As we enter into the new fiscal year here at ComponentOne, it is once again time to summarize what’s new and what’s coming in our products. This is the perfect opportunity for you to check out what we have planned and to make suggestions. Your input will help direct our future efforts. Thank you in advance for your feedback.
HTML5 / Wijmo
The XAML platform continues to be extremely important for us. The improvements we make to our common code base are immediately reflected in our Studios for WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone, WinRT, and LightSwitch. Big news from the Microsoft BUILD event is ComponentOne’s support for writing universal XAML apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. In 2014, we have added automation support for coded UI testing in WPF and WinRT (LightSwitch already had that for a while). We also added chart grouping, an exciting feature that allows you to create smarter charts without having to write any extra code. And we improved our C1CollectionView, which is now even faster than before and supports incremental loading, which improves performance when loading large data sets. Later in 2014, we plan to add the following new features to the XAML stack:
- New Pivot grid and modern-UI inspired controls for WPF
- Improved map control
- Scheduling for WinRT XAML
- Enhanced support for Entity Framework (with the release of C1DataSource for EF6)
Our Studio for LightSwitch continues to leverage the improvements we make to the Wijmo and XAML controls. Late last year, we added a Silverlight-based Gantt chart control. Early this year, we added several new HTML5 data visualization controls based on the popular D3 library. These include Bubble chart, Gantt chart, Heatmap, Timeline, and Treemap. We plan to continue expanding and improving our Studio for LightSwitch with new tools based on our Wijmo and XAML controls. Most recently we released a couple of NuGet packages that make it really easy to integrate ActiveReports with LightSwitch HTML client apps. In the server project, you have access to the report designer and can consume LightSwitch data sources directly. In the client project, you get a ready-made screen that hosts the HTML5 report viewer and communicates with the server project to render the report. The generated code also includes guidance for implementing parameterized reports with the viewer UI, or in code using LightSwitch screen properties. You will want to check out Michael Washington’s blog post, Creating a LightSwitch HTML Report Using ActiveReports (using Parameters and Intrinsic Data), for a real world demonstration.
In 2013 we released several important improvements to our Studio for WinForms suite. My favorite is the new Theme Designer, which we have improved significantly since the initial release. We now offer over 25 professionally designed themes that you can easily add to your existing applications to make them look and behave better than ever. We are also releasing a new version of our Entity Framework data source. This version is based on Microsoft’s Entity Framework 6, and allows you to leverage EF6’s power and ease of use in your WinForms applications.
We are very proud of the recently released ActiveReports 8, the latest version of the most popular reporting tool on the market. ActiveReports 8 adds an HTML5 viewer so you can see reports on mobile devices. It also has support for maps and a server core for scalable and distributed report execution and scheduling and caching of batch reports. Finally, we added an easy-to-use browser-based report designer. Later this year, we plan to release ActiveReports 9, which will add an HTML5-based portal for ActiveReports Server, report designer feature and usability enhancements and speed improvements. We will also add a Table of Contents report item, tracing mode, and query designers. As discussed in my highlights of LightSwitch, we released a couple of NuGet packages that make it really easy to integrate ActiveReports with LightSwitch HTML client apps. Michael Washington’s blog post, Creating a LightSwitch HTML Report Using ActiveReports (using Parameters and Intrinsic Data) shares additional insight into this integration.