DevExpress Controls for WinUI 3 Preview are Now Available

WPF Team Blog
11 June 2020
UPDATE: a new version of DevExpress WinUI components with Reunion support is available here.
Take a look at the following blog post to learn more: DevExpress WinUI 3 Components - Official Release, Reunion 0.5 Support & Free Offer.

At Microsoft Build 2020 the WinUI team released its first public preview of WinUI 3. In addition to fixes and enhancements for UWP-powered apps, this preview introduces support for managed desktop C#/.NET and native C++/Win32 desktop apps. Today, we are excited to announce that the entire suite of DevExpress UWP controls is available for WinUI 3 as well.

What is WinUI?

WinUI is a framework that contains controls and tools for building modern Windows apps that incorporate the principles of Fluent Design.

The current production-ready version of WinUI is WinUI 2. This library contains controls and utilities for UWP apps, such as a Tree View, toolbars, and the Acrylic brush.

WinUI 3 – under current development - expands WinUI into a standalone framework. It takes the entire UI component toolset for the native Windows UI layer and ships them separately from Windows updates via NuGet. This allows developers to fully utilize WinUI features in any UWP or Win32 app that targets Windows 10 1803 (Oct 2018 update) and above.

Source: Developer platform updates at Microsoft Ignite 2019

Since the first preview of WinUI 3 was just made available, it’s difficult to predict long-term demands for the framework. This notwithstanding, WinUI can potentially become the primary Windows desktop development platform for the following reasons:

  • WinUI's rendering engine uses the newest version of DirectX and can achieve better performance levels that potentially outpace both WPF and WinForms.
  • Most of the framework’s API is asynchronous, making it easier to develop responsive applications.
  • Animations can be smoother and less resource-intensive. Many built-in transition animations are available.
  • As a native Windows 10 UI platform, WinUI will be the first to support new features as they are introduced Windows. Some examples are - support for modern input devices, built-in gesture recognition, screen capture protection, additional application states.
  • WinUI makes it easier to develop apps for dual-screen devices running on Windows 10X.
  • Support for managed desktop and native apps removes sandbox restrictions, simplifying access to hardware and the file system.


Of course, as a new framework, WinUI handles some things differently and has limitations, both temporary and permanent.

Preview 1 limitations:

  • Visual Studio designer and UI debugging tools for XAML are not supported.
  • IntelliSense in XAML is not supported.
  • WinUI content can only be hosted in one window per process (ETA: Preview 3).
  • XAML Islands are not supported (ETA: Preview 3).
  • Background Acrylic is not supported.
  • Debugging is limited.
  • Desktop apps developed with WinUI must be packaged.
  • You may encounter performance issues caused by marshalling.
  • Controls don't react to INotifyCollectionChanged notifications.

Other Preview 1 limitations not included in this list can be found in this help topic: Preview 1 limitations and known issues.

Platform limitations that will likely remain unresolved in the release version:

  • WinUI 3.0 requires Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update) or higher. Previous Windows versions are not going to be supported.
  • WinUI controls are written in C++. This complicates debugging and makes it harder to derive from standard controls.
  • Asynchronous API can be harder to work with and complicates debugging.
  • WPF developers will not have access to certain XAML-related features that they are familiar with. TypeConverters, RelativeSource bindings, Triggers, Dynamic Resources, and markup extensions such as x:Type and x:Shared are not available.

DevExpress UWP Controls for WinUI 3

The complete set of DevExpress UWP controls is now available for WinUI 3 Preview and can be used in applications that target UWP. This WinUI 3 component set includes over 30 controls, utilities, and multi-purpose tools for those targeting Windows 10. WinUI 3 Components include a WinUI 3 Data Grid, Scheduler, Charting, and Navigation.

To explore the capabilities of DevExpress controls for WinUI 3, you first have to configure your development environment - install the latest Visual Studio 2019 Preview and the WinUI 3.0 Preview 1 VSIX extension. You can find detailed instructions in the following help topic: Try WinUI 3.0 Preview 1.

Once everything is installed, you can check our product demos available on GitHub
DevExpress WinUI UWP Demos

Your Vote Counts

Needless to say, WinUI 3 will play an important part in future product development plans. We are actively working with Microsoft to synchronize objectives – both for ourselves and our loyal users. Your early feedback will help shape future product offerings and help us deliver UI components that meet and exceed expectations. Please take a moment to answer the following survey questions and let us know what you think about WinUI 3.

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.
No Comments

Please login or register to post comments.