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Discussions, news and rants from the CTO of DevExpress, Julian M Bucknall

DXperience 13.1 will be .NET 4 or above

For quite some time now, we’ve had a somewhat weird split in the platforms we support. For WPF and Silverlight, we moved to a common set of underlying libraries way back in version 10.1, two years ago. As part of this restructuring we decided to take advantage of the new capabilities of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4. Overall, this change has been positive, and the implementation of our set of Windows 8 XAML controls in 12.2 (which require Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5) was made much easier (and quicker) by this decision.

Modern Old TypewriterHowever, our WinForms and WebForms controls have not kept up. For these platforms, we are still supporting .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 or later. This has started to cause some issues with the cross-platform libraries we implement: we’d like to take advantage of newer C# 4 and .NET 4 features for our XAML code (and, indeed, for our WinForms and ASP.NET code), but we’re being held back. One of the biggest features we can’t take advantage of, as an example, is the new dynamic keyword, which is almost de rigueur when writing web code these days.

The other issue is that, we currently support three IDE versions, with all the required extra testing that entails (not to mention that the UI designer in VS 2010 was a big change in and of itself). We also took a look at the statistics we have about which IDEs you, our customers, are using and I’d have to say the vast majority (95%+) are using VS 2010 or VS2012. It seems in the Visual Studio ecosystem, developers tend to stay up to date. Heck, even I’m using VS2012, uppercase menus or not…

Consequently, after some debate, we decided to standardize and make .NET 4 (or later) and Visual Studio 2010 (or later) firm requirements for version 13.1 of DXperience.

Published May 30 2013, 10:40 AM by
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Comments

renejdm

I am using 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008. My yearly renewal for Devexpress WinForms standalone license is June 20, 2013.

Does this mean that I have to upgrade to Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4?

If so, I will not be renewing. I do not think that you have given me enough time to make the change. You are about to release 13.1 and you are just mentioning this now?????

Please respond.

Rene

May 30, 2013 3:02 PM

Dave Hesketh

I agree with your decision to have these minimum requirements. As for people like Rene who say they don't have enough time, they can still use previous versions of your subscription. One of the biggest parts of renewal every year is the support. Nobody has a support team like you guys do.

Good decision.

May 30, 2013 3:21 PM

FloridaDevs

Well said Dave...my first reaction was much shorter and a bit harsh.

May 30, 2013 3:29 PM

John Fedak

What is the stated position on the Client profile support (either as a whole or on a module by module basis)

May 30, 2013 3:48 PM

John Fedak

While I agree with the technical decision to move to .Net 4 I am very disappointed in waiting for a week or two before the release to announce it.

A change of that magnitude for WinForm developers absolutely should have been telegraphed in the yearly roadmap- and failing that should have been announced as soon as the decision was made.

We are now left with springing this announcement onto our desktop support groups outside of the established yearly plans and budgets.  

May 30, 2013 3:53 PM

Mark Harby

Have to say I agree with this decision.

May 30, 2013 4:03 PM

renejdm

@Dave and Floridadevs,

It is easy to be glib about something that does not affect you. This announcement comes 1-2 weeks before release. Why? The decision was made months ago. At that time your clients should have been informed.

Rene

May 30, 2013 4:09 PM

Thomas Zettl

Announcing a decision like this just a few days before the new release is something I would not dare to communicate to MY customers.

Rather disappointing.

May 30, 2013 4:35 PM

Edgar Ricárdez Peralta

Absolutely agree with this decision

May 30, 2013 6:26 PM

Laurence

This decision should have been publicized as soon as it was known.  We have been waiting for the new Map control that 13.1 will provide, to add to our .Net 3.5 app.  This news really throws a spanner in the works.

May 30, 2013 7:13 PM

Benjamin Hofmann

Luckily we moved our product last year to .NET 4 so I only take notice. And I also understand the technical reasons behind it.

Nevertheless I absolutely agree that the timeframe of the announcement to the upcoming release is far too short. Especially since I assume that this decision wasn't done just recently.

Well now that the cat is out of the bag I think you guys at DevExpress should take as very crucial feedback that please communicate those major changes earlier in future.

May 31, 2013 2:08 AM

InterAnalysis

I have to agree that the time frame for this announcement is far to short.

Our main product, (20+ Visual Studio projects) is on .NET 3.5 and some of our customers are still using Windows XP.  

I know that at sometime we all need to move forward but the planning for this does not just involved changing a few options in Visual Studio to compile under a different framework!

Martin

May 31, 2013 5:19 AM

Gerhard Achrainer

How long will 12.2 be supported after the relase of 13.1? It'll take quite some time to upgrade all clients.

May 31, 2013 7:13 AM

Crono

I completely agree with everybody here who mentionned how short the time frame is for such a big announcement.

As much as I understand your desire of moving on to .NET 4.0, you had absolutely NO reason to keep that to yourself for so long. Keeping your customers at such a distance for something this big is unacceptable.

This is adding up to the many reasons I'm struggling to move away from your products. I need a vendor I can trust.

May 31, 2013 9:33 AM

Scott G Blood

I have to say Julian that doing this in such a short time frame has pretty much made it pointless me having our subscription upgraded this year, might as well wait a year (or even more) for the .net framework 4.0 to be added to our standard gold image used to build 3000 + PC's in our infrastructure.

Will continue usnig the tools that i am licensed for, however as we are still running on 12.2.7 quite happily, i no longer see a point to having a subscription if i am going to be unable to use the new features for a year +.

Had this been communicated much earlier, a business case could of been established to have the whole estate updated, however considering corporate governence and accountability, this is not something that could be done in weeks to make use of your new features.

See you in a year or so's time.

Thanks.

May 31, 2013 10:11 AM

Christopher D. Todd

Although this has no effect on me, I feel compelled to at least speak up with everyone else and say that this is pretty short notice. I think giving everyone at least until vol2 to make the jump to 4 would be fair. BTW, I think this is an email worthy event.

May 31, 2013 1:27 PM

John Fedak

> I think this is an email worthy event.

Yup.  This.  

There are going to be a *lot* of unhappy customers who don't follow the blog who are going to first learn of this when the project converter maps their solutions.

May 31, 2013 5:53 PM

Robert Kapuściński

> Our main product, (20+ Visual Studio projects)

> is on .NET 3.5 and some of our customers are still using

> Windows XP.

Don't wory, .net 4 will work on WinXP SP3.

W also have many customers with Windows XP. Since long time ago we use only .net 4.

June 2, 2013 5:18 PM

Vincent Micallef Decesare

Really disappointing, this was handled rather poorly.

The extremely short notice does not allow us to prepare all our clients for the move to .NET4 in a timely manner.

We also strongly feel that all DevEx clients should have been consulted before this decision was made.

June 3, 2013 5:14 AM

Martin Brekhof

>> There are going to be a *lot* of unhappy customers who

>> don't follow the blog who are going to first learn of this when

>> the project converter maps their solutions.

Absolutely right, reading "breaking changes" is an overrated effort, just try and see where it crashes is much more productive!

June 3, 2013 9:51 AM

James Foye

I guess I agree with the "short notice" complaint, but technically it seems like a sound decision. In general, I don't think it's entirely logical for folks to want the latest and greatest from their 3rd party control vendors, but not have already upgraded from .NET 3.5 to 4.0 by now.

My two cents.

June 5, 2013 12:42 PM

CESAR F. QüEB

is this the main reason why the WPF project wizard is not available in VS2010?. The wizard for WPF requires the Framework 4.5?

Thank you

June 15, 2013 3:34 PM

CESAR F. QüEB

I am convincing my boss purchase DevExpress 2013.1 components..., and now it turns out that we have to purchase licenses for vs2012 to work with WPF components?... This announcement should be notified with anticipation, not when virtually the product is released, as says Renejdm.

June 15, 2013 3:43 PM

Christophe Keller @ PTS

I'm also annoyed by this communication blunder. I hope that at least we'll get bug fixes in the 12.2 line until Windows XP support by Microsoft stops next year. Most of the PCs in our office are still running Windows XP.

June 25, 2013 5:34 AM

Christian Senft

I also wonder how long will 12.2 be supported after the relase of 13.1?

July 2, 2013 4:38 AM

Mike F

Although I agree with the decision, why wait until a week or so before the release of 13.1 to announce this.  Wouldn't it have been more appropriate and fair to your customers to let everyone know as soon as the decision to drop .NET 3.5 was reached?  I don't get it.

July 31, 2013 11:15 PM

Jonathan Walker 3

You're expecting the 38% of users still using Windows XP to download the .NET 4 run time?

August 2, 2013 5:02 AM

Michael Thuma

I just upgraded from VS 2003 and honestly there is nothing wrong with VS2012 and .net 4.x and above. I think upgrading to .net 4.x really does pay and should be beneficial for everyone involved.

August 15, 2013 5:51 AM

ari laksono

nice, i use .Net 4 with VS2012.

let try http://www.mysap3.com

Simple And Possible ERP like using Ms Excel

August 17, 2013 5:04 AM

VIVIANA DI ROCCO

I' ve not updated for a while and that's my fault. But I discovered it just after installed the new version, I never heard about that. I'm not happy about it, I understand clearly your technical needs but You lacked in communication.

Best regards.

August 30, 2013 5:55 AM

Neil Baliga

I'm fine as long as there is continued maintenance releases for the 3.5 installed base. This did SURPRISE me when I downloaded, and found out that I could not build.

BTW, saying you want to optimize XAML so all platforms need to upgrade is nonsensical. IDE requirements are understandable, but .NET framework is not something I can just force my end users to upgrade to - they have tight controls on their runtime systems.

Just like you, I too cannot manage MULTIPLE frameworks for my customers, so am going to sit out v13. Had to revert to v12 and probably going to stay on it for another year or so.

October 4, 2013 3:02 PM

mrjoltcola

Want to throw my vote in on the side of approval of this decision. I've been maintaining apps based on DX 11 and DX 12 for several years now (without support) and at the latest patch levels, there is nothing wrong with those versions, they are high quality and stable. I lately decided it was time for .NET 4.0 myself, and bought a new subscription for DX 13, but am keeping DX 12 installed for legacy stuff (and there is DX 11 in my archive). Supporting many customers means you cant always make the 100% pleasing decision. Fact is, you can try the alternatives (to DevExpress), I just returned from a couple of projects with a competitor. Haven't found any other support out there that matches DevExpress and is why I came back.

April 6, 2014 5:30 PM

About Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

Julian is the Chief Technology Officer at Developer Express. You can reach him directly at julianb@devexpress.com. You can also follow him on Twitter with the ID JMBucknall.
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