Getting to market fast with solid applications that deliver great user experiences is particularly challenging when methods, platforms and tools are constantly changing. Developer Express helps developers remain at the top of their game with powerful controls. DevExpress also provides demo applications, tutorials and tech support that make the implementation of controls more effective.

“DevExpress is the premier control vendor for the .NET space,” said Julian Bucknall, CTO of DevExpress. “Our educational products help people understand and use our controls to their best advantage.”

DevExpress offers a rich set of presentation controls, IDE productivity tools, business application frameworks and reporting systems for Visual Studio. Development teams using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Silverlight, ASP.NET or Windows Forms can use DevExpress products to build and deliver innovative applications quickly and effectively.

Last year, DevExpress updated its DXperience subscription for .NET developers twice, and it intends to do so again in 2011. The most recent version, DXperience 2010 vol. 2, included a number of new controls such as DXGrid, DXCharts and DXRibbon for Silverlight, as well as DXScheduler, DXRichEdit and DXSpellChecker for WPF. New MVC Extensions were added, along with a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) End-User Report Designer.

In Q2, DevExpress plans to expand its Windows Forms Report designer to include Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight. It also plans to extend document maps of reports beyond WPF, Silverlight and Windows Forms to ASP.NET. In addition, DevExpress plans to introduce an ASP.NET MVC Toolbar and Viewer, which will be a report viewer for ASP.NET MVC.

“We’ll have about 20 extensions for MVC in our first major release due in Q2 2011,” said Bucknall. “We’ll continue to expand the extensions so you can have them available and can be sure they’re usable in your ASP.NET MVC application.”

DevExpress also intends to introduce more WPF controls and additional Silverlight controls, with an eye toward Silverlight 5. For both Silverlight and WPF, DevExpress intends to provide smooth scrolling, RIA services support and an “Instant Feedback” UI in DXGrid. The company also plans to introduce a Silverlight Scheduler control and a WPF TreeList control. The Silverlight and WPF controls will also be expanded to include new data editors, backstage views and a Microsoft Office for Mac style in DXRibbon.

“If you’re building applications, it’s not just about controls but being able to exploit things like theming and communications,” said Bucknall. “Our controls allow you to create better-than-standard applications. Developers can put more power in the hands of end users while producing their best work.”

ASP.NET enhancements will include a Theme Builder tool, a Docking control, new ASP.NET MVC extensions, a TrackBar control, an Image Gallery control, and advanced tool tips. New chart controls will include an ASP.NET MVC Chart extension, and new 2D and 3D chart types. Windows Forms control enhancements will focus on performance and usability.

Other significant additions include a new DXperience Analytics package for building business intelligence applications. It will include support for ASP.NET, WPF and Silverlight Pivot Grids, as well as Silverlight and WPF gauges.

CodeRush will include ASP.NET MVC 3 support, as well as new language features in C# 5.0 and Visual Basic 11, such as code formatting, code clean-up and new refactorings, among other things.

“As always, I have to point out that our road maps are subject to change based on industry dynamics,” said Bucknall. “As you know, things can change very quickly, so we have to be able to react quickly when they do.”

The high performance of DevExpress’ Silverlight controls are attracting the attention of financial institutions building bank, brokerage and trading applications, as well as developers creating healthcare applications.

For example, Web application developer Medistratie recently used DevExpress’ Silverlight controls to simplify the management of healthcare and related financial processes. Using Medistratie’s application, medical staff can manage appointments as well as register and update medical records. The application also includes an advanced Form Designer built with DevExpress’ Layout control that allows users to design custom forms for specific medical situations. Medistratie also developed a Correspondence Template Editor using DevExpress’ Rich Text Control, so letters can be attached to medical records for review by the patient’s physician or other authorized professional.
Because data visualization is becoming more popular in modern medical applications, Medistratie used DevExpress’ Chart components so users could visualize health record data.

Jeroen Commandeur, software architect and cofounder of Medistratie, said his team chose DevExpress Silverlight controls because they provide advanced functionality out of the box. Originally, Medistratie considered building its own controls, but decided the development time would be better spent building features for customers.

“Developers are pressured to deliver applications faster,” said Bucknall. “If they don’t have to worry about building their own controls, they can spend more time creating or improving applications. We provide a lot of educational resources, so developers can understand how the controls, and tools can be used to accelerate and improve application development. We want to help our customers succeed in the shortest amount of time possible.”

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