Our VCL team have been working diligently towards the 13.2 release of DevExpress VCL for mid-December, and as part of that work have just published the beta for active customers of the full VCL subscription. If you are such a subscriber, just login using your DevExpress credentials, go to the Download Center, and download the beta. Do note however that this is a beta: we’re pretty happy with it, but we’re still in polishing mode and there will be some issues that still need fixing.
You can discover the new features by visiting the What’s New page, but just to whet your appetite, here are some of the improvements to the suite. You’ll notice in particular that we are continuing to concentrate on bringing your VCL applications into the modern era of easily available touch-capable devices like laptops and tablets.
Enhanced touch for the following controls: Filter Control, Page Control, Tab Control, Date Editor, Blob Editor. It can’t have come as any surprise, but the number of touch-enabled laptops and tablets running full Windows 8.1 is growing rapidly. Your users now expect touch capabilities in a modern app: with DevExpress VCL you can deliver.
Added pixel scrolling – which is de rigueur for touch-enabled applications – to the tree list (ExpressQuantumTreeList), the property inspector (ExpressVerticalGrid), and the layout view for the grid (ExpressQuantumGrid). For the latter control that means we have flawless pixel scrolling for Table Views, Banded Table Views, and Layout Views.
Four new application themes: Metropolis, Metropolis Dark, Office 2013 Light Gray, and Office 2013 Dark Gray. Nowhere else in the VCL community will you find such a breadth of choice for modern themes (in fact, we now have 45 skins to choose from).
New DevExpress Icon Library and Manager. Our design team had a few days off at a retreat and produced this rich set of icons. They’re designed expressly for our customers to cover the majority of application actions. We’ve packaged that library of icons up with a design-time image picker so that it’s much easier to style your controls.
Windows 8.1 added more features to the Start Screen, including small square tiles, so we’ve responded by updating our tile control to cover these changes. Expect group captions and multi-tile rearrangement using drag and drop.
The Layout Control now has enhanced targeting: we’ve added intuitive indicators that show all place where a drop operation can take place. Layout items can now enforce size limitations when their size is dynamically calculated.
I’m sure that you’ll be pleased with our continuing innovation in the VCL space. Our team is awaiting your feedback, so please try out the beta and let the support team know what you think.
(For completeness’ sake: the DevExpress VCL Subscription supports Delphi 7, 2007, 2010, XE, XE2, XE3, XE4, XE5, and C++Builder 2007, 2010, XE, XE2, XE3, XE4, XE5, in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. I reiterate my usual warning that support for the older compilers – especially the “non-Unicode” versions – may be marked obsolete with the next major version. I’d strongly recommend you consider upgrading.)