Enhanced experience

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
Developer Express has introduced new and enhanced controls in DXperience v2008 vol 2 beta 1. Among its new WinForms controls is XtraWizard, which can simplify the way developers create and deliver step-by-step “guides” and/or detailed data entry forms in their smart client solutions. Once dropped on a form, the XtraWizard turns any Windows form into a multi-page wizard and its appearance and theme management features make creating standards based UIs easier. Also completely new is the XtraGauges Suite, which includes linear, circular, digital and state indicator gauge types with a total of 84 ready-to-use gauge presets. It features automatic layout so that gauges are consistently arranged without overlapping issues during resizing operations and superior zoom without loss of quality through zero raster zoom effects.

The updated components include ASPxTreeList, a control for ASP.NET AJAX which now offers a built-in data editing UI, tree node validation and error indication support and tree node drag and drop support. The ASPxHTML Editor Suite has also been enhanced and now has integrated HTML spell checking, pre-defined text formatting styles and complete XHTML compliance.

DXperience v2008 vol 2 has several enhancements that are common to all its ASP.NET controls. The new ASPxClientUtils class allows developers to easily perform typical client-side actions such as determining web browser type, working with arrays, accessing an object’s parent or child object, obtaining event parameters and transmitting data onto the client. All DevExpress AJAX-enabled controls now allow you to use callbacks to easily exchange data with the web server. Controls expose a JSProperties property, which allows you to declare custom properties for the client control. You can specify these property values on the server and then access them on the client as you would with built-in properties. Whereas previously, enabling or disabling a control or a particular control element required a round trip to the server, in v2008 vol 2 the ASPxEditors and ASPxperience Libraries allow you to change their enabled state or the state of their elements (e.g., tabs and menu items) on the client side, to reduce the number of round trips and increase web site responsiveness. A new server-side IsCallback property has been added to determine whether a control is taking part in callback processing. It has also added native rendering for data editors in that some controls from the ASPxEditors Library (ASPxTextBox, ASPxMemo, ASPxListBox, ASPxComboBox and ASPxButton) can now be rendered as HTML INPUT elements which can provide a Windows style UI across any web site. Such native rendering results in less HTML code, thus improving the application’s overall performance.

To help developers learn about its products and discover how to use specific features the DevExpress Channel is now broadcasting at tv.devexpress.com, giving access to over 100 product training videos and dozens of one-on-one interviews. Recently published videos include ones on Code Refactoring, Object Relational Mapping, the ASP.NET AJAX Data Grid and the WPF Data Grid.

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