XAF — Dashboards, RTF Editor, Backend Web API Service for Blazor, Audit & Security for EF Core (EAP v21.2)

XAF Team Blog
08 September 2021

As you may already know, we are a couple of months away from our next major update (v21.2). This post describes some of the features we expect to ship in October and details what’s inside our Early Access Preview build (see also our 2021 roadmap). If you own an active Universal Subscription, feel free to download this Early Access Preview (EAP) build at your convenience. 

If you own an active DXperience Subscription and would like to learn more about XAF, you can explore the features described herein by logging onto the DevExpress Download Manager and installing this EAP build in trial mode. Once you do, please take a moment to tell us whether these new features address your business needs. This will help us fine-tune our code before the official launch.

Early Access and CTP builds are provided solely for early testing purposes and are not ready for production use. This build can be installed side by side with other major versions of DevExpress products. Please backup your project and other important data before installing Early Access and CTP builds.

This EAP may not include all features/products we expect to ship in our v21.2 release cycle. As its name implies, the EAP offers an early preview of what we expect to ship in two months.

ASP.NET Core Blazor

Dashboards Module

You can now use the Dashboard component to design and preview dashboards from within your XAF-powered Blazor app.

Documentation: Dashboards Module Overview.

The Dashboards Module in the XAF-powered ASP.NET Core Blazor application

Office Module (Rich Text Editor)

XAF's Blazor UI now supports the DevExpress Rich Text Editor component (as part of XAF's Office Module).

Documentation: Office (Edit Rich Text & Spreadsheets).

Functional Testing Support

You can test your Blazor or Web Forms application via Easy Test in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Note: We no longer support Internet Explorer (see End of support for Internet Explorer 11).

Documentation: Test XAF Blazor UI Applications.

User Profile Avatar

The Security System allows you to specify a user image/avatar and display it in the top right corner of your application page.

Documentation: How to: Assign an Image to a User.

User image in an XAF-powered ASP.NET Core Blazor application

Enhanced Lookup Editor Buttons

Our Lookup Editor displays a Clear button within the UI if its AllowClear model option is enabled.

The Clear button in an XAF-powered ASP.NET Core Blazor application

Windows Forms

View in Model Action

XAF's new View in Model Action invokes the Model Editor at runtime and automatically expands a model node with settings for the current View or its business class.

View in Model Action

Enhanced Mask Settings in the Model Editor

The Model Editor now invokes the Mask Settings form and allows you to customize the mask used for your WinForms projects. Previously used EditMask and EditMaskType properties are now disabled.

Cross-Platform Enhancements

EF Core Audit Trail (RTM)

The Audit Trail Module now supports both XAF-powered Blazor and WinForms UI apps.

Documentation: Audit Trail Module (EF Core).

The Audit Trail Module in a WinForms and Blazor applications

Web API Backend Service (CTP)

You can now reuse XAF application data, logic, and modules within non-XAF apps via a Web API backend service (Swagger: OpenAPI). This service is available as a part of Blazor projects. To test, create a new XPO-based Blazor project, run the application, and navigate to https://localhost:44318/swagger/index.html. You can also test the implementation by using XAF's MainDemo Blazor application. This demo is installed in the following folder: %PUBLIC%\Documents\DevExpress Demos 21.2\Components\eXpressApp Framework\MainDemo.Blazor.

Documentation: Backend Web API Service (CTP).

Note: We do not recommend use of our new Web API Backend Service for production code. We've made it available to gather feedback and engage those of you considering it for future use.

Web API Backend Service Project

Pre-Built Error Code Diagnostics (CTP)

You can check your solution with pre-built error diagnostics using Roslyn Analyzers. You can view a detailed error report locally or integrate this option into your CI system. The following diagnostics are available in this release:

  • XAF0001: An XPO business object’s constructor invalid declaration detected.
  • XAF0002: An XPO business object’s invalid property declaration detected.

Documentation: Code Diagnostics.

Code diagnostics

.NET App Security API (Role-based Access Control) - Free Offer

Oh, and before I forget...we've got some good news for those considering our .NET App Security API for future use. We expect to ship this product free of charge in about a month or so...Once our installer is ready, we'll make an official announcement on this blog.
UPDATED: FREE OFFER - .NET App Security API (Role-based Access Control)

Visual Studio 2022 Support Coming Soon (in v21.2.4)

We will support XPO's ORM Data Model Designer, XAF's Solution Wizard and XAF's Model Editor in v21.2.4 (we are waiting for stable versions of the Modeling SDK and other tooling - available in the official Visual Studio 2022 release). In the meantime, you can:

  • continue to use design-time functionality in Visual Studio 2019;
  • reuse our prebuilt CodeRush templates in Visual Studio 2022 to quickly generate your XPO data model in code.

Breaking Changes in v21.2

Before you migrate and test existing projects, we ask that you review the following breaking changes:

Your Feedback Matters!

We realize beta-testing is a time-consuming process and we are grateful to those who invest time with our EAP builds. Find the current implementation lacking flexibility? Feel we've overlooked a valuable usage scenario? Does our current implementation fail to address your business requirements? Please post your thoughts in the comment section below or create a Support Center ticket. We will happily follow up and do what we can to extend the capabilities of our new products/features.

Free DevExpress Products - Get Your Copy Today

The following free DevExpress product offers remain available. Should you have any questions about the free offers below, please submit a ticket via the DevExpress Support Center at your convenience. We'll be happy to follow-up.
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