.NET Business App Framework (XAF) 2019 Roadmap – Your Vote Counts

XAF Team Blog
27 December 2018

We are finalizing our 2019 eXpressApp Framework (XAF) Roadmap. Your feedback will allow us to focus on features/capabilities that matter most.

EDIT: Here is our final roadmap: eXpressApp Framework – 2019 Roadmap.


There are a number of housekeeping related tasks that need to be completed during each release cycle. The following list outlines major tasks we have planned for 2019.

  • Add support for Visual Studio 2019. We need to update and test our extensions for Item and Project Templates, Application and Module Designers, Model Editor and EasyTest integration. v18.2.4 will already cover a lot of these, but other tasks such as support for AsyncPackage will be completed with the official release of Visual Studio 2019.
  • Support .NET Core 3.0 in WinForms apps. The DevExpress WinForms team has announced plans for .NET Core 3 (refer to the following blog post for more information). We will do everything we can to support .NET Core 3. As you can imagine, much of our output will be shaped by the .NET Core API itself (no ASP.NET WebForms – changes to Middle Tier Security because of pruned WCF support, etc.).
  • Make certain platform-agnostic XAF features like security, validation, and audit are available to non-XAF developers who create custom user interfaces with Xamarin, React, Vue and other client technologies. We hope to produce more tutorials and samples like How to: Use the Integrated Mode of the Security System in Non-XAF Applications (with a focus on Microsoft Azure deployment).
  • EDIT:

    We are fully committed to XAF and are continuing to evolve its capabilities. We have made the decision to focus our efforts on XAF Blazor UI going forward.
    For more information, please see the following:

    Offer the new ASP.NET Core and React-based SPA UI for production in the v19.1 timeframe (at least for simple scenarios). We don’t expect to support all extended modules in our initial release. To discuss our new vision, roadmap and technical requirements more effectively with the XAF community, please visit our private discussion forum - exclusively for Universal customers. Feel free to leave comments to this post, email us at xafteam@devexpress.com or submit tickets using the Support Center if you are unable to join the discussion on our forum.

  • Continue making incremental enhancements to our ASP.NET WebForms UI (see top requests below). Please note that our primary focus will be on the new XAF’s Web & Mobile UI but we will do what we can to address the needs of those reliant on our ASP.NET WebForms UI.
  • Continue to evolve XAF’s WinForms UI. Among other changes, we hope to introduce a modern splash form by default, eliminate extra borders in PivotChart editor, nested frames (for instance, DetailPropertyEditor), hide rarely used standard Actions from form templates (T586203, T539813, T452094), and suppress the save confirmation for new unmodified objects (E2114).
  • Improve the efficiency/usability of developer tools like our Model Editor, Solution Wizard, Template Gallery, Application and Module Designers, Localization Service, DBUpdater and ORM Data Model. We look forward to hearing what you find most important here (just a few examples: T410857, Q104682).
  • Performance enhancements. We will further parallelize internal XafApplication.Setup/Start operations to reduce startup time. There are also opportunities to improve both XAF and DevExpress control code for all supported platforms (see the following from earlier this year).
  • Non-Persistent object enhancements. Features include support for filtering; propagate FindObject, CommitChanges, Refresh and other methods from NonPersistentObjectSpace to AdditionalObjectSpaces (T509228); support CRUD operations with non-persistent objects in a nested ListView of a persistent object DetailView (T486427, T510338, T695631).

If you do not find any of these items important, please share your perspective with us - we will be more than happy to listen.

Your Vote Counts!

In addition to the housekeeping items listed above, we hope to introduce a number of new features in 2019 – features that were driven by feedback from our loyal user base.

Feature Group #1: Asynchronous Operation Support and Better Progress Indication.
This feature is from the last roadmap, but it is still interesting today. With v18.2, we can leverage XPO’s async/await method support in IObjectSpace and other XAF APIs (T683644) - a new IObjectSpaceAsync interface may be coming. This will introduce the following benefits (primarily for WinForms):

  • Enhance perceived performance with the help of asynchronous Actions (open DetailView from ListView, save DetailView).
  • Visualize long-running background processes (such as time consuming calculations) in custom Actions with a progress bar and allow end-users to work with other parts of your application.
  • Visualize blocking UI operations with overlay forms and other loading indicators - all powered by the WinForms SplashScreenManager.
  • Notify end-users after successful execution (even for simple, but important operations like saving or deleting data).

This feature will also help increase ASP.NET Core Data Service throughput under a high load in our new SPA UI for Web and Mobile. For more information on use-case scenarios, please refer to the following support tickets: T112329, AS6060, CQ59274, Q352118.

Though we believe this feature can really make a difference to end-users, it is difficult to implement and test. It is also quite error prone, as anything related to multi-threading. It will also cause inevitable breaking changes to existing code. For instance, all UI-related logic must consider that current View data records and controls may not be immediately available or initialized. For more information, refer to the IsDelayedDetailViewDataLoadingEnabled and DelayedViewItemsInitialization option prerequisites.

Feature Group #2: Support additional DevExpress component features.

  • Enhanced Tree List Editors module with support for inplace data editing, better filtering options and more (S30514, S30735 S38121).
  • Enable enhanced WinForms Filter and Expression editors in the Model Editor and within built-in List and Property Editors.
  • Support native conditional formatting in our built-in List Editors (T291012).
  • Introduce collapsible layout groups (WinForms) and retain their states – much like our WebForms UI implementation (S135134).
  • Support new XPO server mode components for our grids (XPServerModeDataView and XPInstantFeedbackDataView - see the XPO roadmap).
  • Support reference properties in ASPxGridView's Batch Edit mode without custom code.

Feature Group #3: New Property Editor types (DevExpress controls that have not been integrated into XAF).

  • Property Editors for reference or lookup properties based on WinForms SearchLookUpEdit and TreeListLookUpEdit. This is a long-overdue item and I expect that it will be implemented as it addresses a number of problems (T232591, T467070, Q577870).
  • Property Editors for date and time properties based on TimeEdit, TimeSpanEdit and ASPxTimeEdit (T460196, T411714).
  • Property Editors for string or collection properties based on TokenEdit and ASPxTokenBox (T122733).
  • Property Editors for string or collection properties based on a checked list or combo boxes (E1807, T208139).
  • Property Editors for string or reference properties based on HyperLinkEdit and ASPxHyperLink (E2096).
  • Property Editors for string or byte array properties that display PDF file content (T213126).
  • Property Editors for string or byte array properties that display Excel spreadsheet content (Q503665).
  • Property Editors for string or byte array properties that display RTF content on the Web (S31438).

Your Feedback Is Needed!

A quick disclaimer...though we want to deliver everything (and deliver it yesterday), I don’t want to make any guarantees. As always we welcome your comments and specific usage-scenarios, the more you share, the better we can understand your business needs now and into the future.

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