Scaffolding Wizards (for WPF and WinForms) – The Past and the Future

WPF Team Blog
27 January 2022

In this blog post, we’ll quickly summarize the history behind our Scaffolding Wizard, and explain why we’ve chosen to cease additional development on the wizard itself.

The Past (circa 2013)

In 2013, we created our WPF Scaffolding Wizard to help generate a simple application from a data model. We developed the WPF Scaffolding Wizard rather quickly and added it to our WinForms suite a couple of years later. The wizards were well received, so we continued to add new features to the wizard – features that made the Scaffolding increasingly complex.

As complexity rose, so too did confusion. The Scaffolding Wizard could generate large projects with multiple folder levels, several classes and styles, and complex communications between different levels. Feedback through support tickets made us realize that users struggled to adapt Scaffolding projects to their needs. We could neither add new features, nor simplify Scaffolding without losing core functionality. In recent years, we have only modified the Scaffolding Wizard to address bugs/issues. Major Visual Studio updates caused new issues: WinForms Scaffolding hanged in certain scenarios in Visual Studio 2019 and we couldn’t find a way to fix this. When Visual Studio 2022 was released, we noticed that the Scaffolding Wizard no longer had a viable path forward (due in part to significant design-time changes in Visual Studio). We spent a long time trying to fix design-time issues, but ultimately realized that it’s almost impossible without reworking the entirety of the Scaffolding Wizard and its underlying structure.

The Present and Future

We’ve been forced to make a tough decision and one that may disappoint some of our loyal users. We have opted to end efforts to adapt the Scaffolding Wizard to Visual Studio 2022. While this is not good news, our experience with Visual Studio 2022 and its design time inspired us to create a new wizard that generates a simple and flexible code for CRUD operations based on a data source. The wizard won’t create a complex hierarchy, so you will be able to easily adapt the generated code to your needs.

How our decision affects current Scaffolding users

  • Scaffolding Wizard Items will be removed from Visual Studio 2022 in the next minor update (v21.2.6).
  • We will remove Scaffolding Wizard Items from all Visual Studio versions in our v22.1 release cycle.
  • You will still be able to work on projects generated with prior versions of DevExpress/Visual Studio products.
  • We will continue fixing issues discovered within the Scaffolding Wizard until December 2022.
  • We expect to release WPF Items Source Wizard in v22.1. The Item Source Wizard will allow you to generate simple code for CRUD operations based on your data source. We've prepared an example to demonstrate the user scenarios our new wizard will support: Implement CRUD Operations in the WPF Data Grid

Should you have questions about our decision to terminate Scaffolding Wizard-related development or the impact of this decision on a current project, please submit a support ticket via the DevExpress Support Center. We will be happy to follow up.

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