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WinForms Control Updates in Progress

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In a recent blog post, we mentioned that WinForms product updates were in progress.  I'd like to get into some more detail on what is to be expected from these updates.

Update Overview

Creation of WinForms Studio 2012.1

The next major WinForms controls release that we are working on restructures the WinForms control products to be similar to our WPF controls.  There will be a new WinForms Studio suite option that provides discounts over purchasing controls individually. 

UIStudio is being split up into three individual products:  Bars, Docking/MDI, and Navigation.  All of these separate products will be available in the WinForms Studio suite or individually.

The WinUICore and Shared assemblies have been merged into a single Shared assembly.

Finally, all products will have the same version number, which for the first version will be 2012.1.

Migration to .NET 3.5 and VS 2010 Projects

We've wanted to migrate to VS 2010 projects for the source and samples for a while now.  WinForms Studio 2012.1 will feature source built from VS 2010 projects and samples available in VS 2010 and 2008.

.NET 3.5/4.0 Client Profile Support

A common feature request over the past couple years has been for us to decouple the control designer functionality from the product assemblies so that "client profile" setups in .NET 3.5 or 4.0 can be used.

For WinForms Studio 2012.1, we have removed references to System.Design.dll from the product assemblies and have moved all designer functionality out to separate Design assemblies instead.

Restructuring of Internal Processes

All of our WPF and Silverlight controls are managed, built, and deployed using the same sort of scripts and tools.  This allows us to share code and make updates much faster.

For a long time now we've wanted to get our older WinForms controls on the same configuration.  That way, our products for all three platforms can be maintained internally by us in the same fashion. 

To accomplish this, internally we have:

  • Created a source code folder structure that closely mimics our WPF/Silverlight source code folder structures.
  • Updated all product licensing to use the same mechanism found in WPF Studio.
  • Created a new Sample Browser application that is used to browse all WinForms product samples and product release histories.
  • Converted product documentation to use our newer documentation format and build tools used in WPF/Silverlight.
  • Merged all product documentation into a single help file like in WPF/Silverlight
  • Created a new build process based on the WPF Studio build process.
  • Created a new installer based on the WPF Studio installer.
  • Other more minor updates.

Beta Testers Wanted

We're excited to be getting the updates listed above completed and out into your hands.  We are already well on our way towards doing so.

I'd like to take this opportunity to ask for beta testers to work with the new version once a beta is ready.  We hope to have a beta ready some time in the next couple weeks.

Please write us if you are an existing WinForms control customer and would like to be a part of our beta test.

We'll post more soon!

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