Happy Anniversary! DevExpress is 15 years old

ctodx
05 November 2013

Once upon a time in a land far far away there was a group of developers who had been writing financial apps in Borland Delphi for banks. After a couple or so of these, they noticed that they were writing the same UI code over and over, but just applying it to different scenarios. Abstract out the scenario details and … they had a UI control that can be used in lots of applications. Lather, rinse, repeat a few times and they soon had lots of them.

Enter a knight in shining armor (as it were), a guru at marketing and selling, also in the app-writing business. He was contacted by this group of developers: can you help us package these controls and sell them?

First DevExpress LogoThe rest is history. A company was formed, and the first UI control product was released in November 1998 (I’m reliably told November 22) under the company name of Developer Express (and pretty soon that was abbreviated to DevExpress). Yes, it was fifteen years ago.

Speaking personally, I would have to say that the first time I became really aware of DevExpress was at the Borland Conference (BorCon) in Philadelphia in July 1999, eight months later. At that time I was working for a competitor, TurboPower Software, who, as it happened, also wrote and sold UI control packages (my readers from that time will remember Orpheus was the name of this control set) as well as other kinds of libraries for Delphi. I say “really aware” because TurboPower had other competitors, more well established than this new upstart.

That BorCon was the first time I met Ray Navasarkian, the President of DevExpress (and who is now my boss). We’d meet up regularly at every BorCon from then on, until essentially they didn’t happen anymore, and TurboPower was eventually closed down.

During those early years DevExpress continued to produce new UI libraries for Delphi on a regular basis. The founders stayed on, the dev teams increased in size, and suddenly there was another opportunity on the horizon: Visual Studio .NET and this new language called C#. DevExpress seized the initiative: rewrite all their controls in C#, using everything they had learned about writing and marketing UI controls in the meantime. The whole company was involved to such an extent that the first third-party .NET WinForms product was released by DevExpress in 2001 while Visual Studio .NET was still in beta. Even more than that, unlike the older Visual Studio and support for VBXs, DevExpress released the full source code as well, setting the stage for the market we are in now.

Second DevExpress LogoSince then, DevExpress have supported new .NET platforms as they came along: ASP.NET, WPF, Silverlight, Windows 8 XAML, ASP.NET MVC and ancillary libraries and features such as Entity Framework, Azure, Coded UI, and so on. I joined as CTO some seven and a half years ago (meaning my tenure here is half as old as DevExpress itself) – I’d used DevExpress’ very first ASP.NET grid in a large application for a non-profit, so considered myself somewhat of an expert – and the company has grown dramatically from then on, until reaching the point where we’re now releasing HTML/JavaScript frameworks and tools. And we’re not stopping now: we have some very interesting ideas for the future.

More impressive to me perhaps is the morale and health of the company as we’ve grown. DevExpress is a fantastic company to work for. Everyone is enthusiastic about the products and their colleagues, turnover is very low (all the founders are still here and ditto those early developers), the support team are the best in our business, our tech writing team (which includes the proofing team) produce some sterling documentation, the developers write great features and enhancements, our designers have learned to beat down and tame the developers – all in all, a great group of people.

Current DevExpress LogoOf course, we couldn’t have become what we are now without you, our customers. You’ve been supportive, you’ve cheered, you’ve complained, you’ve provided great feedback, you’ve cajoled us into providing features, you’ve been along for the ride. Customers are important enough that we have just set up our new Developer Advocates team to give you a point of contact should you need more from us.

To mark this occasion, throughout the month of November, we’ll be running some contests with great prizes, we’re going to give away gifts, and we’ll be raising money for charitable organizations via eBay auctions. To join the celebration, follow us on our blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube and watch out for the announcements.

On behalf of all of DevExpress, I would like to thank you for the first 15 years and here’s to another 15!

14 comment(s)
Daniel Gochin
Daniel Gochin

"turnover is very low" ?

I think you mean staff turnover :)

5 November, 2013
Nate Laff
Nate Laff

Congratulations! Been a user since 2004 using Delphi and moved to .NET in 2005 I think!

5 November, 2013
Orhan ÖCAL
Orhan ÖCAL

Congratulations...

6 November, 2013
Boris Bosnjak
Boris Bosnjak

Congratulations!

It seems DevExpress has been around forever (I knew them when I was working with Delphi 3-5).  Consistent quality and value describes DevExpress as a company and their product.  Low staff turnover explains that a lot!

6 November, 2013
Hans Nieuwenhuis
Hans Nieuwenhuis

Congratulations!

And yes, I remember TurboPower...

Wish you many more happy and productive years!

6 November, 2013
Junior Thurler
Junior Thurler

Yes, I've started to use products from DevExpress since the version 2.0 of XtraGrid (delphi version), in 1999!

I love yours products and all my programs use they extensivelly. I wouldn't imagine a world without DX Assemblies!!! lol

6 November, 2013
Geert Depickere
Geert Depickere

Congrats to the complete DevEx team!

Up to the next 15 years!

6 November, 2013
Jim Foye
Jim Foye

Ha, I remember using TurboPower Async Professional on a project. Very good product, as I recall.

6 November, 2013
ari laksono
ari laksono

Best Product, last year i got the Achievement ICT Award for my IDEA ERP UI Excel 2007, Fantastic, thanks a lot DevExpress.

7 November, 2013
QUALCO SA
QUALCO SA

Congrats!!!!

7 November, 2013
Crono
Crono

I remember migrating from XtraGrid v2 to v3. The new ability to sort grid columns by actual combobox text values rather than field value felt like Christmas back then. :)

7 November, 2013
Mike Falcon (DevExpress)
Mike Falcon (DevExpress)

Crono: I remember doing it :).

11 November, 2013
TaeHyun
TaeHyun

Congratulations :D

The DevExpress exceeded all expectations !!

15 November, 2013
John Smith 209
John Smith 209

Congratulations!

15 November, 2013

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