WPF - .NET 5 Support & New Designer Features

WPF Team Blog
17 November 2020

As you may already know, Microsoft released .NET 5 last week. We are pleased to announce that DevExpress WPF controls v20.2 officially support .NET 5.

Once you install our WPF controls, they will be visible in your .NET 5 app’s Toolbox (even if the app does not itself reference DevExpress packages).

New WPF XAML Designer

Visual Studio 2019 Preview includes a new WPF XAML Designer. Microsoft continues to evolve this designer – with plans to use it both for .NET Core and .NET Framework projects. We are hopeful that Microsoft will deliver on this stated promise in short order.

.NET Core applications use the new WPF XAML Designer by default. For .NET Framework apps, enable the following option in Visual Studio:

Tools > Options > Preview Features > New WPF XAML Designer for .NET Framework (requires restart)

New WPF XAML Designer Extensions

Select Non-Visual Elements (Data Grid Columns, Toolbar and Ribbon Items) (v20.1)

You can select non-visual elements (such as a data grid’s column and toolbar/ribbon item) and quickly navigate to its markup as needed.

Switch Tabs at Design Time (v20.2)

You can switch tabs in controls such as our WPF Docking component, LayoutControl, and Ribbon component.

Use Adorners within Dock and Layout Controls (v20.2)

To see this capability in action, open our WPF Dock Windows - Layout Panels demo. Note that you can use adorners to add new groups and panels as needed.

Status Update on Suggested Actions

Visual Studio’s new WPF XAML Designer includes Suggested Actions, currently available only in Preview builds. Suggested Actions operate like DevExpress Smart Tags and offer easy access to common properties associated with a selected control.

We did our best to maximize the potential of Suggested Actions (and incorporate some Smart Tag functionality) in DevExpress WPF controls. The most important features we considered include quick actions - access to most used properties and MVVM behaviors and services.

The screenshot below illustrates an extended Suggested Action menu for the DevExpress WPF Data Grid.

Our Suggested Action extensions were available in Visual Studio v16.8 Preview 4 and earlier. Unfortunately, these extensions were removed in Visual Studio v16.9 Preview 1 (current version) because of changes introduced to the Visual Studio Designer by Microsoft. We are a bit disappointed by Microsoft’s decision in this regard, but we are working with Microsoft on extensibility for Suggested Actions and will make this capability available once Microsoft updates Visual Studio.

Your Feedback Matters

We’d love to get your thoughts on .NET 5 and your WPF development plans for the future. Let us know if you expect to make .NET 5 an integral part of your development strategy.

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.
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