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November 2016 - Posts

  • WinForms and WPF Spreadsheet Control – Exciting New Features Coming Soon in v16.2

    Microsoft Excel: ubiquitous, powerful, and familiar. Given its prevalence and breadth of functionality, there’ll always be a new feature to add to the DevExpress WinForms and WPF Spreadsheet control and for v16.2 it seems our dev team have gone above and beyond. Even so, I’m going to guess that the first feature I will introduce will have you installing the beta without hesitation.

    Two-Way Data Binding

    With this release, you can now bind a worksheet or specific range of cells to a standard data source. And that binding works both ways: for both reading and updating of data. While that sinks in, let me point out a few benefits. Last time, in v16.1, we added integrated cell editors. Suddenly you could create “forms” inside your spreadsheets and within your app. Data Entry forms, for example. Your users are up to speed with the whole spreadsheet UX (user experience), so designing forms in that familiar environment makes sense. And now, the data they enter can be read from and stored in your database, not just in the spreadsheet. It becomes shared. If you like, the spreadsheet is no longer an island, but is a gateway to the data you are already storing and processing.

    We’ve gone even further: A cell range inside an open spreadsheet in the control can also be used as a data source for any DevExpress or third-party data-aware control (so the Data Grid, Charts, etc) in your app. All data-related modifications affecting the worksheet are immediately propagated to bound controls and changes made within external controls are immediately reflected in the worksheet. The Spreadsheet control and its documents become highly integrated in your app.

    Another example before I move on: invoicing. This involves gathering data, often row-oriented data with summation, discounts and the like. That data is important, so much be saved in the database. Then there’s the need to generate the invoice as a report to be sent out. Which leads to…

    Print Titles

    The v16.2 DevExpress Spreadsheet control allows you to print titles for documents. If the worksheet is large enough to spread across two or more pages in the printed report, the titles (row and/or column headings) can be repeated on subsequent pages.

    Print titles in WinForms and WPF Spreadsheet Controls

    New Formatting Rule Dialog

    The Spreadsheet control in v16.2 ships with a new Formatting Rule dialog. This dialog helps end-users customize the appearance of cells and by using conditional formatting.

    Format Condition Dialog in WinForms and WPF Spreadsheet Controls

    XLSX/XLSM File Encryption

    Finally, in v16.2 we’ve added the ability to encrypt the spreadsheets created by the Spreadsheet Control. You can encrypt documents using either standard or agile XLSX/XLSM encryption.

    Encryption in WinForms and WPF Spreadsheet Controls

  • Using Visual Studio 2017 RC with DevExpress: some caution needed

    As I posted yesterday, the newly published DevExpress Universal v16.1.8 supports the Release Candidate for Visual Studio 2017. VS2017 RC is a pretty stable release; however, you should be careful: this is still a beta and you may encounter issues as you experiment with it together with our controls, frameworks, and tools.

    CAUTION SPEED BUMPAs a brief example, here’s an issue that’s simple to appreciate: VS2017 RC does not include an offline help viewer
    VS2017 RC Support: The IDE doesn't include an offline Help Viewer, CHM and PDF options are available as offline documentation

    Apart from this one, these are the issues we’ve identified so far (and be aware that these issues only occur with the VS2017 RC build, earlier IDE versions are fine). Some of them have been reported to Microsoft, and with some of them we’re investigating various workarounds.

    LINQ to SQL related issues:

    The Project Wizard's "Generate Sample Data" functionality requires LINQ to SQL components to generate data context from DBML data model. Visual Studio 2017 installation doesn't enable the necessary modules by default:
    VS2017 RC Support: ASP.NET WebForms/MVC Project Wizard - "Generate Sample Data" option on the "Choose Layout" tab is disabled

    The LINQ to SQL option in the WinForms and WPF Data Source Configuration Wizards requires the corresponding Visual Studio modules, which are not installed by default:
    VS2017 RC Support: Availability of "LINQ to SQL" option in WinForms and WPF Data Source Configuration Wizards depends on Visual Studio configuration

    DevExtreme:

    Because of changes in the IVsProject.AddItem method implementation in VS 2017, a null reference exception is thrown in the DevExtreme design dll:
    VS2017 RC Support: "Multi-Channel Application" template - NullReferenceException is thrown during project generation

    There seems to have been a change in the folder structure in VS2017 RC, which causes compile errors. We need more time to investigate:  
    VS2017 RC Support: "WCF OData Service" template - compile errors in generated projects

    XPO:

    XPO uses Visual Studio's Modeling SDK as the basis for the UML editor, but this is not yet shipped as part of VS2017 RC:
    VS2017 RC Support: Persistent class visual designer is not available

    XAF:

    The Model Editor does not load at first; the “fix” at the moment is to just try again:
    VS2017 RC Support: Model Editor does not load on first attempt

    CodeRush:

    Several issues here. We need more time to investigate.

    VS2017 RC Support: "g2x2" template produces incorrect results

    VS2017 RC Support: "Add Parameter" refactoring incorrectly resolves argument type

    VS2017 RC Support: Test Runner doesn't run xUnit tests in a .NET core app

    VS2017 RC Support: Test Runner doesn't run unit tests created with Visual Studio

    UWP:

    Not particularly associated with VS2017 RC per se, but instead to do with UAP (Universal APP Platform) 5.2.2. Something to do with non-generic collections, perhaps? Anyway, it’s been reported to Microsoft:
    VS2017 RC Support: BadImageFormatException is thrown in visual designer if XAML contains certain DevExpress controls

     

    Of course, if you do run into any other issues with VS2017 RC, please contact our support team. They’ll be happy to investigate and help.

  • DevExpress Universal v16.1.8 supports Visual Studio 2017 RC

    Earlier this morning we released v16.1.8 of DevExpress Universal. Normally such a minor release would not necessitate a blog post �� after all, minor releases are about bug fixes and performance enhancements and not by definition about new features – but this time we wanted to highlight some fresh functionality that coincides with an important announcement by Microsoft at their Connect(); conference in New York.

    That announcement? Microsoft have released the Release Candidate of Visual Studio 2017. VS2017 has numerous new features and enhancements, too many to detail here, but one of them is kind of important from our viewpoint: they’ve changed the installation procedure for not only Visual Studio itself (you can install only what you want – biggest change: no need to install .NET support if you’re not developing for that run-time), but also of external components, libraries and plug-ins as well. To help you test out this new IDE with your favorite component and tools library, we’ve added VS2017 RC support to our installer.

    So, hurry over to the Download Center, download DevExpress Universal 16.1.8, install into VS2017 RC, and enjoy!

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