Fun times at Microsoft Tech Summit, Frankfurt

Last week, on Wednesday and Thursday, was the Microsoft Tech Summit (MTS) at the Messe Frankfurt. Hall 3 to be precise. And you had to be precise: although the Messe is a sprawling convention center with six halls, let alone the concert hall (pictured), due to security concerns you had to enter by one gate and one gate only.

Messe Concert hall

With me was Przemysław Włodarczak, our whizz CodeRush developer from Poland, so you can imagine that the CodeRush demos he did in the booth were something to be experienced. Me, on the other hand, I had my hands full in demoing our WPF controls, as well as DevExtreme, especially for ASP.NET Core and Angular. We met existing customers (including a couple who were weaning themselves off their Silverlight apps!) and touched base with some possible new customers. Let’s hope we were able to sway them with our demos, if not the DevExpress Eat-Sleep-Code t-shirts we were giving away.

DX booth

The surreal thing about this MTS event was the layout in the hall. To emphasize the themes of Cloud, Cloud management and development, the sessions were all held in eleven “Cloud” tents inside the Hall. These were inflatable white tents with rows of seating inside. An imaginative solution, to be sure, although I was told the really popular sessions meant that things got a little warm inside.

DX booth showing clouds

Inside session cloud tent

For us, with our hotel and the BASTA! event half a mile away, we got very used to the freezing cold winds funneled by the Messeturm as we walked back and forth to the hotel. Back in the day, when I worked for a certain bank in Frankfurt, this tower was known as the Pencil, for obvious reasons. It was the tallest building in Europe until 1997, when the Commerzbank Tower (also in Frankfurt) was completed.

Messe Turm

Spoiled for choice in Frankfurt

Just a quick note to say that the DevExpress team are in Frankfurt this week to support two events: BASTA! and Microsoft Tech Summit. Luckily the events are right next door to each other: the first at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel and the second, over the street, in hall 3 of the Frankfurt Messe.

Frankfurt Alte Oper

At BASTA! there’s our DevExpress booth with John Martin, Don Wibier, and Oliver Sturm, with the latter two also presenting various sessions and workshops. At Microsoft Tech Summit, we have another DevExpress booth with Przemysław Włodarczak and yours truly. Yes, two booths at two events in the same city at the same time: I think this is the first time we’ve done this!

If you’re here at either event (or both), first of all my congratulations since they’re both sold out, and second, please do come over to either one and say hi. We’ll be glad to talk about and show off what we’re doing at DevExpress and to investigate how we can help you in your development efforts this year. See you soon!

Windows 7 support for DirectX in WinForms

Three weeks ago, at the start of our beta period for v17.2, I described a fascinating new feature for our data grid in WinForms: sidestepping GDI+ and going straight to DirectX for way faster rendering. At the time I mentioned that, unfortunately, it was limited to apps running under Windows 8 or later.

Well, no more. I am delighted to announce that this new direct-to-DirectX support is now available for grids in apps that run on Windows 7 as well. It’s there in the current version, no need to wait for the next minor.

Enjoy!

DevExpress Universal v17.2 released

I am pleased to announce that we have just released DevExpress Universal v17.2. This includes our suites for WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF, as well as DevExtreme. CodeRush Ultimate has also been updated.

For what’s new in this release, please go to this page and read all about the new features and enhancements.

This page shows the Resolved Issues introduced in this release. There are a great number, let me tell you, so apologies if it takes a little while to load the page…

For every major release, no matter how hard we try and minimize the impact, some new features and enhancements are bound to cause a few breaking changes. You can read about the v17.2 breaking changes here.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who provided feedback on our products, who used and tested the beta and provided information on the issues they found, and, of course, to all our customers who use our products every day. It’s simple: we would never be able to produce such robust and full-featured controls without this invaluable help. We are of the opinion that the new enhancements and features in v17.2 will validate your trust in our products.

(PS: worry not, VCL Subscription customers, the new release of that is coming…)

Unified criteria-based filtering in WinForms grids (coming soon in v17.2)

In the v17.2 release of DevExpress WinForms, we’re adding a valuable new feature across our full range of grid-based controls (Data Grid, Property Grid, Pivot Grid and Vertical Grid): a criteria-based filtering system. This filtering system is common across all the grid controls (hence, unified) and uses a criteria-based language to define filters.

// Set active filter for Chart
chartControl.SeriesTemplate.FilterString =
    "[Year]>=2015 And [Company]='DevAV Center' And [Sales]>50000";

The legacy methods in these controls to filter data still work (and you can still use them), but we recommend switching to this new criteria-based filtering. After all, doing so will help your users immeasurably: they only have to learn one way of filtering.

The filtering engine itself receives a few moderate enhancements:

  • a new “Blanks” item in filtering pop-ups;
  • HTML-formatting for filter and data items;
  • new PrepareTemplate, CustomizeTemplate and QueryFilterCriteria events that provide the ability to modify filtering UI templates and criteria expressions.

With v17.2, you can expect one filtering UI enhancement implemented in, say, the Data Grid to be automatically expanded to the rest of the supported data-aware controls, since all of them now share a unified filter editor set.

As an example, the image below illustrates the HTML-formatting applied to a Data Grid pop-up and an editor set generated by the Filtering UI Context component.


Speaking of the Filtering UI Context component, it has been refined as well. The most important enhancement is that it no longer requires you to build a filtering Model anymore. Instead, you associate a target control (e.g., a Grid View) with the component with a couple of clicks at design time and thereby instantly generate all the filtering UI editors required.

Other improvements include:

  • An ability to change editor types and settings directly at design-time
     

  • Automatic two-way binding: any filtering operation a user performs in the generated UI reflects within the data-aware control’s UI, and vice versa.

  • New filtering editor templates.

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