XAF: Brand New Module & Features for both Windows and the Web (Coming soon in v14.2)

End-User Report Designer for ASP.NET

With this release, the Reports V2 module supports the ASP.NET Report Designer out-of-the-box. End-users can create and modify reports directly in a browser!


Check it out! We have already incorporated this functionality in all of our demos that include reports. (e.g., in MainDemo or FeatureCenter).

Note that you do have to change your code to enable the designer in an existing XAF app. If you have an application with the Reports V2 module included, simply upgrade it to v14.2 using the Project Converter tool.

After the upgrade, you will see that the New Action is now available in the Reports View. To design an existing report created at runtime, select it and click Action_Report_ShowDesignerShow Report Designer.

The ASPxReportDesigner control is displayed in a popup by default. You can change this behavior using the ReportsAspNetModuleV2.DesignAndPreviewDisplayMode property. If you change the mode from Popup to DetailView in the Application Designer, the designer will be displayed in the main window (screenshot).


New Notifications Module for WinForms and ASP.NET

With this release, we've added a new Notifications module (CTP) allowing you to display reminders for scheduler appointments or any custom objects, e.g. tasks. The Scheduler module itself was improved to provide the corresponding UI for configuring reminders and visualizing them in the calendar. Basically, when creating a scheduler event you can create reminders like in Outlook:

 
 

and then an application will display a popup window before an event starts:

The Notifications module is a separate module which does not necessarily have to be bound to the Scheduler module: it can display notifications that come from anywhere. In the latter case your goal as a developer is to just feed the notifications service with notification items and the service will process them as required. For now, please keep in mind that this will ship as a preview. We are looking forward to your feedback so we can continue to improve the module to meet your specific requirements.



User Settings Stored in the Application Database

Starting with v14.2 all application settings and user preferences (so-called model differences) can be stored and managed directly in the application database for both WinForms and ASP.NET applications. This feature enables your customers to “roam” between machines and still have access to the appropriate settings:



Previously, these settings were stored in the file system (for WinForms) and in the browser cookies (for ASP.NET) by default. There was also a mechanism for preserving this stuff in any custom data store.

This functionality is implemented in the system module and it is activated automatically when you enable the Security System in the Solution Wizard or in code. This new settings storage is enabled by default in all newly created WinForms apps. You can enable the same in existing or Web applications by writing a few lines of code.


Bands Support in Grid List Editors for WinForms and ASP.NET

You can now enable bands in grid controls for both WinForms and ASP.NET applications:

 

The band layout can be configured either at runtime via the grid control interface or at design time via the Model Editor under the Views | ListView | BandsLayout node (even in the platform-agnostic module!):


While working on this feature, we have refactored our Grid List Editors (XAF wrappers around the GridControl and ASPxGridView components) so that now it would be much easier for you to enable support for other view types (card view, layout view, etc.) by  inheriting from our classes.

 

New Ribbon Templates for WinForms

We introduced the new Ribbon templates for Main and Detail forms of a WinForms application. Now you can easily customize the placement of your UI commands via the familiar interface of the RibbonControl wizard you often see in traditional WinForms development:

These new templates are also registered for the 'Add New Item...' dialog in Visual Studio so you can add them into your project and customize according to your business needs:


The improved templates are also used in newly created XAF projects by default.

Previously, we provided a single universal version of our WinForms templates for both classic and ribbon menus. While this universality had some great advantages for us at runtime, it cause issues whenever customization was needed. Yes, it was possible to customize everything at runtime, but it was much less convenient for developers.  

So, now, say, placing any standard or custom Action command into a custom ribbon group is no longer a problem at design time. Check out this short video for more details.

 

As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. Let us know what you think.

 

P.S.

This is of course not all that our team has prepared for the upcoming 14.2 release. In my next large post I will cover a bunch of enhancements to existing features & performance tuning for ASP.NET.

28 comment(s)
Edilson Junior

that's great news!!! All of it!!! Please tell me you also improved the action visual designer possibilities with complex controls...

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

Thanks for your feedback, Edilson!

>>the action visual designer possibilities with complex controls...

 Would you please elaborate on your specific requirements for complex action controls?

18 November, 2014
Paolo Liverani

Interesting but are there any news about the middle tier performance problem?

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Paolo: Thanks! Not for this release, I am afraid.

18 November, 2014
Raoulw

Kudos for the User Settings Storage and Reminders! ASP.NET Ribbon, please please?

18 November, 2014
Martin Praxmarer - DevExpress MVP

Great Work Guys! Question: Is it possible to edit those stored models at runtime? (like in xpand?)

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Raoulw:

Thanks for your feedback! Not in this release, but it is on our radar.

18 November, 2014
Paolo Liverani

Too bad. As it is now it is only a Proof Of Concept and it is not usable in any real application (and that leaves open the problem of security)....

Any idea when you will have a new middle tier implementation?

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Noxe: Yes, you can do this using the CRUD interface of the XAF app (see the screenshot) - currently, the simplest and the official way to edit these settings;-)

18 November, 2014
Martin Praxmarer - DevExpress MVP

Great Dennis. So are these only user diffs - or is it possible to store other layer there also? For example, currently with xpand we have application wide diffs (like Model.xafml), role diffs (linked to an user role), and user diffs.

18 November, 2014
Martin Praxmarer - DevExpress MVP

BTW: In the screenshot above there is "No Items to Show" -> is this related to the new notifications module?

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Paolo: While I cannot promise any release date, we will definitely inform you of these improvements in our team blog and Support Center. In the meantime, it is still possible to have a secured app not directly connected to the database, but rather to the IDataStore service. I want to help and invite you to discuss this particular scenario further via email (dennis no spam devexpress dot com) not to go completely off-topic here. Thanks!

18 November, 2014
Paolo Cellarosi

Dennis, no news regarding the optimized version for tablet announced for the 13.2 and then disappeared from radar?

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Noxe: At the moment you can edit shared model (former Model.XAFML) and user differences. There is no built-in means for editing custom layers (e.g., for roles) added at runtime, but I think we can consider this improvement if it gets popular among other customers.

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

>>BTW: In the screenshot above there is "No Items to Show" -> is this related to the new notifications module?

Yes!

18 November, 2014
Carlitos

Very nice! Looking forward to it. Role Diffs are needed! :D

18 November, 2014
Nate Laff

awesome stuff! really looking forward to notifications, the user model and the new ribbon templates.

18 November, 2014
Chris Royle (LOB)

Looks like some good additions.

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Paolo: Not for this release, although this is on our TODO list.

18 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

Thanks for your comments Carlos, Nate and Chris!

18 November, 2014
Alexander Krakhotko (Xafari team)

in version 14.2 is available ASP Report Designer

would like to know a unrelated question: available design Spreadsheet MailMerge in ASP 14.2?

19 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Alexander: I checked with the Spreadsheet team about main merge capabilities, and they pointed out the following demos, which are already available in the current 14.1 version:

1. demos.devexpress.com/.../MailMerge.aspx

2. demos.devexpress.com/.../DataMerging.aspx

Honestly, we are all not completely sure about the "design" part of your question, so I would kindly ask you to contact the team directly via the Support Center (www.devexpress.com/.../Create) and clarify your requirements (also not to mix unrelated topics here). Thanks!

19 November, 2014
Achmad Mulyadi

Great additions, eagerly waiting for 14.2... I'm waiting for another good news: Middle Tier (badly) and Org Chart (wonder if you have this one in your list)

20 November, 2014
Sayyid Nasri Haik

Why you not save xafml without security? You can save only 1 row in database when without security and named "Shared Model Settings"

23 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Achmad: I have answered about the middle-tier application server to Paolo above (if the overall performance in this particular configuration is your main concern).

28 November, 2014
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Sayyid: Thanks for your idea, we will definitely take it into account!

28 November, 2014
vasanthkumar rajasekhar

the Module that would be really nice addition is the Forum.

a Forum (discussion baord) that can be accessed in all platforms

that would be nice.

pls add it in future version as a module.

23 February, 2015
Krzysztof Krzysztof (LOB)

I added a ticket on DX to vote on for Role Based Diffs and Model Custom Layers (e.g. for roles):

www.devexpress.com/.../T346782

17 February, 2016

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