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February 2012 - Posts

  • DXperience and the Visual Studio 11 beta

    I’m sure that you have all heard by now that Microsoft have published Visual Studio 11 beta with a Go Live license. However I’m sure you’re asking something of even more importance: when can I use my favorite DevExpress controls and libraries and CodeRush with it?

    Now.

    If you sign in to your account on devexpress.com, you’ll note that we have published DXperience 11.2.9 this morning to coincide with the VS11 announcement. This version will install in Visual Studio 11 (as well as Visual Studio 2008 and 2010), so you can start using your favorite development products within the new IDE. Download it now!

    Since VS11 is still a beta, there are a couple of gotchas that we were not able to workaround. The most important one in my view is this one: the DXperience WPF controls are not automatically registered in the Visual Studio 11 toolbox. You will have to register them manually. Although we reported the issue to Microsoft, it was too late to be fixed for the beta. (You can read about the other known issues here.)

    It’s been some 5 to 6 months since the Developer Preview of Visual Studio 11, and today’s beta release brings us a step closer to that total reimagining of what it means to be a modern IDE. Of course, today was also the announcement of the Customer Preview of Windows 8, and so the VS11 beta brings us a step closer to being able to write apps for the Metro interface. However, I would note that there is still some way to go with both Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11: although we can see the light, there is still some tunnel left to travel through.

    And that is also something that can be said for DevExpress: DXperience 11.2.9 and Visual Studio 11 beta are a large milestone on the journey to having support for Windows 8, Metro, and WinRT.

    Until then, enjoy the pre-releases, and let’s see what develops.

    UPDATE: We have released new DevExpress product evaluation code in support of the Visual Studio 11 beta. Customers who are in the midst of their evaluation will need to take a few steps to continue in this process if you wish to use VS11. Note that if you’re not running the VS11 beta your DevExpress product evaluation experience will not be impacted.

    If you’re in the middle of your DevExpress product evaluation and it has not yet expired, but you’d like to experience DevExpress tools with Visual Studio 11 beta:

    1. Download the evaluation copy again from http://www.devexpress.com/Home/Try.xml
    2. Install the new evaluation copy after you have installed the VS11 beta. Continue with your evaluation as usual.
    3. If the addition of the Visual Studio 11 beta trial makes you feel like you’d require more time in your product evaluation we’re happy to extend it for an additional 30 days - simply contact us at support@devexpress.com  to request an extension.

    If your DevExpress product evaluation has already expired but you’d like to download it again to experience DevExpress tools together with the Visual Studio 11 beta:

    1. Download the evaluation copy again from http://www.devexpress.com/Home/Try.xml
    2. Contact us at support@devexpress.com  to request an extension to your product evaluation at which time we will extend it for an additional 30 days.
    3. Install the Visual Studio 11 beta, and then the new evaluation copy.
  • VCL Subscription 11.2.4 released!

    Just a quick note to all our VCL customers: we’ve just released the v2011.2.4 minor release with a metric boatload of suggestions implemented and issues fixed. You can download the update from your Registered Products page (just log in to devexpress.com and select My Account | My Products and then the VCL tab).

    The complete list of changes for 11.2.4 (with supporting issue numbers) can be found here.

    (Aside: we were waiting for Update 4 to RAD Studio XE2 to be released, but since this was taking longer than we originally thought, we decided to release this minor version now. It does mean that we shall probably be releasing another minor version in the very near future: Update 4 of XE2 will require it.)

    Let’s see what develops.

  • Mmm, news about Visual Studio 11 and .NET 4.5 beta!

    After some four or five months of radio silence from DevDiv, suddenly we’ve been hit with a couple of great announcements. A bit like the “good news/bad news” stories, but this time it’s good news and even better news.

    The good news first: you’d better book next Wednesday off because you’re going to be downloading, installing, and trying out the Visual Studio 11 and the .NET 4.5 beta. That’s right, So‌ma has just announced that the betas will be made available on February 29, leap year day. And when I said “book the day off” I meant it: the great thing is that they will be provided with Go Live licenses, so you can start to use them in production immediately.

    And just take a look at all that Metro goodness in the IDE:

    Start page in VS11 beta

    Now for the even better news. Jason Zander has provided a sneak peek into what you’ll be getting next Wednesday, and there are some informative links in his blog post you should follow. I especially like his point that (go on, take another longer look at that image) they’ve reconsidered the whole developer experience and have simplified and cleaned up the interface to promote more streamlined workflows. I’m especially interested to find out how this will impact experienced developers as well as those just starting out (just by monitoring our support channels, I know the latter can get confused with the current look and feel).

    As regards what this means to us – and thereby to you, our customers – let me elucidate:

    • First, this is a Go Live license. Hence, the first step is obvious: we must make sure you can use our products in VS11, all the way from every single control on every platform, through the frameworks, to CodeRush. We have a lot to do but rest assured we’re on it.
    • Second, it’s a beta. There will be bugs. We have been working closely with the VS team since last year, reporting issues, making sure our code will work as well as can be expected, but I warn you it won’t be perfect on day one. It it were, Microsoft and we would be releasing on the 29th. Nevertheless, we’re feeling pretty jazzed about this beta and we’re sure you will too.
    • Third, the release is not necessarily about Windows 8. *** just mentioned it once in his post (and Jason not at all): “I’m thrilled at the depth of alignment we’ve had in the development of Visual Studio 11 and Windows 8”, but that was it. We’re just going to have to wait until the Customer Release of Windows 8 before we really get any real news. Until then, rest assured that our products, such as the Tile controls for WinForms, Silverlight and WPF and our touch-enabled ASP.NET controls, will work just fine in the Visual Studio 11 beta to help you create Metro-inspired applications that will work on the operating systems you support right now. And, for that matter, in the desktop mode of Windows 8 whenever we get the Customer Preview.

    So, roll on Leap Year Day! I’m ready; how about you? Let’s see what develops…

  • DevExpress 2012 roadmap published

    After what seems to be a long gestation, we’ve now published our roadmap for 2012. There should be nothing too surprising in it; after all, the big elephant in the room is being closely watched by everyone: Windows 8. It goes without saying perhaps that a lot of our development this year will be geared to touch, Metro, WinRT, HTML5, and the like, and equally without saying that we cannot be very detailed in what we are going to do for this new platform (after all the Developer Preview is now some 5 months old and we’re raring to see what’s next).

    RoadmapA couple of points about the roadmap, if I may. First, this year more than ever, the role of the user interface/experience designer in your organization is going to be of primary importance. Although we are going to be driving forward with our efforts to simplify the process of creating visually stunning applications – especially on the new Windows platform – you should be aware that a designer will be the ideal person to ensure the best user experience, notably on the new slates and tablets that will be announced alongside Windows 8. Touch != mouse, by any stretch of the imagination. This tactile ease of use will be filtering down into the classical desktop experience, so be prepared to think in different ways about how to display information, and not just data. Our analytics products (grids, pivots, reports, charts) will help immeasurably here, so we shall be beefing those up with new functionality and features.

    Second, no matter how much you’d like to dump all your heavy current projects and, thus lightened and unencumbered, jump on the passing Metro train, we all know that it not going to happen. You need to bridge the gap between what you are doing now and what you will be doing. DevExpress recognize this and we have some great new enhancements in the pipeline to make your traditional apps Metro-inspired.

    The road map is available here.

    Let’s see what develops.

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