XAF - Web UX Enhancements (Coming soon in v15.2)

In this release cycle, we've evolved our web page templates and themes optimized for touch devices (released in v15.1). While we still continue to refine things, we believe that this feature is ready to be used in production and we do not expect major breaking changes going forward.

UPDATE: See also the XAF Goes Mobile: CTP Version Ships with v15.2.9 post to learn more on the related XAF 15.2 feature.

In addition to numerous cosmetic enhancements and capabilities that were already test-driven in previous minor updates, let me highlight a few important features:

1. Adaptive and Responsive Layout

Our ASPxGridListEditor now supports adaptive layouts in the new web style. Columns are collapsed automatically when the browser window is resized.

To enable this responsive mode, set the ASPxGridListEditor.IsAdaptive property in a ViewController. You can customize this behavior via the IModelColumnWeb.AdaptivePriority property in the Model Editor invoked for the ASP.NET project. 


This option specifies the column's priority. Columns with a lower AdaptivePriority value remain visible when the browser window shrinks, while columns with a higher value are hidden. Hidden column data can be accessed via the ellipse "..." button. In the image above, both the SUBJECT and PROJECT columns have a lower AdaptivePriority value than others.

2. Device-Specific Settings in ASP.NET Applications

Web applications can now have separate settings for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Device-specific model differences are stored in the Model.Desktop.xafml, Model.Tablet.xafml and Model.Mobile.xafml files. Database settings storage is also supported.

3. Customizable ASP.NET Templates for Touch Devices

Page templates designed for touch devices can be easily customized. Corresponding project item templates are now available in Visual Studio:

  • DevExpress v15.2 XAF ASP.NET Default Template Content V2
  • DevExpress v15.2 XAF ASP.NET Dialog Template Content V2
  • DevExpress v15.2 XAF ASP.NET Logon Template Content V2
  • DevExpress v15.2 XAF ASP.NET Nested Frame Control V2


Reporting

With v15.2, the DevExpress HTML5 Report Viewer is used by default. 


Our Web Report Designer now supports parameters with complex types (including multi-value parameters for complex types).

Finally, XAF's Reports Module can now store a layout in XML format, making complex report rendering much faster (learn more)!



Confirm unsaved changes

ASP.NET applications can now prevent loss of unsaved data by displaying a warning dialog if a user attempts to close the browser tab, or clicks an Action whose execution may lead to loss of unsaved data.


This behavior is enabled by default. You can disable it using the ConfirmUnsavedChanges property of the Options node in the Model Editor invoked for an ASP.NET project:

The option above is global. To enable/disable the confirmation dialog for a specific Action, use the ConfirmUnsavedChanges property of the ActionDesign | Action node.

By default, the IModelActionWeb.ConfirmUnsavedChanges option is set to true for the following Actions: NextObject, PreviousObject, New, DialogCancel, DialogClose, ChooseTheme, Refresh, Cancel, Edit, Logoff, ChangeVariant

Batch Edit support

ASPxGridListEditor now supports Batch Edit Mode. Unlike other modes, Batch Edit allows you to edit multiple rows and then save all modified objects at the same time.


To enable Batch Edit Mode, set the InlineEditMode property of the ListView node to Batch in the Model Editor and ensure that the AllowEdit property of the same node is set to true.


Please note the following: 

    In Batch Edit mode, the Detail View is not invoked when a user clicks a row.
    A few data types cannot be edited: imagesreferencescriteriafile attachments.
    Initial property values for new objects are passed to the client when the grid control is created and are not updated each time you create objects using the New Command Item.

Batch Edit Mode supports our new ConfirmUnsavedChanges and Validation module features.


Master-Detail support

ASPxGridListEditor now provides built-in support for the master-detail data presentation. To enable it, run the Model Editor for an ASP.NET project, and set the DetailRowMode property of the Views | ListView node to DetailView or DetailViewWithActions.


In DetailViewWithActions mode, a Detail View specified using the DetailRowView property is shown in a detail row. In DetailView mode, the same Detail View is displayed, but the toolbar of its nested List View is hidden.


By default, DetailRowMode is None and the master-detail mode is disabled.

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Please tell us what you think of these new features.

19 comment(s)
Martin Brekhof

Feels like Christmas already :-)

25 November, 2015
Mohamed Al Zayani

that's nice. but what about the new security system is it still in beta?

25 November, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Mohamed: We also have some improvements for the security system in v15.2, and I will blog about them in my next post.

26 November, 2015
Steve Sharkey

I very nearly didn't renew my subscription. All the talk of Universal etc made me think the controls had reached the pinnacle of where they would be for me and my clients for the foreseeable future.

I'm so glad I renewed, so far I would say this is sounding like the best, most notable, upgrade of your component suite that I can remember since I first subscribed (December 27th 2005!).

26 November, 2015
Vincent Micallef Decesare

Hi Dennis,

Really great features!

On the subject of XAF Web UI: Is the improved ASP.NET Filter Control (with Filter Expression Text Editor and Hierarchical Expression View) going to be part of XAF 15.2? Is it going to be used for the ASPxCriteriaPropertyEditor and ASPxPopupCriteriaPropertyEditor?

Thank you

26 November, 2015
Stanislaw Tristan

I have very hoped about view inheritance...

26 November, 2015
James S K Makumbi

Awesome features.

THis is shaping up to be excellent. An early Christmas indeed.

26 November, 2015
Mert Eşsiz

Well Done! These improvements are Awesome ;)

26 November, 2015
J Joubert

Great features. Any idea when we can expect to see your dashboards controls in XAF?

26 November, 2015
Chris Royle (LOB)

@Dennis - how close is the current 15.1 Web UI CTP  to 15.2 functionality ? We tend to run one or more DX releases behind for our production code.

27 November, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Steve, James, Mert: Thanks for your comments!

@Vincent: It's currently in the works, hopefully it will be fully integrated in one of the 15.2 minor updates.

@Stanislaw: It's still under consideration, thanks.

@J Joubert: That's already possible as described at www.devexpress.com/.../Q449507. We also think about simplifying their integration for the future.

@Chris: The new web UI was in CTP in v15.1, so it's best to move to v15.2 to use this feature in production, because it is more polished and provides more customization options. In the worst case, you can move to the latest v15.1 release.

27 November, 2015
Mike_Grace

Is it possible to use XAF for an internet based application or is it still only recommended for Intranet?

27 November, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Mike_Grace:

Would you please contact us through the Support Center and elaborate a bit more on your project requirements (the application type, number of concurrent users to be served, etc.), because your question is a bit vague? With that, we will be in a better position to answer you. I mean that there are already many XAF web apps published on the Web (examples: one, two) and this is just a matter of how you deploy your app, which is not specific to the product itself. XAF itself is also designed to handle a set of scenarios for which its UI is optimized. So, for instance, it's not a good idea to build an online store front end with it, while at the same time it can be a good choice for the administrative backend app or CMS.

30 November, 2015
Mike_Grace

Sorry to be vague. What I meant is that is not meant for general web applications like a web store etc..

30 November, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

Thanks for your clarification, Mike. Yes, at this time it's better to use other tools for this sort of web apps.

30 November, 2015
Robert Waite

Great Job on all the new features.

Very excited about the Batch Edit and Master Detail feature.

I take it that Master detail is not yet available for WinForms?

3 December, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Robert: Thanks for your feedback!

As for WinForms, you can currently implement it yourself as per www.devexpress.com/.../AS12152.

3 December, 2015
James Zhong

Thanks for your XAF improvements!

15 December, 2015
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@James: You're always welcome!

16 December, 2015

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