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.

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Satya Kolachina
Satya Kolachina

Upgrading my application to use DevExpress 20.2.3 wpf components, fails compilation in Visual Studio 16.8.

Some weird messages are shown like some Microsoft assemblies expected of version 4.6; but found 4.5. I have no clue of what these messages are. When I am upgrading the DevExpress components version, why should I get messages about Microsoft assemblies?

The whole thing is confusing, and I am frustrated.

- Satya Kolachina


18 November 2020
Alex Chuev (DevExpress)
Alex Chuev (DevExpress)
Satya,

Our support team is currently reviewing the ticket regarding compilation errors. I notified them how important this issue is to you.

Thanks,
Alex
19 November 2020
Satya Kolachina
Satya Kolachina

Hi Alex,

I want to share here my observation and how I fixed the problem. May be it will help your team one way or the other.

When I first installed DevExpress components version 20.2.3, after upgrading Visual studio to version 16.8, and tried compiling my application, I noticed that Visual Studio was complaining that some of .NET's original libraries were itself downgraded to earlier versions. This was completely confusing to me and I could not understand how it happened.

Then I tested on a different machine with identical Visual Studio installation. But, this time I did not install DevExpress components at all; I pulled only the relevant packages through NuGet package manager, and added them to my solution. 

This time it compiled error-free. I strongly believe that installing the DevExpress components locally onto the machine has done something wrong to my Visual Studio configuration. On that prior machine, I reinstalled Windows 10, followed by Visual Studio and just pulled DevExpress components using Nuget package manager. I chose to reinstall windows 10, because I do not want a machine with improper .NET packages sitting in the C: drive, which cannot be cleaned-up or repaired easily.

Now I am seriously scared to install DevExpress components locally onto my computer, as I am not ready to redo all the installations.

I want to hear from DevExpress that the installation of DevExpress WPF components locally on the computer is safe; until then I prefer the NuGet package manager approach.

Regards,

Satya S Kolachina


29 November 2020
Ivan (DevExpress Support)
Ivan (DevExpress Support)
Hello,

We are investigating the issue with Satya in a private Support Center ticket. We could not reproduce this issue, even though my colleagues and I installed the same version. Also, we have not received similar reports from other customers.

In general, 'https://packagesource' is the default source you would see if you try to add a new NuGet source in your Visual Studio options (Tools -> Options, then select NuGet Package Manager -> Package Sources). It should be sufficient to disable the wrong source to resolve this issue.

If you encountered a similar issue due to our installation, please contact us in the Support Center or at wpfteam@devexpress.com.


 
9 December 2020
Ozan Yasin Dogan
Ozan Yasin Dogan

Hello,

I have been trying to switch from classical Winforms (.Net Framework) to WPF and willing to use .Net5 SDK for some time. I start to get use to MVVM pattern now,its quite fun but losing the simplicty of using your components on a .Net Framework project is not there. I wouldn't like to read all your documentation for every piece of XAML work, before I used to let it done by your designer tools. Now I have to use a dummy .Net Framework project to let DX designers to generate XAML code and to apply some other templates. I think you should upgrade your wizards to support EFCore with MVVM pattern too.

Thanks and good luck.

27 December 2020
Ozan Yasin Dogan
Ozan Yasin Dogan

Hello,

Again me :)

Any chance WPF Designer Extensions will be available

for .Net Core 5 projects any time soon?

I wonder what everyone else doing, coding everything in XAML?

Thanks,

9 February 2021
Alex Chuev (DevExpress)
Alex Chuev (DevExpress)

Hi Ozan,


Some of our designer extensions are already available for .NET 5. Namely, interactivity (selection of non-visual elements such as Toolbar items, tab switching), Toolbox, adorners. Suggested Action extensions are currently in development and will be supported as soon as Visual Studio releases an update including this feature. We are also reworking other wizards and dialogs and plan to ship them after Suggested Actions.


Which designer extensions do you consider the most important in .NET 5 apps?


Feel free to contact me at wpfteam@devexpress.com so that we can discuss your requirements in greater detail.


Thanks,

Alex

10 February 2021

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