XAF - Filter Editor Improvements in List Views (coming in v2011 vol1)

XAF Team Blog
13 May 2011


I would love to share some good news with our XAF customers. It all regards one of the most widely used utility control – Filter Editor. Before I start revealing this news, I would like to refresh your memory and remind you about the latest improvements we made to the control back in v2010 vol 2. As some of you may have already guessed, I am talking about an extended version of Filter Editor, allowing you to edit filters in both tree-like and text-based forms. The embedded text window, leveraging our Rich Text Editor, not only allowed end-users to type any valid criteria expression that could sometimes not be represented on a tree-like form, but also provided great filter editing capabilities, such as syntax highlighting, Intellisense and support for in-place editors. 

Although these improvements were great and were highly appreciated by our customers, we received a lot of other feedback, from which we understood that there still were some important scenarios for which the usability of Filter Editor could be improved further. For instance, some categories of end-users may be more familiar with the tree-like editor rather than with manual typing a criterion in the text window, even if the latter has all those great editing capabilities.  This is mainly because some end-users may simply not get (should they?) criteria language syntax specifics. This is, especially, might drive them nuts in case of creating a criteria expression, involving nested object properties or collections, because such properties were not displayed on the tree-like form of Filter Editor. For instance, this is a text representation of the Contains Operator, allowing me to filter out objects, having a certain city in their collection of addresses: Addresses[City = ’Chicago’]
Now you should see what usability problem I meant above.


I will be very short (like Gary ShortWinking smile) since now, and say that, of course, we lent ear to our customers and delivered a solution for the scenario described above. I opted to demonstrate you exactly what we have done with the help of a small video, as it seems to be worth a thousand of words:


Future plans

For now, the above improvements to Filter Editor are exclusively available for XAF customers, and work in the List View’s GridControl only. We plan to respectively enhance other XAF modules (e.g. reports, analysis, etc. - by using a unified filtering solution in ALL the places) and also support other controls and platforms in future versions of our libraries. Fortunately for us, the base logic of Filter Editor is implemented in the shared Data library, so it makes it easier and faster for us to introduce new features for other controls and platforms.

Please let us know your feedback!

Did you like what you have just watched? Please let us know in comments below.
Finally, I would say that as any software, Filter Editor can be improved further, and for sure it will be improved in the future. As always, we would love to hear from you if you think that some important features are still missing, or there are scenarios that could be supported better. Thank you for your help in advance!

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