September 5, 2011 12:19 PM

Mateus Lopess

I would love to see Silverlight and WPF working with XAF

I think this a wrong way, I hope they can exist in 2012

September 5, 2011 1:03 PM

Christopher D. Todd

I've seen MS give up on good tech before, but I doubt they would give up on .NET or Silverlight. Maybe WPF. I think the big news will be .NET sharing equal ground with HTML5 and other APIs. Well, atleast lets hope!

September 6, 2011 12:14 AM

Marden Rodrigues

I do not believe you planned in 2011 put the UI in silverlight and wpf XAF and gave up,

I develop on lightswitch only because of the silverlight client, and I can say that all my customers are satisfied.

You are the best components company in the market with the best support, please do not let this idea die, silverlight will

be supported until 2021 by microsoft, and of course with you supporting it will last longer, look at the winforms is a success

only because you are always improving.

I believe that having several choices for the UI is no problem, it is a good choice, because we have so many possibilities

and choose the one that best suits us.

I know you want the best for your development platform, and we want to deliver the best possible software for our clients,

I trust you and I know you will do their best to ensure we always do our best also.

Sorry for the long text is that I'm creating expectations and then disappoint me.

thank you very much

April 17, 2014 6:46 AM

Linton

excellent decision back in 2011, Julian. and your continued work on xaf helps our team every day. with MS's recently announced focus on universal apps and wpf: will xaf become uaf, THE universal app framework? it's got good bones. tia.

March 3, 2015 11:30 AM

Michael Csitkovics

Currently, there are plans for a WPF version?

March 21, 2015 8:27 AM

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