DevExpress 2012 roadmap published

17 February 2012

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.

26 comment(s)

First, let me say that I can't wait to see a XtraMap control for Winform! :) I'm also glad that OData support will be coming for XPO.

However, there's something I really can't understand: your vision on Winform. Metro? Touch? Really? Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK, there's close to NO market for Windows touch-enabled devices at this time. Windows 8 *may* change that, but even so, Winform-based apps won't be supported on ARM devices.

... or could I be missing something?

17 February, 2012
Mohsen Benkhellat

Nice to see DX jump in HTML5/js train without killing winforms.

I did notice there has been no mention of JS (browser-as-client oriented) equivalent of ASP.NET controls which is IMO odd as it could have been used as the basis for ASP.NET/MVC controls while at the same time targeting more customers (those not using windows/iis servers).

17 February, 2012
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Crono: Absolutely people want a Metro-inspired look-and-feel on WinForms running on Windows 7/Vista/XP. It's a great way to get an up-to-date experience for classical apps. Also there are a lot of customers writing for kiosk-style screens that are touch-enabled.

Mohsen:<Julian puts on an innocent look> Gosh.

Cheers, Julian

17 February, 2012
Rick Bartlett

Where is the client side databinding, jquery & JSON etc?

17 February, 2012
James Zhong

Hello Julian, thanks for publishing DX Roadmap 2012.

Will Ribbon control be introduced to DevExpress ASP.NET product line in 2012? It's essential for XAF to deliver end users a unified Ribbon UI on both desktop and web platforms.

17 February, 2012
Michael Thuma

Thank you for the updated road map and a lot more for moving all of your products forward.

Currently it's maybe about kiosk style only 'only', but it will very likely not happen that INTEL will sit and wait until ARM provides 'the one' alternative, but touch has already become accepted and INTEL is already on the way of course.

No need to jump on the Win8 train too early from the developers perspective especially on ARM. I wished MS simplified their partners lives little more with a continuous offering from the   perspective reliable Technology Outlooks. It's very hard to distinguish between wake up the developer community on one hand, retrieve the response from the network and on the other provide something that is sufficient enough to match expectations and allows shipping working results within a short period, the moment the way is clear.

Assuming the communication put out in public by MS matches the reality and the focus is home/entertainment still, but providing an offering for tablets to broader audience ... it's - wait until the way is clear but not wait and see. I think Devexpress does not respond to the current uncertainty with wait and see, it's clear- let them come (elastic defense).  From this perspective agreed on the 'dispatch note' to the road map.

18 February, 2012
Peter Thorpe

As always looking forward to the new features this year.

I noticed you wrote this in charting

"users like to interact with their charts so we have to improve our chart interactivity"

Can we expect SVG charting to be the way to do this in ASP.NET/HTML 5? Fingers crossed.

Also was hoping for some of the Reporting grid suggestions to be implemented since there are so many looking to improve the experience of designing reports with it:

18 February, 2012
ahmed emad 2

we are waiting for this too long and it seems it will never come,

right to left support, vcl controls

i hope that when devexpress decide to support firemonkey take care about this isses.

19 February, 2012
Manolis Perrakis


As a VCL subscriber I was really very dissapointed by the fact that you placed in your fist page VCL news that linked to a page with date of 22 of December.

Apart from the server mode which was scheduled for the previous year, also the

Export to Excel - Add the capability to export data in a simplified layout to enable further data analysis

and also

Implement the treevew-like hierarchical support for events in the Gantt view

Treeview-like hierarchy for events and tasks in the Gantt view

was scheduled fro the FIRST half of 2011.

Actually the gantt cxScedule control is half finished and no word about this. And also they were posts from Alex saying that this was going to be released on January.

Have you really read the previous roadmap before you release the new one?

And at last a descent export data to excel. This is really basic.

Export - Excel - export numeric data as numbers with the same format as in the grid

Best Regards,

Manolis Perrakis

19 February, 2012
Dave Frank

I'm sure he knows Manolis. It's not like we don't harrass them about the pace of VCL development on a regular basis (myself included...) The fact that they didn't make it in last year is probably why they're on it this year. I suspect the wild card is how much time 64 bit compatibility took.

19 February, 2012
Brian Maxim

My customers will be very happy to hear the "pivot grid will gain filtering by summaries" for WinForms.

Thank you DX!

20 February, 2012
Michael Thuma

Thank you DX, for keeping us informed.

20 February, 2012
Matt Jacobi

Since you said WinForms will be supported as long as customers demand it, let me throw out a big: WinForms is still important!

That being said, making WinForms look like Metro seems odd. Client desktop applications are client desktop applications, Metro is Metro, at least as far as I see it. But if there is demand for that from other customers, so be it.

20 February, 2012
Mark Harby

Thanks for update Julian.


Totally agree, we all need to calm down and start to separate WinForms and Metro.

I think Windows 8, Metro and the new WinRT will bring a different kind of opportunity like the ability to develop for a tablet without having to learn Object C, but WinForms isn't going anywhere for a long time. Hell, I even had to spend 5 days maintaining a VB6 app recently.

The apps we are developing today with WinForms and DX are highly optimized, line-of-business data-entry applications, I've said it before on these forums, it just doesn't migrate to touch.

Has anyone tried completing  a complex on-line form on an iPad ?

Just saying.

20 February, 2012
Fırat Esmer

"Of course, we'll be improving the ASP.NET products to support all the upcoming new Microsoft technologies like Internet Explorer 10, ASP.NET MVC 4, and new ASP.NET framework, as well as VS11."


20 February, 2012
José Enrique

Thanks Julian, you know how to maximize de audience.


About complex on-line form on a tablet... I'm agree with you. This kind of devices often need of specific aproach, something like workflows or wizards derived from a workflow design. It's a pity but at present I can't do that with DevExpress technology and need third party frameworks oriented to mobile (not only tablets), a big piece of cake DevExpress still  is not bitting (hey @Julian, it's very savory!)

21 February, 2012
Iskandar Achmad

As VCL Subscriber I honestly am very exited, but still wondering about what was left in 2011 implementation.

As I ask in support center about what was left in 2011 for PivotGrid features. Even WinForm PivotGrid still have a fresh new feature.

23 February, 2012
Manolis Perrakis

OK, not a single comments regarding previous years commitments regarding VCL subscription?

What kind of behavior is this?

Maybe you thing that by adopting Windows 8 styles you will get more customers, and therefore you are leaving components half finished (gantt view), operations that create very bad impressions to us developers and most of all to the end users (such as export to Excel functions, end user custiomization of Pivot Grid etc.)

You think that we as developers are paid from components such as alert windows,  Breadcrumb Controls or clock controls etc..

After nearly ten years of subscription I'm really very dissapointed and frustrated

24 February, 2012
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Manolis: I'm not quite sure what you want me to say. We put out a lot of new functionality for our VCL products in 2011, and it was, after all, a big change year for us. Starting the move to subscriptions only, providing a trial version, supporting 64-bit Delph -- some big changes. For information, the two major What's New lists are here:

Now, did we provide server mode as we promised? No, we didn't, we just ran out of time and resources. The team aren't happy about it either. Can the Gantt view be enhanced from the initial version? Sure. Are we doing features you don't want and ignoring features you do want? Of course. No matter what we do, we won't satisfy all our customers. It's just impossible with a product as wide and as deep as the VCL Subscription.

And I'm sorry to have to say this but we do have to attract new customers for our VCL product line (because if not, we shut it down). And if Windows 8 styles, clock controls, breadcrumbs, alert windows, all those things you are belittling, draws them in, we all win (and by gosh it's *actually* working -- our numbers of new customers are increasing).

And again: the roadmap is a plan of what we would like to do, not what we shall do. If the two lists coincide, great. If they diverge, all that can be said is that we suck at prognosticating, not that we are deliberately trying to fool our customers.

Cheers, Julian

24 February, 2012
Manolis Perrakis

Hi Julian,

First of all I think you make a very big mistake. You get new customers not because of controls such as alert windows, breadcrumbs etc. If customers wanted that controls they can get it from TMS. With a subscription of 195 Euros for nearly 2 years they can get hundreds of components. In fact TMS has started to release Metro styles controls since October.

People come to devexpress because either now or in the future they or will use the power of Grids. TMS will never have grids , pivots and also eventually a gantt with the power you provide. And I think there are cases you forget that or that you think that things that the vcl users are asking are insignificat.

1st Issue. Optimize export to excel from grid and pivot

(number format, master detail export and simplified pivot grid output). You continuously ignoring these requests. I challenge you to ask the vcl users and especially the vcl subscribers to vote with percentage of priority and significance against alert windows and other small components that you released and spend resources the previous year. For me is 99% the export and 1% alert windows and componets with the same resources.

And tell them to comment on the affect has this and their image and on devexpress quality and also the number of complaints they get from end users. You will get a great passion.

2nd Issue. Gantt chart. There is no Gantt chart usability without the treeview list in the resources. Check all gantt charts in the internet and you will not find any component without a tree list or a grid. Therefore all the work you done the previous year cannot be used for a gantt presentation. The funny thing is when devexpress in 2002 I think sent me an email and making me an offer to upgrade to VCL subcription (which I finally did) they promised me a gantt view next year, nearly 10 years ago. And it is not such a clever thing to start something leave it half finished and then say nothing like it never existed. We all understand the resources issues we have patience (10 years I think is not a little thing and since then I had to purcahse phGantt which cannot be used in Delphi XE ) but you must finish with this and promise a timeline since it was scheduled for the first half of 2011.

Best Regards,


25 February, 2012
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Manolis: Please don't assume that I, who works at Developer Express and who can see what our revenues are from our VCL products and who is buying them, don't know what I'm talking about. The one way to get new customers to purchase our most expensive VCL package is to have the things you deride and that is being borne out in spades. I hate to say this, but our improved VCL sales have put us in a bind: we need to grow the team and grow the product and grow its marketing, something that, say, a couple of years ago was impossible to contemplate.

I get that you want certain things from our VCL subscription and in an ideal world I'd be able to give you want you want and every single other VCL customer what they want. (And personally speaking I'll admit the export to Excel seems like something we should just do, whether we mention it in a roadmap or not.)

But this isn't such a world. We have to prioritize. Things I mentioned in the previous roadmap didn't get done, but other perhaps more valuable things did. It will be the same with this roadmap -- I learned some things about XE3 the other day that might change our plans for the second half of the year. So be it.

Cheers, Julian

28 February, 2012
Manolis Perrakis

OK, now I will be a little hard.

Customers come to the devexpress become Delphi is getting better sales are rising and there is a vision of bulding cross-platform applications.

Devexpress has no competitor in the VCL product line. And I know this since I own for the last years the TMS components. In terms of small components like alert components TMS is much better and offers dozen of components and whole product lines such as smooth controls and now the firemonkey controls.

However Devexpress has nuclear weapons like grids, printing system and skins. Therefore a developer with a vision will choose Devexpress.

I have to say that the last years you minized the practical things that Devexpress is doing. You also lost your connection with the developers. You think that your priorities and management is the cause of the Delphi sales increase. I think this is wrong and you have no clues about this since you don't ask the developers you don't ask the new customers and you don't deliver the most wanted suggestions from the support center.

For example you think alert window is important and you don't and realize that Excel export is used by financial and production managers to analyze the companies data. You cannot realize the expression of a manager who outputs data to Excel and his sees hunderds of demical digits are uneeded columns and has to format and do additional silly and unecessary work.

There are serious complaints from users and dozens of posts in support center and you don't fix these issues since these for the real world are considered bugs. And since I also analyze production and financial data I cannot count the times (I'm sure more than 1 thousand) that I exported data to excel and had to reformatted them the last years. I also have to mention that run time customization of Pivot Grid ia aslo very important since there are many options really usefull that are available in runtime.

Therefore it is not me who wants specific things it is your priorities who are more based in fancy things who are not the priority for the users and actually are not paid for this.

In my opinion you don't actually know the usage and the importance of the Devexpress components in real applications and that you enjoy seing nice graphics with databases like the car database. I think some times you behave like a politician or like a theoritical university professor and don't have deep feeling and knowledge of the deggree of  importance and usage of many things to the end users and to a company in the whole.   Manipulating, analsying and exporting data is much more essential in some cases since these indicate the company position, production progress and wealth.

For the gantt chart. For me is not proffesional your whole  behavior aginst this. Gantt can be used the show the progreess of a factory production or of a workflow process. This is a feature that many developers want and can be used to display summarized data from all the company and can add a great value to us if we manage to use it correctly. Personally I have also signed a contact in which I promised that I will also implement this feature. And sure implemented a gantt chart can be showed as great VCL news in the first devexpress page and it is really silly since it was implemented in more than 80% degree I think.

First you promised it for the volume 2011.1. Then you said you will implemented in 2011 v.2. After some months of wait you posted news for the VCL developers which was the alert window. I couldn't believe it. Then Alex said that it will be developed in December. Then it was marked as planned, then it was scheduled for January and when the roadmap was released it was dissappeared. This is completely unprofessional.

  And now you you are sure that implemeting touch features (since is the fashion) you will get more customers. On what ground do you base this? Did you ask the developers? Did you check the market? Did you see that TMS has released touched base controls since September (TMS MultiTouch SDK v1.0) has also offered a specific hardware device and released a video in youtube that has 21 only views.

  Personally I'm really pissed off, I have no alternative apart from Devexpress, I feel cheated since gantt view was promised 10 years ago, and I see no reason and logic in many of your decisions and arguments.

29 February, 2012
Darren A

Well I for one would like the touch controls in the VCL along with an improved ribbon and better rds optimised skins - after all that's what 'our' clients are looking for, which will help us sell more product.

Although the recent issues with the Scheduler in the last 2 month's have caused us more problems from our clients - having rolled back from the 2.4 due to one bug back to 2.3 due to you guys waiting for the XE2 update before releasing a fixed 2.4, caused all sorts of Scheduler problems in a recent update to a couple of our clients.

So please keep giving us the latest GUI features but speed up the release dates and hire more people to code / fix / bug test please.

29 February, 2012
ahmed altayib ibrahim

more than 6 year we waiting for essential property "right to left support" and still we waiting for it.

i hope that devexpress invest in firemonkey and take care about right to left language

1 March, 2012

I agree that new technologies are implemented in the suite .. eventually we'll get to them .. but if they are on deployment or testing phase, it is best to release them in beta mode for certain customers or selected members. It is best to consider the functionality currently working or are implemented and that for one reason or another are unfinished, otherwise we will be like Windows .. do not stop to solve problems and we are getting into new ones. Active customers? ... of course they are important .. the important thing is to attract new .. (go easy), how hard is manterlos .. please .. projects in the years before customers consider .. thousands or hundreds of applications are available in the kb ... a page to determine the priority would be nice .. does microsoft and other companies .. why DevExpress not? ...

2 March, 2012
Gilbert Houtekamer 1

Thank you for sharing the roadmap. Our developers love your product, thanks for the good work!

Can you comment on the planned availability of surface charts and (2D-)heatmaps?   We would very much want these features, and they were previously planned for delivery in 2011.

7 March, 2012

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