Windows Forms Controls - 2019 Roadmap

25 January 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.

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

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.

TreeList

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.

Scheduler

Last year we've released a new event storage component for our 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.

Charting

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 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.

Mapping

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.

drawing


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)

  • Word Processing Document API
  • PDF Document API (Universal subscription)
  • Spreadsheet Document API (Universal subscription)

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)

  • Spreadsheet
  • Rich Text Edit
  • Word Processing Document API
  • Spreadsheet Document API (Universal subscription)

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 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.

Reporting

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.

Diagram

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.

35 comment(s)
Isa_Tahiri

Very promising !

25 January, 2019
Uwe Porsch

Some very interesting changes.

I still hope that DirectX will soon working correct with transparencies

www.devexpress.com/.../grid-backgroundimage-not-shown-when-using-windowsformssettings-forcedirectxpaint

25 January, 2019
Eaton Z.

No new skins?

25 January, 2019
Steven Vissers

Very nice :)

But:  No "Year View" for the Scheduler?

25 January, 2019
Dmitry Babich (DevExpress)

@Steven

Yes, I personally wanted to work on a Year View. Unfortunately, it did not receive a plurality of the vote. Of course, it's on our radar and should we have resources to allocate, we'll make sure to get it done. For now, our focus will be on Resource Tabs.

25 January, 2019
Juan Betancourt

Excellent, but, also is necessary:

-Conversational UI (e.g. chat component)

-Text search in every data control of dashboard (grid, pivot)

25 January, 2019
Christopher Jay

Awesome stuff.  Too many items that I like to point out.  Thanks guys!

25 January, 2019
Tobias Schaller

A Visual Studio 2019 theme/skin for WinForms would be awesome

25 January, 2019
Mark Bissett 1

Mapping changes look great - can't wait!

25 January, 2019
Stephen J White

Really nice stuff. I'm really looking forward to the printing improvements for the Diagram Control. :)

25 January, 2019
Jean-Francois

Still no footnotes in RichTextEdit...

26 January, 2019
Dmitry Babich (DevExpress)

@Eaton

Which new skins would you like to see in the future?

28 January, 2019
Dmitry Babich (DevExpress)

@Tobias

Yes, we are considering adding a new VS 2019 palette in the near future.

28 January, 2019
Eaton Z.

I agree that a VS 2019 skin would be nice, maybe some updates to the office skins if there are any changes in Office 2019. Always up for surprises though. (:

28 January, 2019
Mike Calming

There is something about skinning, although it is not exactly skin. Rounded corners for control border? I.e. border width and radius properties. I know how it is done currently for iOS theme, but this is not easy and flexible. Is it possible to think about in the future?

Great plans, I am awaiting gantt!

28 January, 2019
Tony Tadros Zaky

Hello devexpress ,

Great news about ghant chart control

One featue i would like you to consider allowing grouping by unbalanced hierachial codes like wbs or system codes like company out of the box

Or mix between the 2 like wbs up to level 2 then company

Regards

Tony

28 January, 2019
Viatcheslav Vassiliev

Useful changes.

Do you plan to get features from other teams and add them to WinForms controls? Such as Latex support from CodeRush and Markdown from Reports and add them to RichEditControl?

Sincerely yours,

Viatcheslav V. Vassiliev

29 January, 2019
Dmitry Babich (DevExpress)

@Viatcheslav 

Would you please describe your scenario in greater detail? What kind of application are you building, and how are you planning to utilize the markdown and Latex support were we to implement it? Feel free to email us directly at winformsteam@devexpress.com or submit a new ticket in our Support Center.


29 January, 2019
Michael Proctor [DX-Squad]

Looking for to 2019 as I do every year.

With the Step Progress Bar, I do hope that a chevron style is defined as well.

29 January, 2019
Dmitry Babich (DevExpress)

@Michael

Sure, it's on our list.

30 January, 2019
Viatcheslav Vassiliev

Latex - allow user to type mathematic formulas into RichEditControl, then print them or save/convert as .docx or .pdf files. If not possible to add using field like INCLUDELATEX (similar to existing INCLUDEPICTURE), or it will not be compatible with MS Word, allowing to convert Latex mathematical formula into SVG or PNG picture to allow add it through DOCVARIABLE would work too.

Markdown - mostly convert existing markdown text (such as R Markdown with extracted R code) and save/print it through RichEditControl. Markdown is not very important for my program, and I asked about markdown because it is planned in report control.

Sincerely yours,

Viatcheslav V. Vassiliev

30 January, 2019
Phillip Brand

I really really hope with the "LookUp - Dynamic Suggestions (v19.2)" you will be able to customize the items, like with the tile view or something. I would want multiline results with much more information.

7 February, 2019
Gert Löwe

Like every year new and very good features! Great Job!

I know there is always time consuming to keep up to date with new technologies, but sometimes I also wish that the 'kernel' will not be forgotten.

For example:

We have a lot to do with the preparation of annual reports, which are output to Word. Unfortunately, we can not use Word Processing (RTF) here because tables do not have the property 'text direction' (Orientation).

Perhaps in your opinion rather unimportant, but indispensable for us and our clients in preparing financial statements. Therefore we still have to generate Word documents ourselves via OpenXml.

Are there any plans?

Best regards.

Gert

13 February, 2019
Damon (DevExpress)

@Gert Löwe: I see that you posted a similar question to our Support Center. Let's discuss it there.

15 February, 2019
Chuck Bass

Some nice updates here!

6 March, 2019
QUALCO SA

Office 2019 Dark Theme will be awesome as well

14 March, 2019
Ananad C

Can you bring the Image editing functionalities to the WPF versions of the ImageEdit as well?

18 March, 2019
Alex Chuev (DevExpress)

Ananad,

We asked our customers about the image editing functionality in our WPF Roadmap:

community.devexpress.com/.../wpf-core-controls-2019-roadmap-your-vote-counts.aspx

However, this feature received fewer votes than other proposed controls (the AutoComplete editor and the Kanban board). Therefore, we are not going to focus on it in 2019.

Thanks,

Alex

18 March, 2019
Johan Börjesson

Are there any thoughts of introducing a video player or some kind of media component?

19 March, 2019
Tim Kov

I can store one of your spreadsheets in a SQL DB. It would be great if I could bring that up as a column in the report designer in the list of columns, drop it on a report and have you print that spread as part of my report. That would open up a world of possibilities for our app.

21 March, 2019
Dmitry Babich (DevExpress)

@Tim,

The SqlDataSource cannot determine that some database column has spreadsheet data and that the column is treated as a byte if you store stream data there, or as a string even if it has the base64-encoded content. Note that you can implement this yourself: you need to download that column data and then create ExcelDataSource that can be passed to a report. The following links might help:

Feel free to create a ticket if you need assistance in this regard.

22 March, 2019
waresofter

i really hope the mapcontrol can support drawing text item on map.

Now I can't write freely.

30 March, 2019
Alex (DevExpress Support)

@waresofter,

It is possible to show text markers on the map using MapCustomElements (docs.devexpress.com/.../DevExpress.XtraMap.MapCustomElement). If this functionality is not appropriate in your scenario, take a moment to submit a ticket in our Support Center and describe your requirements in greater detail. We will check for a suitable solution.

1 April, 2019
waresofter

@Alex

The MapCustomElement can support a horizontal lable, but the cad's style text can rotate freely, and can be select or edit.  if use want to mark any text on the map use MapCustomElement will be so poor.

21 April, 2019
Steve Sharkey

Only just found this - can't believe it I didn't renew my subscription on the basis that there was nothing in it for me last year - it felt very light. Kept asking about the gantt chart for winforms but no news - now thank to a blog pointing to this I see it is in this year - that would have been enough to tempt me at my last subscription renewal (as I said in my previous renewal just before Christmas was a poor timing for my renewal as finances tend to be at a low ebb then and it appears that roadmaps are not published by then either.

25 April, 2019

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