I know, I'm a little late on this announcement - but this has been one crazy summer! Ok, we've officially only been in summer for less that a week, but considering the temp was 98 degrees when I got back from TechEd a couple of weeks ago, I say summer has been with us for a while.
Anyway, back to the release.. After another 4 month cycle, there's some really great stuff that has been added to NetAdvantage for .NET. Here's a quick rundown of the new features.
This extender control can be used to perform validations on input fields in your app. Classically seen in ASP.NET applications, validators make it quick and easy to accomplish certain scenarios while improving the overall user experience by providing real-time feedback.
In the example above (included in the samples SDK) I've demonstrated using a balloon tip style message to show that this was a required field.
Row Edit Template for WinGrid
Editing tabular data doesn't always have to be reminiscent of your favorite spreadsheet application. You can use the Row Edit Template to modify the editing experience of a grid row. Because this is a template, you have total control over appearance and functionality. The edit template can be displayed directly beneath a row (as shown in the image below), or it can be 'detached' and positioned exactly where you'd like. The net effect... happy users.
Suggest mode Typeahead
Typeahead has evolved through the years.. I'm sure you can remember the days when a dropdown first allowed you to type in a letter and scrolled through the list automatically for you. Next came multi-character typeahead, where words would actually be completed for you. So how do you make that better? Easily - live filter the results based on the characters being typed in. Using the new Suggest AutoComplete mode, you can provide your users with a much improved interface for picking from a list of values. This behavior is commonly seen today with search engines, where they will begin to show you search suggestions as you type.
In the example above, typing "A" into the combobox the user is prompted with the 3 choices displayed in the dropdown.
Visual Studio 2008 Docking Indicators
For those of you who have moved up to VS2008 (and I'd recommend that move to anyone!), you've likely noticed that Microsoft updated the docking indicators once more. But fear not, we've added the 2008 style to our DockManager as seen below.
Ever need to show hierarchical data in a visual way? That's the sole purpose of the TreeMap. If you're not familiar with TreeMap, you can get a great explanation and some common examples from Wikipedia. An example of a TreeMap is shown below. BTW, this new visualization type has been added to the UltraChart (win and web).
I personally, am tired of textboxes. It seems that every time an application wants me to enter data, I have to use a plain old standard textbox. Enter the WebSlider. You can use the WebSlider to enter a single value, or a 2 value range. And the user never has to type in a single character. The 'data entry' is done entirely through the needle movment, which just feels better. This is perfect for touch screen devices, where pointing and clicking is much more natural than typing.
The example above, taken from the new InfraRealty showcase sample uses the WebSlider to set a min/max value as a range for search criteria. Personally, after seeing how natural this implementation felt, I wish that all of the RealEstate sites out there would update their UI's!
At the risk of sounding like a car salesman, I'm going to give you my honest opinion on this control - it's the bomb. Not only can you set up hierarchical relationships at design-time, it does the CRUD for you as well! No more worrying about how to update your hierarchical data when bound to the webgrid, just use the WebHierarchicalDataSource (WDHS from here on). How about self related hierarchies? This is a pain point for some of you I know, as you've been asking for this type of support for the grid for as long as I can remember. The WHDS is here to relieve your pain. You can set up your self related hierarchy in the WHDS, and then bind it to the WebGrid. The WHDS is built on top of Microsof'ts datasource control framework - so the WHDS can be used to bind to anything that can consume hierarchical data (ie. trees and menus).
Above, the WHDS designer is being used to create a 2 level hierarchy, taking info from two separate DataSources. Note that you can take data for any level, from any datasource. So if you wanted to map your LINQDataSource data to parent data coming from your SQLDataSource - it's a simple task.
You can download NetAdvantage for .NET 2008 Volume 2 (in various packages) from the download page, and begin using these new features today.