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May 2015 - Posts

  • It’s Microsoft TechDays next week. Where? The Hague!

    Thursday and Friday next week (that’s the 28th and 29th May to you), DevExpress will have a booth at Microsoft TechDays at the World Forum in Den Haag. We were there last year as well and liked it enough to come back this year as a Silver Sponsor! Present will be Don Wibier and myself doing the technical stuff – essentially a repeat of the Techorama dynamic from last week – and John Martin will be in charge of giving out the swag. And, well, in charge of us two also. Seriously, it was great fun last year and we’re excited to be back!

    So, if you’re going to be there in The Hague, please do come over to the DevExpress booth. We’ll be happy to talk about our current product line and show off what’s coming up in v15.1. Also, given the recent news out of Build, you’ll get an excellent opportunity to ask us what we think about the possibilities for new features that face us in the second half of the year. You know: Windows Universal Apps, Windows 10, Visual Studio 2015, ASP.NET 5, etc, etc. Plus, remember that Don can speak Dutch like a native (because he is)so you can chat away with him and I’ll just stand there with a fixed smile and hand you a t-shirt. Mind you, Don is presenting a couple of sessions (“Breaking Bad: you CAN make Fast Web Pages” on Thursday at 15:00, and “Consuming Azure Mobile Services in a JavaScript App” on Friday at 13:30), so I’ll be taking charge of the booth during those hours.

    Oh, and Rachel tells me that we will have a raffle as well, maybe even one each day. So you just have to come to the booth and grab a ticket. Maybe you’ll be the winner!

    See you Thursday!

  • DevExpress TestCafe v15.1 now shipping

    If you are a frequent visitor to the Download Portal on devexpress.com, you may already have noticed that we have published a new version of TestCafe, version 15.1. I am proud to announce that this is indeed the case: TestCafe v15.1 has been published and is now shipping.

    TestCafe_v15_1_NowShippingTestCafe is the automated testing platform for next-gen web applications. Not only that, but unlike other web-testing solutions, you don’t have to install awkward plugins into your browsers in order to do testing; that’s so 20th century. TestCafe provides your QA teams with the tools to start testing any web app in any browser that supports HTML5. Even better, TestCafe is OS-agnostic: the browsers can be running on Windows, Mac, Linux, or mobile OSes like iOS and Android.

    Over the past few months, we have been soliciting feedback from customers and testers on what they liked about TestCafe and what they thought was missing. Consequently, the responses have driven our enhancements to the product in v15.1 and I feel that the team has outdone itself with this release.

    Automated Screenshot Capture (ASC). From v15.1 you can add the capability to capture a screenshot of the web app as part of a test. So, as a very basic example, you can capture the web view if an error occurs in the test: sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

    Enhanced Test Result View, Export Results. Sometimes just seeing the results of your tests isn’t enough, you need to analyze them in more detail. We’ve therefore improved the usability of the Results page by adding the ability to sort, group, and filter the results of your test runs. Not only that, but you can export the results of your tests in JSON, JUnit, or NUnit formats.

    Extensive Assertion Failure Reports. The new Results tab includes additional information about assertion failures: the test code line that failed, the differences between actual and expected values, and even a screenshot using the new ASC feature.

    Failing on a JavaScript Error. TestCafe now includes the ability to fail a test should a JavaScript error be detected in the page.

    All in all, TestCafe v15.1 is a very worthwhile release. If you are already an active customer and using it right now, go to the Download Portal and get it. You certainly won’t regret upgrading. If you are designing and implementing web applications, consider the testing phase of your project and evaluate TestCafe right now.

  • Techorama: what an awesome conference!

    Last week, Don Wibier and I manned the DevExpress booth at Techorama, what I’d characterize as the premier developer conference for Belgium. It was in a delightful little town as well: Mechelen, just north of Brussels. Even better, Techorama was in a local multiplex cinema, Utopolis – it was weird seeing posters for movies on the walls for a conference.

    Canalside in Mechelen

    The organization of the conference was superb: 800 attendees, 50-odd speakers, a dozen exhibitors, WiFi that worked and wasn’t underpowered, and no problems worth mentioning. It was lucky, shall we say, that Don is a native Dutch speaker: the majority of attendees, I’d guess, were Flemish or Dutch and I only had the odd occasion to practice what little French I have left. It helped of course that we had swag to help the conversations along; such as t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, laptop stickers. We even raffled off a couple of portable bluetooth speakers.

    Don in the DevExpress booth at Techorama

    And what conversations we had! Don managed to get in some demos – yes, actual demos of the product! The most popular topics were undoubtedly ASP.NET and DevExtreme, although many of the customers we met (and we met many) confided into using mainly WinForms in their projects. There was also a healthy interest in Universal Windows apps, a topic we shall be talking about in some detail very soon (perhaps even sooner than you think).

    Don demoing at the DevExpress booth

    All in all, over a fairly intense couple of days, we managed to speak with most of the attendees, I’d say; some even more than once. It’s great to see such passion about developing software and such excitement about what the .NET (or Visual Studio) future brings. Thanks – dankjewel! – to all who came to say hi: I shall certainly recommend we come back next year.

    Saint Rumbold's Tower and Cathedral

    Wacky moment of the trip: this is Saint Rumbold’s Cathedral with its iconic unfinished tower, visible for miles around. In Dutch, that’s Sint-Rombout, which is also the name of a well-known brand of coffee – Rombouts. Confused, moi?

    In a week’s time it’s Microsoft TechDays in The Hague, Netherlands. More double Dutch for me!

  • Techorama 2015 at Utopolis Mechelen, Belgium – we’ll be there!

    Techorama 2015 is a developers’ conference in Belgium, so what’s not to like? It’s in Mechelen, which is, according to Google Maps, some 30 km north of Brussels (and only 21.1 km from the airport) on May 12 and 13 (that’s next Tuesday and Wednesday to you).

    This is a new conference for us, and we’re sponsoring it as a Gold Partner. To make sure the booth is run properly, our Euro-Events Executive Organizer (pronounced “eee-aw”) Rachel insisted that both Don Wibier and I man it, and this we will do to the best of our ability. We have been selected, shall we say, because we are ace at giving out swag. Plus, Don can speak Dutch like a native (because he is) and I can speak French like a bad tourist (because I am), so we’ll fit right into the Belgian bi-language norm. Only in cases of extreme difficulty will I switch into English (like, pretty much immediately).

    So, if you’ll be there, please do come over to the DevExpress booth. We’ll be happy to talk about our current product line and drop several hush-hush hints about what’s coming up in v15.1. Also, given the news out of Build last week, you’ll get an excellent opportunity to ask us what we think about the possibilities for new features that face us in the second half of the year. You know: Windows Universal Apps, Windows 10, Visual Studio 2015, ASP.NET 5, etc, etc.

    And if you’ll not be there? Well, you’ll miss out on all that. And on the swag.

    See you Tuesday!

  • Microsoft Build 2015 – what a blast!

    Well, it’s over, and what a Build it was! I won’t go over what Microsoft had to say – it’s been done to death in news articles, blogs, and tweets – but with regard to DevExpress and its products, possibly the more important things were Visual Studio 2015 RC, Visual Studio Code, Microsoft Edge (née Project Spartan), and Windows 10/Universal Apps. We shall be talking about these announcements and products in the coming weeks and months as we explain how and when we will be supporting them.

    This time the arrangement of the “Exhibitors Hall” was different. First, there wasn’t a hall per se, instead the the booths were separated on three floors in Moscone West. We were on the Cloud Platform and Developer Tools floor (the third floor, and the same as the main Keynote floor in fact) and, despite it being at the top of the building, we had a steady flow of customers, old friends, and, I hope, customers-to-be.

    Partner booths at Microsoft Build 2015

    We had a booth and, as is common with Builds through the years, every vendor’s booth was the same. Here’s Mehul at ours.

    DevExpress booth with Mehul Harry at Microsoft Build 2015

    Mehul and I fielded every question we could, gave out swag (the shrink-wrapped UI Superhero t-shirts were very popular), and demoed as much as we could. There were, shall we say, many questions about v15.1, our next major release, and, although we couldn’t say too much at the show, we did encourage everyone to stay tuned since we’re about to start blogging about the new features.

    Mehul demoing DevExtreme on a Nokia phone

    It was great to see so many people with such a strong sense of passion and excitement about the future. I’d have to say we were buoyed up by the enthusiasm of the attendees for the news that Microsoft presented and what it meant for their development stories.

    And next week? It’s Microsoft Ignite!

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