DevExpress Visual Studio.NET Report Designer — Optimized Startup Time, Machine-wide Options Dialog, NuGet globalPackagesFolder Support, and More (v23.1)

Reporting Team Blog
04 September 2023

In this blog post, I'll describe enhancements we've made to the DevExpress Visual Studio Report Designer in our v23.1 release cycle – including optimized startup time, new global options dialog, and more.

Optimized Startup Time

In previous versions, a newly created DevExpress Report Designer extension took a long time to launch when opening a report. This delay prompted Visual Studio to display the following notification: 

Visual Studio stopped responding for X seconds. Disabling the extension DevExpress.XtraReports.RepxPackage 1.1 might help.

As you might imagine, by disabling the extension, you cannot edit .vsrepx and .cs report files in Visual Studio.

With our most recent update, we optimized the prep stage when launching the designer and reduced overall startup time. This should eliminate the warning within Visual Studio. Overall startup time will vary based on the complexity of the project itself, because our designer process relies on referenced assemblies.

NuGet globalPackagesFolder Support

We added support for NuGet's globalPackagesFolder option (in the nuget.config file) when running our Visual Studio Report Designer for .NET.

Projects using the PackageReference format always use packages directly from this folder. When using packages.config, packages are installed to the global-packages folder, then copied into the project's packages folder. The globalPackagesFolder is a shared location where NuGet packages are stored, reducing package duplication and enabling better package management. By leveraging this option, you can easily share packages across multiple projects within the same solution, simplifying maintenance and updates.

Machine-Wide Options Dialog

We integrated our Report Designer Options dialog into the Visual Studio options window.

This allows you to share configured settings in the Import & Export Settings wizard. To invoke the wizard, click Tools in Visual Studio's main menu and select Import and Export Settings….

Additional Enhancements

  • Our Visual Studio Report Designer now supports apps targeting .NET 8.

  • Based on Microsoft's plan to introduce an OOP designer for .NET Framework apps, we also adapted our Visual Studio Report Designer for .NET Framework, and it now operates as expected when the "Use the Windows Forms out-of-process designer for .NET Framework apps." switch is enabled (This option is now available in the 2022 Visual Studio preview version).

What's New in v23.1

Refer to the following page to explore all the features we've introduced in our most recent release (and don't forget to tell us what you think of this update by casting your vote in our online poll: Our Newest Features (v23.1).

Free DevExpress Products - Get Your Copy Today

The following free DevExpress product offers remain available. Should you have any questions about the free offers below, please submit a ticket via the DevExpress Support Center at your convenience. We'll be happy to follow-up.