Windows Forms Controls - 2019 Roadmap

WinForms Team Blog
25 January 2019

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

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

Table of Contents

Important Note: In nearly every instance, we selected features/products that received the highest vote count. In many instances, total votes for features that appear on this roadmap failed to break the 50% mark. This does not mean that the feature/product did not win the vote - it simply means that it received a plurality - not a majority.

.NET Core 3 Support (v19.1 and v19.2)

We already announced Visual Studio 2019 and .NET Core 3 Support in v18.2.4. In 2019 we will continue our work in this direction in order to fully support .NET Core 3 by the time it is released.

New Gantt Control (v19.2)

We’ve heard you loud and clear. We are planning to release a WinForms Gantt Control in our v19.2 release cycle.

DirectX Support (v19.1 and v19.2)

The following controls will join the list of DevExpress WinForms products with built-in DirectX rendering support:

  • Pivot Grid Control
  • Camera Control
  • Transition Manager

DirectX support should significantly boost rendering performance on High DPI displays.

Data Grid

We are confident that our WinForms Grid is the best product in its class. This fact notwithstanding, we do hope to incorporate the following new features in our 2019:

Enhancements to the Grid’s Find Panel (v19.1)

This feature received 41% of the vote in our survey.

  • Exact search without the need to use quotation marks
  • Substitute default filter criteria
  • HTML text highlighting

Format Rule Animation (v19.1)

Apply animated transitions between format states (if icon - fade in/fade out, if color - color transition, if progress bar - animated transition)

Data Update Rule (v19.1)

Specify custom visual appearance (icon or color) when a specific value changes over time ('changed', 'increased', 'decreased'). Custom appearance settings will be applied for specified amount of time (user defined).

TileView Enhancements (v19.2)

  • Multiple tile selection
  • Ability to set individual tile height
  • AdornerUIManager Badges support

Range Filter for DateTime Columns (v19.2)

A new Excel-style menu value selector for DateTime columns (based on our Range Control).

Data Editors

Picture Edit - Image editing (v19.1)

Our Picture Edit will provide simple edit functionality - your users will be able to rotate and crop images at runtime.

New Control - Step Progress Bar (v19.2)

This feature received 25% of the vote in our survey.

A control that displays step-by-step progress and supports various point types and feedback animation.

LookUp - Dynamic Suggestions (v19.2)

This feature received 42% of the vote in our survey.

Similar to web search engines, look-up editors will asynchronously locate and suggest values that match text entered by end-users. The editor will provide an event that expects you to return a list of matches based on entered text.

Visual Enhancements

We remain fully committed to the WinForms platform and hope to ship the following UI-related features in 2019.

Project Settings Palette Editor (v19.1)

Customize vector skin palettes (swatches) directly from Project Settings - no need to modify your skins in the Skin Editor or create custom palettes in code.

SVG Icon Builder - Custom Icon Support (v19.1)

SVG Icon Builder will allow you to load custom icons and customize them as needed.

TransitionManager - DirectX-based Transition Effects (v19.1)

This will combine blazing-fast performance with elegant appearance options.

Compact Layout mode (v19.1)

A new Project Settings option that reduces paddings and/or margins for all “skin-able” controls. This will allow data-intensive applications to display more information on-screen.

Gradient fill support for SVG icons and vector skins (v19.1)

Our SVG parser will support gradient colors allowing you to use gradients in icons and skins.

Acrylic Material in Popup Menus (v19.2)

The majority of you voted for this feature, and we are planning to add it in 2019.

Navigation UI

In 2019 we will add application menus to form title bars: the BarManager component will be able to use the XtraForm title bar region to display its items (including the Main Menu toolbar) like Visual Studio 2019.

You can also expect new Office 2019 features like tab header area buttons and a Search item that allows end-users to quickly locate required commands without looking for it among all Ribbon tabs.


We will extend the TreeList’s capabilities with the following new features:

Scrollbar Annotations & Bookmarks (v19.1)

Our TreeList will allow you to display scrollbar annotations - colored marks on the vertical scrollbar allowing users to more quickly locate relevant information.

Find Panel Search Mode (v19.1)

Our Find Panel will support a new Search mode, allowing you to highlight search results in cells and on the scrollbar and quickly locate required rows using Next and Previous buttons.


Last year we've released a new event storage component for our WinForms Scheduler and implemented Appointment synchronization between the Scheduler and Google Calendars. Major Scheduler-related features planned for 2019 include:

Timeline View - Remove Specific Time Intervals (v19.1)

Scheduler will allow you to exclude specific time ranges from its timeline.

Appointment Slots for Office Hours, Meeting Availability, Etc. (v19.1)

Time cells with unique appearance characteristics and optional restrictions on edit operations.

Display Resources as Tabs (much like Microsoft Outlook) (v19.2)

This feature received 30% of the vote in our survey.

Display resources as separate tabs so end-users can group, re-arrange and close them as needed.


Rendering Performance Enhancements (v19.1 and v19.2)

Atop our list of priorities is speed – we want to improve data rendering efficiency throughout 2019.

Histogram Series (v19.1)

This feature received 45% of the vote in our survey.

This Series view is useful when representing the distribution of numeric data via bars of equal width. Each bar displays the number of values that fall into consecutive, non-overlapping intervals of a variable.

Series Segment Colorizer (v19.1)

At present, our WinForms Chart control ships with an advanced appearance customization engine for Series and individual Series points. You can either use a set of predefined palettes or configure the Chart Colorizer and assign fixed colors to chart elements as needed. We plan to extend this functionality and allow users to define the segment color of the same Line Series without manually splitting it into separate Series items.

Sunburst Control Label Display Modes (v19.1)

We will ship a set of new label display modes (including adaptive mode). They can be selected based on hierarchy layout.

Waterfall Series (v19.2)

This feature received 45% of the vote in our survey.

Based on a start value, a Waterfall сhart displays the cumulative effect of sequentially added positive and negative values.

BoxPlot (v19.2)

Box plots are used to display the distribution of data through quartiles.

TimeSpan Axis Scale Type (v19.2)

This feature received 36% of the vote in our survey.

The TimeSpan scale type will represent the values or arguments of series points as TimeSpan values on an axis.

Advanced Text Formatter for Crosshair Panel (v19.2)

Ability to specify Crosshair label width and alignment.


Map Shape Image Element (v19.2)

You will be able to use external georeferenced raster images as a background in the Map Control. These images typically display more detailed maps for specific areas and replace maps used by the default map provider.

Vector Shape Simplification (v19.1)

You will be able to simplify vector shapes loaded into the Map Control by reducing the number of data points. This can help you remove redundant information and modify shapes more easily.


Built-in Measurement Tools (v19.1 and v19.2)

We will implement API methods for most common tasks such as distance measurement and area calculation. A custom toolbar will be released for end-users in v19.2.

In-Memory Tile Image (v19.2)

At present, custom map providers work with images loaded from files. This feature will make it possible to display custom tile images without saving them locally.

Office-Inspired Products

Office File API for .NET Core (v19.1 and v19.2)

This feature received 45% of the vote in our survey.

In our v19.1 release cycle, we expect to release our Office File API for .NET Core on Windows. Office File API functionality for .NET Core will also be available on Linux with the following limitations:

  • Embedded font support for PDF export (planned for v19.2).
  • RTL support in Word Processing API (planned for v19.2).
  • Conversion of PDF content to bitmap images (not planned at the moment).

PDF Export - Embedded OpenType Font Support (v19.1)

We will allow you to embed OpenType fonts into an exported PDF document to make certain that the document is displayed correctly on machines where these fonts are not installed.

Theme Fonts (v19.1)

  • Rich Text Edit
  • Word Processing Document API

This feature is important for RTL document editing. Applicable for existing documents only.

Optimized Printing and Layout Calculation Engine (v19.1)

  • Spreadsheet
  • Spreadsheet Document API (Universal subscription)

This feature received 21% of the vote in our survey.

This optimized engine will help us improve printing and layout accuracy of Spreadsheet documents.

Simplified Formula Generation (v19.1)

  • Spreadsheet

Use cell ranges from other worksheets and select referenced cells using arrow keys when creating or editing formulas.

Non-Embedded CID Fonts with Predefined Encoding (v19.1)

  • PDF Viewer
  • PDF Document API (Universal subscription)

PDF documents containing non-embedded CID fonts with predefined encoding will be supported in our PDF viewer and our PDF document API.

Change Tracking (v19.2)

  • Rich Text Edit
  • Word Processing Document API

This feature received 21% of the vote in our survey.

With change tracking, your users will have the ability to accept/reject individual changes within a document. This release will include Add, Delete and Move change types.

Multiple Signatures – PDF (v19.2)

  • PDF Document API (Universal subscription)

We hope to introduce multiple signature support for PDF documents.

Pivot Grid

Intermediate Level Aggregates and Window Calculations (v19.1 or v19.2)

This feature was planned for 2018, but we were unable to complete it in time last year.

The WinForms Pivot Grid’s new data processing engine will allow us to incorporate Intermediate Aggregates and Window Calculations out of the box. You will be able to configure both using a simple API and exploit the data processing engine’s built-in performance optimizations.

With Intermediate Aggregation, you will be able to use a new "Aggr" function. This function temporarily groups raw data by a set of dimensions and calculates a summary expression. This helps to answer questions such as: “What are the best and worst selling products in a given year?”, “How many days per month are profitable?”, etc.

Window Calculations allow you to display values calculated from existing data based on a defined rule. The following rules will be available by default: Percent of Total, Running Totals, Ranks, Moving Averages, Difference, Percentage Difference. As you might expect, you will be able to create custom rules with your own calculation logic as needed.


New Report Designer Features (v19.1)

  • Combine Multiple Reports into One
    We will give you the ability to combine multiple reports within the Report Designer, allow you to define print order and print all as a single document. This will address limitations associated with report merging (which is only available at runtime).
  • Create Hierarchical Data Reports
    We will give you the ability to create hierarchical data reports (tree structures) and define the offset of a given band’s content based on nesting level.
  • Create and Store Band Templates using the Report Gallery
    This will allow your customers to share gallery content and to generate reports with unified headers or footers.

XRPivotGrid: Advanced Cross-Tab Reports (v19.1)

We will provide a new way to create cross-tab reports using an enhanced version of XRPivotGrid report control. This will allow you to use expression bindings to calculate data and define the appearance of each visual element within a cross-tab report without writing code.

JsonDataSource: Authentication Support (v19.1)

You’ll be able to provide basic authentication settings, custom header values and custom query parameters.

XRControl Enhancements (v19.1)

  • XRLabel: HTML-Inspired Text Formatting
    We will allow you to format content in XRLabel using a subset of pseudo-HTML tags currently supported by our WinForms controls.

  • XRCheckBox: SVG Glyphs
    We will allow you to change the default glyph associated with XRCheckBox using a pre-defined SVG glyph list.

Report Designer: Data Federation (v19.1 and v19.2)

This feature received 55% of the vote in our survey. You’ll be able to define the relationship between different data source tables, queries, sheets and object lists.

PDF Export: Visual Signatures (v19.2)

You’ll be able to define visual signatures displayed in an exported PDF file using a new report control.

Printing Markdown Content (v19.2)

This feature received 57% of the vote in our survey.

You’ll be able to pass Markdown markup to a special report control. This control will use HTML conversion to display Markdown content in a printed or exported document.

Rounded Corners (v19.2)

This feature received 32% of the vote in our survey.

You’ll be able to define a corner radius for the borders of the XRLabel, XRPanel, and XRTable controls.

New Report Designer Features (v19.2)

  • Re-order Detail Reports in Report Explorer
    This feature received 31% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to move an entire detail report if it was created at the wrong report hierarchy level.

  • Embed PDF Documents into a Report Document
    This feature received 44% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to insert a PDF file into a report and define its content boundaries within a document.

  • Display Empty Table Rows after Existing Data
    This feature received 21% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to repeat empty rows until the bottom of the page is reached (to conform to a report’s structure).

  • Move Bands to a "Background” Layer
    This feature received 31% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to combine multiple bands so that content is rendered in a more compact manner.

Report Parameter Enhancements (v19.2)

  • Date Range Parameter
    This feature received 26% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to create a date range parameter and select its value at runtime using a single editor in the parameter panel.

  • Date and Time Parameters
    This feature received 21% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to create a date or time parameter.

  • Parameter Editor Grouping
    This feature received 20% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to logically group multiple report parameters in the parameter panel (display editors in a Group Box).

  • Visibility of Parameter Editors
    This feature received 19% of the vote in our survey.
    You’ll be able to hide a parameter editor based on the value of a different parameter.


Collapsible Containers (v19.1)

Container items will display a Expand/Collapse button in their headers so that end-users can display/hide container content.

This feature is useful in Entity Relationship diagrams where containers represent tables or classes (where members should be invisible).

Another popular usage scenario for collapsible containers involves items with complex content (multiple text fields, images, or both). Our Data Binding and Org Chart controllers use Containers to generate such items. With the Collapsible Containers, you will be able to generate items that display more content when expanded. For example, Org Chart cards that only show employee name by default, along with a photo with a description when expanded.

Export to PDF (v19.1)

It is already possible to print your diagrams to PDF using the Windows 10 PDF printer. However, the PDF printer is not an option if you want to automatically save your diagram to PDF and push it to the database. Many of you requested a built-in PDF export engine that will work even if the PDF printer is not installed and will not require your users to invoke the Print dialog.

The new built-in engine will export the diagram to a PDF file as a vector image with no raster elements (you don’t have to worry about scaling issues). It will also recognize all text elements. You will be able to select and copy text in the PDF file or add text annotations.

Printing - Fit to Page (v19.1)

By default, the Diagram control prints its content in the same way it is displayed on document pages. If content spans multiple pages, it will be printed on multiple pages as well. After printing, you will need to piece pages together to see the diagram as it was displayed on screen. This behavior is useful for large diagrams and can also be seen in other applications such as Microsoft Visio.

The Fit to Page feature allows users to scale a diagram and fit it onto a single page or fixed number of pages.

Start and End Connector Labels (v19.2)

Currently, you can only display one label at the center of the connector. This feature will allow you to display start and end labels with information about a relationship or a connected item.

Automatic Org Chart Layout (v19.2)

Organizational charts often use a standard Tree layout but arrange the last few layers of items vertically to free up horizontal space. We will improve our Tree layout algorithm so that you can specify which layers in the tree should be arranged vertically.

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

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