Throughout 2012 Microsoft will be making stepwise releases of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 starting with a public Consumer Preview released on February 29th. With Microsoft’s new platform, application developers will have more options and more capabilities than ever before. But professional developers won’t be the only ones to benefit from these new tools. Microsoft has really extended its reach to include non-professional application developers with Visual Studio LightSwitch, to commercial App developers with a new Metro UI Shell and App Marketplace - and to non-traditional “Microsoft” developers with first-class citizen-support for jQuery, CSS, and HTML. For more than twenty years ComponentOne has been dedicated to supporting Microsoft in its continuing effort to deliver the most innovative application platforms with the best performance and user experience that current technology can bring. As a top-tier partner, ComponentOne is continuing its commitment to provide relevant developer tools that enable our customers to create the best possible applications in the shortest amount of time. 2012 is going to be a big year for Microsoft Windows and Visual Studio and in continuing our tradition of sim-shipping new versions of our tools with Microsoft’s latest offerings; we are going to be very very busy!
Maps are becoming more prevalent in our day-to-day experiences; GPS systems in our cars, finding a hotel online, even locating a restaurant or nearby friends using a smartphone. As the uses of maps as a new dimension in data visualization and analysis continues to expand, it’s natural to look at ways of incorporating them into our applications as well. Just as grids, gauges, charts and reports enable rich ways to display and interact with data, so do maps in many new and powerful ways.
2012 promises to be a big year of new technologies and new tools. While Windows Forms development may appear absent on Microsoft’s roadmap, the platform continues to show high adoption for creating streamlined client applications. ComponentOne plans to continue support of its popular Studio for WinForms and OLAP for WinForms controls while adding some exciting new features and controls in the next year.
The most exciting thing to expect in WinForms is our continued innovation surrounding the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework. With Studio for Entity Framework you get first-class support for the framework in Windows applications. Data binding is improved and simplified, as well as made more powerful with advanced features like virtual mode.
You can also expect some new controls including the GanttView, which provides Microsoft Project-like task scheduling and resource management all in an easy-to-use UI control. This will mark the first time a control like this has been offered by ComponentOne for any platform.
And with the release of Windows 8 tablets the need for touch ready applications will grow. In the next year we plan to add support for multi-touch and gestures across the entire WinForms suite. Windows Forms development is not going away, and no matter what version of Visual Studio and .NET you plan to use, you can be assured that our WinForms controls will work as you have always expected.
If you’re currently developing with Silverlight or WPF you will be able to continue developing on Windows 8 and with Visual Studio 11. We still believe in these XAML platforms as powerful technologies for building rapid business applications. You can continue to expect great innovation in the Silverlight, WPF and even Windows Phone platforms as we push out 3 feature-packed releases in 2012 in addition to the new Metro controls.
Over the past year the tech industry has seen a revolution with HTML5. The Web has been quickly adopting and implementing HTML5 as a new standard. We also see industry leaders like Adobe and Microsoft embracing HTML5 as a platform for development beyond the Web. Adobe is offering tools for native mobile development on Android and iOS. Microsoft is making even greater investment by offering tools for developing applications for Windows 8 with HTML5. We could not be more excited about this new trend in our industry because we have spent the last two years investing in HTML5 and jQuery with our Wijmo product.
Wijmo is a complete kit of UI components for HTML5 development. We have powerful tools that can be used for Web development today. Our plans for 2012 are to align with Adobe and Microsoft by extending our HTML5 UI tools to Mobile and Windows 8 development. Our goal is to have a single HTML5 framework that can be used in Web, Mobile and Windows development.
ASP.NET has been a focal point for ComponentOne lately. We released Studio for ASP.NET Wijmo-an innovative new product-last year that offered a unified toolset for WebForms and MVC development. Our ASP.NET Controls are built on Wijmo, our core technology powered by HTML5 and jQuery. We will continue to invest in both Wijmo and in Studio for ASP.NET Wijmo by developing new UI Controls and adding touch support to the entire suite.
We also plan to create an ASP.NET product for Mobile Web development in 2012. This new product will be similar to our Studio for iPhone product, but will be targeted to broader Mobile development to make your Web applications usable on many different devices.
Lastly, we are partnering with Microsoft and appendTo on a project called Juice UI. This project aims to bring jQuery UI to ASP.NET as Controls and Extenders. We will be shipping Wijmo Open as an extension of the Juice UI offering as a contribution to the ASP.NET community.
In July 2011, Microsoft introduced Visual Studio LightSwitch. This ground-breaking tool brings Line of Business (LOB) application development to information workers and business managers. LightSwitch enables these workers to build basic data-based applications with no or very little code so they don’t need to wait for (or pay for) professional development resources. We are aligning with this mission and providing tools that business and information workers can use. These tools will be usable out-of-the box, without code so productivity is instant and deep development skill won’t be needed. This is what sets us apart from the competition. We already have the award winning technology in our Studio for Silverlight and the expertise to add a visual design interface, so we are well positioned to create the best LightSwitch add-ins you can find. Look for our best Silverlight tools to become LightSwitch extensions as the year moves along.
The technical communication world is changing. There are more ways to write, collaborate, and share information that there ever has been. People write in Word, WYSIWYG editors, open source environments, and even wikis. Information consumers have been looking for content on the Web for a long time, but now the Web isn’t just a computer. It is on your phone, tablet, e-reader, and virtually anything with a screen. In 2012, Doc-To-Help will evolve with our rapidly changing world and we will do it in a way that is scalable, adaptable, and customizable. We have already introduced Mobile Help in January and the year will also bring e-pub formats, wiki import, better theme designers and more. Additionally, we are using the most open technology we can (jQuery, jQuery Mobile, and HTML 5). All this is designed with Doc-To-Help’s core mission in mind: to continue to allow technical communicators to focus on writing where they way by giving them automated tool to publish the outputs they need.
Similar to our LightSwitch strategy, we have leveraged the power of Studio for Silverlight to create a collection of SharePoint Web Parts (Studio for SharePoint) that can be used out-of-the-box. Since they all include point-and-click designers these Web Parts require no code and are useful to developers, administrators, and even end-users. We will continue to support SharePoint users with our award-winning Silverlight technology. Rest assured that Studio for SharePoint will stay in step with whatever Microsoft releases. If you have any feedback I would love to hear your comments below!