XAF v23.2 EAP — Straightforward non-Windows Deployment, Inplace Grid Actions for Blazor, Endpoints for Business Object Methods in Web API Service

XAF Team Blog
14 September 2023

As you may already know, we are a couple of months away from our next major update (v23.2). This post describes a few XAF-related features we expect to ship in early December and details what’s inside our Early Access Preview build (for additional information on what you can expect, refer to our Year-End 2023.2 roadmap).

As you will see below, XAF key focus areas will continue to remain Blazor, EF Core and .NET 8One of XAF’s core development pillars is Low-Code/No-Code .NET application development (for Web, Desktop and APIs simultaneously). When time to market/efficiency matters (especially in today's world), XAF can help you deliver line-of-business apps in the shortest possible time using familiar RAD methodologies.

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 our Cross-Platform .NET App UI (XAF) or Web API Service, 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. Your feedback will help us fine-tune our implementation before official launch.

If you are using a trial and want to try these preview features today, you can purchase a DevExpress Universal license online (this will give you access to the early access preview build). If you own a non-Universal subscription and are ready to upgrade, email us at clientservices@devexpress.com for upgrade pricing.

What's Inside and What's Next

End of .NET Standard 2 Support

With our next major update (v23.2, set for release in December 2023), our assemblies will not be built against this target.

Learn more about this breaking change and actions to be taken in the following blog post (July, 2023): .NET — .NET Standard 2.0 Deprecation, Support for .NET 6 or .NET 8 (LTS) in DevExpress Libraries (v23.2).

DevExpress Drawing Library Support for Straightforward non-Windows Deployment

We eliminated use of System.Drawing.Common API references across XAF Blazor/WinForms UI and Web API Service. This allowed our cross-platform libraries to work as expected across Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS for .NET 7, .NET 8 and future target frameworks. This change also simplified future development and deployment for new UI platforms, such as .NET MAUI and Blazor WebAssembly with .NET 8, 9, 10, etc. - Breaking Change.

Application Security and Stability Enhancements

  • XAF's ASP.NET WebForms UI supports Content Security Policy (CSP) in v23.2. CSP helps developers automatically detect and mitigate specific security risks, including Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and data injection attacks - Documentation.
  • Enhanced logger: we modified the structure of records that we output to log files so that these records do not contain sensitive data - Breaking Change.
  • Enhanced Middle Tier Security for EF Core with WinForms UI.
  • Built-in Multiple Active Result Set (MARS) support for EF Core and non-Microsoft SQL Server databases (PostreSQL, MySql, etc.).
  • Enhanced security for Application Model Differences stored in the database (check out the new default Solution Wizard v23.2 settings for the ModelDifference and ModelDifferenceAspect types in the Updater class).

Endpoints for Business Object Methods in Web API Service

In v23.2, our Web API Service will automatically generate endpoints for business object methods (decorated with the ActionAttribute). These endpoints can accept a number of parameters and are automatically displayed in the Swagger UI. This feature improves code sharing and saves time/code lines (since you do not need to create custom Web API controllers manually) - Documentation.


Blazor UI Enhancements

IF you own the DevExpress Universal Subscription or are evaluating our Universal Subscription, we ask that you test the following Blazor UI features in this EAP (v23.2):

  • Hyperlinks for Lookup and Object Property Editors in DxGridListEditor and DetailView (to open a detail form for a related record faster).
  • Inplace / Grid Row-based Actions in DxGridListEditor.

  • Enhanced header filters for date columns.

  • Bypass adapters and access control options in code for List and Property Editors (example: DxGridListEditor.GridModel vs DxGridListEditor.GetGridAdapter().GridModel - Breaking Change).
  • Filter dependent/cascade Lookup Property Editors using the UsedProperties parameter of the DataSourceProperty attribute (in v23.1, you needed to refresh these editors in code using a Controller to view immediate updates).
  • Performance increase in Blazor Scheduler when using large datasets (we are already testing some of these enhancements in v23.1).

Your Feedback Matters!

We recommend that you test the new features outlined in this post within Visual Studio 2022 using our MainDemo.NET.EFCore demo (from "c:\Users\Public\Documents\DevExpress Demos 23.2\Components\XAF\"). You can also test the EAP build with your real app, but please remember that this build is not ready for production code. We hope to keep you posted about remaining features from our 2023.2 roadmap as  we get closer to official release (set for December 2023). 

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 v23.2 release cycle. As its name implies, the EAP offers an early preview of what we expect to ship in two months.

We realize alpha/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 our roadmap survey 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.

What's New in Our Last Major Release (v23.1)

If you have yet to review the features/capabilities introduced in our most recent major update, please visit the following webpage and let us know what you think of this release by responding to our online survey: Explore Our Newest Features (v23.1).

Thanks,
Dennis Garavsky
Principal Product Manager
dennis@devexpress.com

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