With an uncertain eye to the future of Windows, DevExpress this week announced an update to its DXperience suite of charts and controls for the Microsoft platform.
The release of DXperience v2011 “targets the end-user experience more and more,” said Julian Bucknall, CTO of DevExpress. A new Instant Feedback UI separates data gathering from the interface, so users clicking through pages don’t find the UI frozen while data is being collected from the back end, he said. “The delay is so frustrating for end users,” he said.
“We’re already planning our November release,” Bucknall said. “If we learn something new in September [at BUILD 2011], there’s not enough time to implement it.”
Silverlight 5 is coming out, but Microsoft isn’t saying anything about its future beyond that, nor of Windows Presentation Foundation, nor ASP.NET. This, Bucknall said, could cause problems.
“If you’re corporate IT and have an application that’ll take nine months to develop, you’ll use WPF because it’ll still be valid,” he said. “There’s more concern if there are longer-term plans. It’s very frustrating if they write the application, for example, for WPF, but Microsoft says in September it’s winding down.”
People, Bucknall said, want to write for platforms that are up and coming, not going away. To try to stay current, he said the company has added a package called Experience Analytics to its suite, which enables users to move widgets around on a screen as a first step toward creating dashboards.
“We’re keen on analytics, and we needed some way to allow the end user to move things around to create that ‘executive screen’ that business requires to assess the health of the organization,” he said. The company has added gauges for WPF and Silverlight, and has “put its toe in the water” with a new report viewer for Visual Studio LightSwitch, Microsoft’s self-service development tool for non-technical people to create business applications.