One more year has passed, and as usual there is tons of relevant news about existing and new technologies that affect all of us developers.

It is time to stop coding for a few minutes and summarize all of the work we have been doing here at ComponentOne, so you can benefit from it. It is also an opportunity for you to provide us with your valuable feedback to help guide our future efforts.

Thank you in advance for your time!

HTML5/Wijmo


HTML5 continues to grow in popularity. It is the platform that allows you to deliver applications that will run everywhere, from desktops to tablets to phones. Over that last few months the developer community has been exposed to several exciting new technologies and their rapid adoption.

Among these new technologies, some of my favorites are:

TypeScript, which allows you to write type-safe, object-oriented, IntelliSense-aware code that gets compiled into standard JavaScript. If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s a link to help you get started: http://www.typescriptlang.org/. We are using TypeScript in all of our own JavaScript development efforts, and are extremely happy with the results.

AngularJS, Google’s ‘super-heroic’ MVVM framework. AngularJS allows you to write MVVM applications using HTML5 and JavaScript, but that is just the beginning. It provides dynamic views, allows you to extend HTML with custom tags, and a great deal more. We have already added AngularJS support to our Wijmo controls and will continue to enhance this support and provide great quality documentation along with samples to help you begin working with AngularJS. You can learn more about AngularJS here: http://angularjs.org/

KnockoutJS, is revered as one of the most popular MVVM frameworks for JavaScript. Like AngularJS, KnockoutJS allows you to develop MVVM applications in record time and with high-quality. Wijmo has supported KnockoutJS for a while, and we will continue to do so. Wijmo’s MVVM support is done in the form of extensions to the core libraries, so you can simply select the MVVM framework you prefer, include the appropriate .js file, and start developing. You can learn more about KnockoutJS here: http://knockoutjs.com/.

BreezeJS, a plug-in that provides data services to JavaScript applications. In addition to data access, BreezeJS provides caching, change tracking, and rich queries. BreezeJS works great with Microsoft’s Entity Framework, integrating with your existing data infrastructure. We are adding support for BreezeJS so you can bind all our Wijmo controls to BreezeJS data sources without any extra work. You can learn more about BreezeJS here: http://www.breezejs.com/.

As you probably know, ComponentOne was the first component vendor to release jQuery-based controls (our Wijmo library). As you can see, we continue to innovate by supporting standards and popular libraries. Our goal is to make it easy for developers to choose their web stack and have our components fit in perfectly.

The latest addition to Wijmo is SpreadJS, an incredible component that provides Excel functionality to your HTML5 applications. SpreadJS is not just another grid control. It looks, feels, and behaves like Excel. You can see it in action here: http://wijmo.com/demo/spreadjs/samples/

Over the last few months, we have also focused on improving Wijmo’s touch and mobile support. The improvements allow our users to deliver uniform applications across devices with confidence. Envision how you could benefit from having widgets that intuitively adapt themselves to any device or desktop machine. Finally, we have been improving our documentation and sample library, so you can get started faster and receive the support you need more rapidly. We want to make sure Wijmo is easy to learn as well as easy to use.

It is important to point out that our entire web stack is based on Wijmo, so all these improvements are available not only in Wijmo but also in our ASP.NET and MVC products.

Speaking of ASP.NET and MVC, I should point out that we have enhanced the MVC 4 tools in Studio for ASP.NET Wijmo, including new project templates, scaffolding support, and a brand new ReportViewer control.

XAML


When Microsoft released Windows 8, we introduced our Studio for WinRT, which includes controls such as our FlexGrid, Chart, and PdfViewer. These controls are object-model compatible with our Silverlight, WPF, and Windows Phone controls, making it easy to port your existing applications to Windows 8.

In addition to the controls mentioned above, our Studio for WinRT includes a C1CollectionView class that supports sorting, filtering, and grouping. This is something XAML developers have had access to since the early WPF days, but surprisingly it is now absent in the WinRT base classes. No need to worry, because with the C1CollectionView you can port your existing XAML applications to WinRT easily, and keep all the functionality your users expect.

We also added Spread/WinRT, so you can add Excel functionality to your WinRT applications. To see our Spread/WinRT in action today, visit the Windows 8 App Store and download our Excel Viewer app. This is a free application that allows you to open and view your Excel books on Windows 8 devices, with or without Microsoft Office installed.

Of course, Spread is also available in WPF and Silverlight versions, so your XAML applications can be ported easily across the platforms.

In addition to expanding the platforms and controls, we have been working on improving our existing XAML controls. For example, you can expect even faster charting performance and new features in our grid controls.

XAML is an expansive platform, spanning WinRT, Windows Phone, WPF, and Silverlight. Together, all these platforms make XAML an extremely important platform for us and for our customers. Because our XAML controls share a common code-base, you can be confident that all additions and improvements apply to all flavors of the XAML platform.

LightSwitch


LightSwitch is a development environment designed to simplify and shorten the development of typical forms-over-data applications for businesses.

LightSwitch is included in Visual Studio 2012, so you can create applications using the exact same environment you are using today.

Just recently Microsoft announced the release of the LightSwitch HTML Client, which is included in Visual Studio 2012 Update 2, CTP 4. This extension makes it possible to create LightSwitch applications with views that run on mobile devices such as tablets and phones. You can learn more about the LightSwitch HTML Client here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/vstudio/htmlclient.

ComponentOne was one of the first component vendors to release LightSwitch products. We released our popular OLAP for LightSwitch product about a year ago, and then our Studio for LightSwitch. Today, Studio for LightSwitch includes a full set of controls that allow you to write applications even faster. In addition to OLAP, the Studio includes powerful grid, chart, pdf viewer, rich editor, and scheduling components.

We are in the process of adding LightSwitch HTML Client support to our studio, so you can expect exciting news on this in the near future. We will deliver great page templates and controls, based on our powerful and mature Wijmo technology.

WinForms


WinForms continues to be one of the most popular platforms for creating streamlined desktop applications. We have been hard at work improving our Studio for WinForms which has been the market leader for a number of years.

Last year we added a GanttView control that provides a UI similar to Microsoft Project. This was one of the most popular requests by users and we are proud to be able to offer it now. Like all of our WinForms controls, the GanttView is efficient, easy to use, and extremely feature-rich.

In the first quarter of this year we added the WinForms TileControl, which allows you create applications with the Modern UI look and feel (including touch support). The TileControl is included in our Studio for WinForms and is also in all of our XAML based Studios.

We plan to continue providing WinForms developers with ways to leverage the latest technology. To that effect, we will soon be breaking up our award-winning Studio for Entity Framework into platform-specific components. Studio for WinForms will be expanded with data source controls that will allow you to bind controls to Entity Framework data sources, with the full design-time support you are used to. This means access to Microsoft’s latest data technology with little or no learning curve.

When ComponentOne joined GrapeCity, many of our users asked about our plans in the reporting area, especially regarding C1Report and ActiveReports. The answer is both products have large customer bases, and therefore we will continue to support them. However, we do expect ActiveReports to evolve more quickly, and this evolution will include borrowing features from C1Report.

In order to support users who decide to move from C1Report to ActiveReports, we will release a utility that translates C1Report definitions into ActiveReports. If you choose to stay with C1Report, rest assured we will continue to support it as we always have. In fact, we have just added several optimizations and small improvements to C1Report in our V1 2013 release. You can find out more about these in our “What’s New” video: http://vimeo.com/62350392#

ActiveReports


We recently released ActiveReports 7 (AR7), the new version of our legendary reporting product. AR7 includes a new report designer, enhanced exports, and rendering extensions. Our customers have expressed to us that it was well worth the wait. And of course, AR7 is still super easy to use and unbelievably fast.

Over the next few months, we will invest in scaling up ActiveReports for large scale reporting environments and optimizing it for speed across product components (designer, generator, and viewers).

Plus, before the end of this year, we will expand the ActiveReports family to include new components that focus on improved server support, ad-hoc reporting, and business intelligence. Stay tuned for these exciting announcements.

Spread


The Spread product family has been the most powerful spreadsheet solution for applications for many years. It now broadens its reach across more platforms than it ever has before, including HTML5, WinRT, WPF, Silverlight, Windows Forms, ASP.NET, and ActiveX.

In the next few months we will introduce new releases of Spread.NET 7 for Windows Forms and for ASP.NET, with many enhancements for performance, localization for Chinese, new conditional formatting and filtering support, and many other features. Spread.NET 7 will support Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, and will integrate seamlessly with Visual Studio 2012.

We will also introduce Spread Studio for .NET, a new cross-platform toolkit that includes components for Windows Forms, ASP.NET, WPF, WinRT, and Silverlight in one package. This new package will include the new releases of Spread.NET 7 for Windows Forms and Spread.NET 7 for ASP.NET. Together with the Spread WPF and Silverlight 1.0 controls, we will have created the ultimate collection for cross-platform spreadsheet support.

Later in 2013, we will release updates for Spread.NET 7 with enhancements to performance and touch support. We will also be introducing Spread WPF and Spread Silverlight version 2 with many enhancements including charting, a new formula text box control, Chinese localization, embedded objects such as pictures, and a lot more.

Doc-To-Help


Doc-To-Help gives you the most efficient way to create content and publish professional-quality, modern deliverables where your readers need them. Everything we do, whether it is enhancing authoring features, adding collaboration technology, or developing new outputs, contributes to this mission.

In 2013, we will focus on two major areas: enhancing the editing experience and making sure you are provided the best web-based reading experience possible.

Our 2013 v1 release will include a new HTML5 editor with reviewer commenting and many other great productivity features. We will follow that up with more content editing technology such as interactive user widgets and enhanced table support.

On the output side, look for a brand new responsive theme that optimizes itself for phones, tablets, and desktops. These are just a few of the things on our slate, so stay tuned for our announcements. It is sure to be another big year.