WinForms SDI Navigation Frame (Coming soon in v15.1)

22 May 2015

Last year, we released a number of Outlook-inspired demos - demos that helped illustrate how you can use our WinForms UI Controls to replicate the look, feel and experience of Microsoft Outlook (for data centric business apps).

In this release, we've extended our WinForms product line to include an SDI Navigation Frame...a library that's been built for those who prefer a Single Document Interface and are focused on building solutions that fully replicate Outlook's UI.

The new WinForms Navigation Frame simply owns a collection of pages, of which only a single page can be active at any point in time. As you would expect, pages can host any content...from panels and group boxes to user controls. Like Outlook, Page navigation incorporates elegant animation effects as seen below...

WinForms SDI Navigation Frame

We'd love to get your feedback on this new product - how likely are you to use it in your app? Which do you prefer...SDI or MDI? Please let us know!

12 comment(s)
Saif Khan

This is awesome. If I could only get this in XAF...

22 May, 2015
Christopher Jay

I really like it.  My app is currently an MDI window and I use buttons docked to the bottom that act like a taskbar, allowing users to switch between forms.  It would be really nice to replace that button bar with this new control somehow, but I assume each of those pages are like tab pages and NOT separate forms.  So long story short... really nice, but I don't think I can use it where I would love to use it for  :(

22 May, 2015
Mark Bissett 2

Whilst I appreciate the WinForms developments immensely, I don't get why would you want an SDI interface - surely that like a step back to the 90s...

23 May, 2015
Steven Spyrka


23 May, 2015
Warren Wander

Nice animation, but it's got a bug!  When the bottom page category is clicked, the vertical items on the left change immediately, *then* the animation runs, even though the left items are included in the animation.

Surely they should either not change immediately and be included in the animation, OR change immediately and not be included in the animation...

25 May, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Saif: Would you please contact our Support and elaborate a bit more on your business requirement, because after your recent comment at I am not sure whether you want to use a different navigation menu (since you already wanted to use the accordion control) or want to enable the SDI mode in XAF. If you want the latter, check out for a solution already available in the current XAF version.

26 May, 2015
Alisher (DevExpress Support)

@Warren: Thank you for bringing our attention to this issue. I have created a ticket ( and passed it to our developers for further investigation. Please add it to your favorites to be notified once we fix the problem.

26 May, 2015
Johnny K

i LOVE you!

3 June, 2015
Uldis Rats

What is the main thing about this control? Animations when changing pages or is there something more? I'm not trying to be critical, just not getting it.

5 June, 2015
Johnny K

@Christopher Jay

You can always make a user control and copy paste all your items controls from your forms into each user control. So you will replace all you mdi forms with devex user controls

Then make a new main form  o need to be the old MDI style (which is also slow and de monde today) and when clicking on the new SDI to switch have the page been filed at runtime with your user control you wish to display.

Or depending your database binding maybe even have it preplaced those new user controls of yours directly into each of those new sdi pages from the designer.

7 June, 2015
Johnny K

@Uldis animations in winforms its not a small thing.

we are trying to make cool winforms apps to look like mobile apps for few years now and its hard and full of hacks. So even if thats the only think it does its more than welcome.

And  @Mark its definitely not back to 90s if you know how to code smart and design seperate ui arround this control. You dont have to load everything one one form as i explain in my previous comment. There are ways. MDI is the 90s and non having fast smooth animations in desktops is lame in our days.

7 June, 2015
Mark Bissett 2

@Jonny K, Why would you want to contrain your desktop app to look like a mobile one. Mobile apps only look the way they do due to the inherent limitations of the mobile device and it's limited screen space...

24 June, 2015

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