VCL Controls - 2019 Roadmap

18 February 2019

Based on survey results and Support Center feedback, we’ve finalized our 2019 Roadmap. We want to thank you for your continued support and for your insightful comments.

Important Note on Survey Results

The survey's main question was about our commitment to the FMX platform. In the end, 36.6% of respondents chose FMX Grid over additional capabilities for VCL products. On the one hand, we understand that this does not amount to a majority of votes. On the other hand, this result demonstrates that a substantial part of our customer base is interested in FireMonkey. After careful consideration, we decided that we will proceed with FMX Grid development and will implement 6 of the most popular VCL product enhancements listed on our survey. Percentages below are given based on the number of people who chose additional VCL capabilities over FMX Grid.

  • ExpressQuantumGrid - Improved Performance (84.07%)
  • ExpressQuantumGrid, TreeList & Vertical Grid - New Expression Editor and Calculated Columns (74.34%)
  • ExpressQuantumGrid - Entity Model Framework-based View (53.98%)
  • ExpressQuantumGrid & TreeList - Scrollbar Annotations (53.1%)
  • ExpressNavBar - Hamburger View (52.65%)
  • ExpressScheduler - Improved Performance (calculations/drawing) (39.82%)

You'll find all these features in the complete list below, combined with the other enhancements we plan to implement in 2019.

If you have any issues with the roadmap or questions about implementation, feel free to email us at support@devexpress.com - we will be happy to follow up.

Table of Contents

VCL Controls

ExpressQuantumGrid

Excel-inspired Filtering (v19.1)

Excel inspired numeric range filter Excel inspired date filter Excel inspired text filter

Scrollbar Annotations (v19.2)

Scrollbar Annotations

New Expression Editor and Calculated Columns (v19.2)

Expression Editor for Unbound Columns

Entity Mapping Framework-based View (v19.2)

This new view will leverage Entity Mapping Framework's superior data management performance. You will be able to handle large datasets as you would do in Server Mode, but without certain restrictions associated with it. For example, the new view will support data modification and Master-Detail layouts.

Improved Customization Options (v19.2)
We will re-design the column/band customization dialog. The design hasn't been finalized yet and we'll use the following UI metaphors as the starting point.

Grid and TreeList Customization Dialog

Improved Performance (v19.2)

ExpressBars

Right-to-Left Support (v19.1)

Office 2019 / 365 style (v19.1)

Ribbon - Office 2019 Black theme Ribbon - Office 2019 Colorful theme Ribbon - Office 2019 Dark Gray theme Ribbon - Office 2019 White theme

Backstage View Gallery: Keytip Support (v19.2)

Backstage View - Keytip Support

Improved Performance (v19.2)

ExpressQuantumTreeList

Excel-inspired Filter (v19.1)
Same implementation as shown for the ExpressQuantumGrid.

Scrollbar Annotations (v19.2)
Same implementation as shown for the ExpressQuantumGrid.

New Expression Editor and Calculated Columns (v19.2)
Same implementation as shown for the ExpressQuantumGrid.

Improved Customization Options (v19.2)
Same implementation as shown for the ExpressQuantumGrid.

Immediate Post Option (v19.1)
This option makes most sense for editors where free text input is not available or secondary. If you use a check box or a combo box, enable this option to save the value as soon as a user switches the state or selects a different item. If the option is turned off, the value will be saved when the editor loses focus or when the user presses Enter.

We will also deliver a number of minor requests referenced by the following support tickets:
S31619, Q474048, S38934, S137786, Q328501, S139413, S130506, S133684

ExpressSpreadsheet

Right-to-Left Support (v19.2)

API Enhancements (v19.2)

  • Implement a method to evaluate custom expressions based on formulas
  • Allow to reset a cell style via its IsDefault property
  • Publish keyboard events
  • Implement an event that fires before a comment is displayed and allows to suppress the action
  • Table View worksheets - Add public method overloads that would accept cell references as strings

ExpressPivotGrid

Right-to-Left Support (v19.1)

Suggestions to be implemented in v19.1

  • Add a new HitTest option to distinguish total cells from regular data cells (S20231)
  • Introduce an event to customize cell hints, similar to the ExpressQuantumGrid's OnGetCellHint (S31915)
  • Support text fields as data fields (S135081)
  • Reduce the number of exceptions handled internally when processing Null values (T158536)
  • Implement the AlwaysExpand option for fields (T581605)

Suggestions to be implemented in v19.2

  • Add an option to hide columns/rows that don't display data (S90729)
  • Update the ApplyBestWidth logic to allow variable column widths (CS56271)
  • Support DateTime values for data fields (S19399)
  • Add a new summary type - unique value count (S90560)

ExpressScheduler

Improved Performance (v19.2)

ExpressVertical Grid

Right-to-Left Support (v19.1)

Excel-inspired Filter (v19.1)
Same implementation as shown for the ExpressQuantumGrid.

New Expression Editor and Calculated Columns (v19.2)
Same implementation as shown for the ExpressQuantumGrid.

ExpressEditors Library

  • Check Box: update the design-time editor to allow developers to specify SVG graphics for check states (v19.1)
  • Label: BBCode text format support (v19.2)
  • Label: Allow to display a glyph from a referenced Image List (v19.2)
  • Image: Allow to load the image from a referenced Image List (v19.2)
  • Radio Button: Automatic size support (v19.2)
  • Time Edit: Customizable display text and edit value format (v19.2)

ExpressLayout Control

Optional checkbox in item / group caption (v19.2)
For more information on this feature, please review the following support ticket: DS14371

Improved Splitter functionality (v19.1)
For more information on this feature, please review the following support ticket: S172176

Improved synchronization (v19.2)
For more information on this feature, please review the following support ticket: S33146

New OnResize event (v19.1)
For more information on this feature, please review the following support ticket: S134979

ExpressNavBar

Hamburger View (v19.2)

NavBar - Hamburger View

ExpressFlowChart

Allow end-users to modify shapes (v19.1)

VCL Flow Chart Control - Modify Shapes

Allow developers to define custom shapes in XML format (v19.1)

Extend the predefined collection with 30+ new shapes (v19.1)

Add new connector arrow styles (v19.1)

Flow Chart - Shape Themes

Theme support for shapes (v19.1)
The control will ship with several predefined themes that can be applied to shapes in code or via the built-in Ribbon UI.

Flow Chart - Shape Themes

Automatic shape arrangement: Sugiyama algorithm (v19.1)
This algorithm is used to draw layered networks that usually represent dependency relations. It minimizes the number of connector crossings and spreads shapes evenly.

Flow Chart - shape arrangement, Sugiyama algorithm

Guidelines within the designer for easier shape positioning and alignment (v19.1)

Draw custom shapes in code (v19.1)

PDF Viewer

Attachment Panel (v19.1)

PDF Viewer - Attachment Panel

API - extract embedded file from PDF document (v19.1)

Wizard Control

Right-to-Left Support (v19.1)

Minor Enhancements (v19.1)

  • Optionally suppress the built-in keystroke handler (T697726)
  • Capability to focus a button in code (T563301)
  • Capability to temporarily disable all buttons (T489385)
  • Antialiasing for scaled button icons (T521200)

Design Time

Merge DevExpress VCL Ribbon Form wizards into a single dialog (v19.2)

Skins

New SVG Office 2019 Colorful Skin (v19.1)

VCL Controls - SVG Office 2019 Colorful Theme

FMX Grid Control

We plan to release our FMX grid with the following capabilities in v19.1:

  • Table View
  • Layout View
  • Mater-Detail Layout
  • Edit cell data
  • Delete, Insert, Append records
  • Sort data against multiple columns

We will enhance the control with the following capabilities in v19.2:

  • Group data against multiple columns
  • Calculate totals / summaries

FMX Grid Control - Desktop and Mobile

 

As always, we welcome your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think of our 2019 VCL Roadmap.

The information contained within this blog post details our current/projected development plans. Please note that this information is being shared for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and does not represent a binding commitment on the part of Developer Express Inc. This roadmap and the features/products listed within it are subject to change. You should not rely on or use this information to help make a purchase decision about Developer Express Inc products.
30 comment(s)
Claudio Piffer 1

WOW!

19 February, 2019
TUGRUL TAMTÜRK

FMX grid is good step...

But No VCL Dashboard, No VCL Report Designer

Basically you should transfer all features from winforms to VCL + FMX

Thanks

...

19 February, 2019
JEFFD

Excited about the potential of these improvements and additions :)

19 February, 2019
Walter Matte

VCL Dashboard would be awesome.....

19 February, 2019
rami jazbeh

Right-to-Left support is good step for this controls

Thanks

19 February, 2019
Charalampos Michael

I love you guys for the Hamburger View!!! <3

19 February, 2019
Charalampos Michael

Please also improve SVG performance too! I don't want to use any other 3rd party SVG Library!

Thank you

19 February, 2019
Rafick Mohamed

Great roadmap. Please bring the WinForm features across to VCL ;-)

Also please re-consider VCL dashboard. For business applications, this is a must now days!

19 February, 2019
Gregory (DevExpress)

@Michael  

Hello Michael, please submit a ticket using our Support Center (devexpress.com/.../center) and describe the problem you faced with the SVG performance. We will research it.

20 February, 2019
Teksdata Yazılım ve Otomasyon Sistemleri Ltd. Sti.

We need VCL Dashboard too....

20 February, 2019
Charalampos Michael

@Gregory

I have already did that 9 months ago:

www.devexpress.com/.../imagelist-cache-generation

(it's private due the icons i've included)

Thank you

20 February, 2019
Francisco Duenas Rodriguez

Great roadmap, hope to see More FMX controls soon.

VCL/FMX DashBoard

And I second a comment that you should improve dxLayoutControl performance at desing time. It sometimes get very slow when working on a Virtual Machine, Specially VirtualBox. Is the Devex components that gets vey slow at painting at design time.

20 February, 2019
Dirk Illenberger

I think one of the most important points of this roadmap is "Scheduler performance". Even if you have just a few hundred events it takes ages for a scheduler to be drawn - especially when you have a lot recurring events. So, seeing a performance increase here would be great. From my investigation concerning performance, it seems that most time is consumed for drawing the fancy stuff like gradients, layers, icons, etc. It might be worthwhile having a mode to switch the fancy stuff off. This way people with lots of events can decide for themselves what they prefer: speed or beauty.

A disappointing aspect concerning the roadmap: No new component for HTML editing. Many users including myself have pointed that it is a huge gap not having a component for HTML editing. We are in the 21st century and still have no such component from DevExpress. I think the first wish for such a component was mentioned around 10 years ago and still no result. I think the desire to have an HTML editor component is not that esoteric to have it ignored altogether. So, can you please put an HTML editor component on the next list?

21 February, 2019
Gregory (DevExpress)

@Dirk

Hello Dirk, 

Would you please elaborate on your Scheduler use scenario? In 2019, we are planning to increase the speed of data operations with events. However, we are not aware of serious problems with drawing speed. We would appreciate it if you create a new ticket in our Support Center (www.devexpress.com/.../Create) and provide us with as many details about these drawing problems as possible. A sample project demonstrating this problem would be much appreciated.

As for the HTML editor, we already provide some HTML-related capabilities in our ExpressRichEdit Control. With this editor, you can edit or programmatically create RTF content and save it as HTML. Creating a separate HTML editor would take as much VCL Team resources as creating ExpressRichEdit Control from scratch. Do you mean that you need us to implement other features in our HTML editor? Please create a separate ticket at www.devexpress.com/.../Create and describe the functionality you require. A small description on what this editor should do and what features it should have can help us better understand your requirements.

22 February, 2019
Daniel Ramirez

I'm excited

22 February, 2019
Paul Mayer

are there any updates for EMF (Entity Metadata Framework?)

22 February, 2019
Rhett Price

Sounds great. VCL dashboard please soon after :)

23 February, 2019
Laurens

Nice features and it's good to focus on performace. However, I'm missing the most important performance bottleneck: switch to DirectX. On 4k monitors and remote desktop the performance is terrible (ribbons, mapping). From my point of view the bottleneck is GDI+ and the WinForms team was already able to overcome this by moving to DirectX. I think that is the best move to do, because a poor performance in a native application (where everybody expects a fluent experience) is killing for your VCL component set. And yes, I would also love a dashboard for our business application, but I think that new features are only good if the current features perform good enough.

26 February, 2019
Gregory (DevExpress)

@Paul

Yes, Paul. We are planning to extend the functionality of our Entity Mapping Framework in 2019. The main EMF-related feature for 2019 is the new TcxGrid's view mentioned in our Road Map. It should be something like Server Mode views, but with more features and less limitations.

If we have sufficient resources, we will add support for some other database engines (like PostgreSQL) and implement minor enhancements.

@Laurens

Right now we are researching different ways of improving the performance of our controls. If we find that migrating to DirectX can help us significantly improve drawing speed, we will definitely go this way. However, for now we tend to think that DirectX is not the best way to enhance our VCL products. We better try to optimize our calculation routines first and invest our VCL team resources in implementing code solutions than creating new painting methods from scratch.

For example, profiling our Ribbon source code shows that bottlenecks are different DrawText routines and text size calculations, especially, in "plain" color schemas where we do not use many textures. DirectX cannot help us improve these DrawText methods, so we are going to find other ways to make them faster.

The key point of my comment is that DirectX is not a solution that can magically increase performance, at least, in VCL controls. There may be better ways.

26 February, 2019
Charalampos Michael

@Paul

Well, take a look at Graphics32 ...

3 March, 2019
Charalampos Michael

I meant @Gregory not @Paul <g>

5 March, 2019
Charalampos Michael

@Gregory

No DirectX for VCL and Transition Manager - DirectX-based Animations on .NET !!!

Are you kidding me ????

Please bring DirectX to VCL please!

15 March, 2019
Martin Pelletier

Also Per Monitor v2 support would be nice too.

19 March, 2019
Customer64988

Fabulous to see the commitment from DevExpress, yes VCL Dashboard would be amazing (even if it were JUST the components themselves without the BI routines), but in any case this roadmap is comforting.  Do we have a timeline per areas?  I'm wondering if we could get the filters or the Office 365 skins ahead of time before a big bang 19.x release? :)

Great work team.

Ross

20 March, 2019
Customer73656

Will the FMX grid be included in the VCL subscription or completely separate?

Terry

29 March, 2019
Alfred Ghazzi

VCL Dashboard Please...........................................

30 April, 2019
Douglas Olson

another vote for VCL Dashboard!

1 May, 2019
Scott van der Linden

A great start into FMX.  I'm looking forward to what you have planned, and hope you include the ribbon at some point too.

2 May, 2019
Georg Reimann 2

Great Roadmap.

Please make VCL Dashboard's available... it is a important business case!!

7 May, 2019
Bojan Macele

+1 Dashboard

15 May, 2019

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