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You are welcome to test the new XAF features prior to the 17.2 release: one, two, three, four, five, five

August 2012 - Posts

  • Visual Studio Templates provided by eXpressApp Framework (XAF)

    When you start learning XAF, the first thing you deal with is Visual Studio templates provided by the framework. These templates help you start fast as you don’t have to create an entire solution or individual project items from scratch. In the 12.1 version, we have renamed Visual Studio templates that are shipped with XAF, for the sake of clarity and consistency with other DevExpress products. Additionally, several new templates were added to facilitate the use of new features like Business Object Designer and Security System. In this article, I would like to collect a complete list of XAF templates with their descriptions and links to relative documentation.

    Project Templates 

    Project templates simplify creation of new XAF solutions and extra projects (custom modules and application server projects). These templates are available via the File | New | Project... command on the Visual Studio main menu and via the Add | New Project... context menu command of the Solution Explorer. C# templates are grouped in the DevExpress: Visual C# | XAF category. VB.NET templates are grouped in the DevExpress: Visual Basic | XAF category.

    VS_Templates_Project

    The table below lists the project templates and provides their descriptions.

    Template Name Description Related Documentation
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Cross-Platform Application An XAF solution for creating an application with desktop and web front-ends. Includes Window Forms and ASP.NET application projects.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Windows Forms Application An XAF solution for creating a desktop application. Includes a Window Forms application project.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF ASP.NET Application An XAF solution for creating a web application. Includes an ASP.NET application project.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Module A class library project for creating a custom XAF module.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Console Application Server A project for creating a console Middle Tier server for XAF applications.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Windows Service Application Server A Windows Service project for creating a Middle Tier server for XAF applications.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Workflow Server A project for creating a Workflow server for workflow-enabled XAF applications. Requires .NET Framework 4.0 or later version.
     

    Project Item Templates 

    Project item templates speed-up adding project items like business objects and controllers. These templates are available via the Add | New Item... context menu command of the Solution Explorer. These templates are grouped in the Common Items | DevExpress XAF category.

    VS_Templates_ProjectItems

    The table below lists the project item templates and provides their descriptions.

    Template Name Description Related Documentation
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Domain Object (UI Model & Code)

    A designable UI model of a domain object and an XAF class that declares this object. Requires Visual Studio version 2010 or later.

    DXperience v12.1 XAF Domain Object (Code Only) An XAF class that declares a domain object.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Report Parameters Object An XAF class that declares report parameters' set to be used in XAF reports.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF View Controller A component that implements a custom functionality for XAF Views.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Window Controller A component that implements a custom functionality for XAF Windows.
    DXperience v12.1 XAF Domain Component An interface that declares a domain component.
    DXperience v12.1 ORM Data Model Wizard Adds a data model which is mapped to the existing or newly created database and can be edited with the XPO Data Model Designer. This template is not a part of XAF (it is provided by XPO), but it can be effectively used in XAF development  

    There are also rarely used project items intended for in-depth Windows Forms UI customizations:

    • DXperience v12.1 XAF Detail View Form Template
    • DXperience v12.1 XAF Lookup Control Template
    • DXperience v12.1 XAF Lookup Form Template
    • DXperience v12.1 XAF Main Form Windows Forms Template
    • DXperience v12.1 XAF Nested Frame Template
    • DXperience v12.1 XAF Popup Form Template

    For details on these items, refer to the Templates Customization and How to: Customize a Template topics.

    Is the template set provided with XAF complete enough, or you think something is missing? Are there routines in your XAF development workflow that can be accelerated? Let’s discuss this in comments.

  • New Learning Materials on Data Modeling Approaches - UI First, Data Model First, Database First and Code First

    DevExpress provides a series of videos and help topics that describe the newly available UI First and Data Model First approaches to XAF development, as well as the existing Database First and Code First workflows. The videos and corresponding tutorials are organized according to data modeling method.

    UI First

     

    ui-first

    The UI First approach begins with UI prototyping in the Business Object Designer, which ships with XAF starting with v12.1. In this designer, you will specify the properties that are exposed by your business objects, adjust the Detail View layouts, specify List View settings and define associations between objects. This will create ready-to-use Desktop and Web applications without writing a single line of code.

    Watch Video | Read Tutorial

    Data Model First (XPO)

     

    model-first

    The Data Model First approach begins by defining a data model in the Data Model Designer, which ships with XPO starting with v12.1. In this designer, you can add new objects, specify object relationships, and define persistent and calculated properties. The designer visualizes the entire data model in a single window.

    Watch Video | Read Tutorial

    Data Model First (Entity Framework)

     

    ef

    If you have used the Entity Framework in your previous projects, you may wish to reuse your data model definitions in XAF. If you are new to XAF, you may choose to skip the tutorials on XPO (the default ORM tool), and use your Entity Framework experience instead. Starting with 12.1, we provide experimental (community technology preview) support for Entity Framework as an ORM layer.

    Watch Video | Read Tutorial

    Database First

     

    db-first

    Programmers are often required to maintain a legacy database rather than build an application from scratch. The XPO Data Model Designer can automatically generate a data model for a specified database. Many popular database engines are supported, including MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL and Oracle (see more). The created data model is visualized by the designer and can be customized.

    Watch Video | Read Tutorial

    Code First

     

    code-first

    The Code First approach begins by implementing business classes that define your data model (it is a good idea to use CodeRush Templates, which speed-up coding significantly). This standard approach has been used in XAF from early on. Although this information is included in our documentation and demos, we decided to introduce a new simple tutorial, targeted for those who wish to quickly get acquainted with XAF.

    Read Tutorial

    Let me know what you think of our videos and tutorials.

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