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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Are you ready for some serious Xafari?

I am a bit late with this announcement, and you might have already been aware of the XAFARI.NET platform from our news feeds in developer groups, but here we go. 

If you do not recall my introduction blog post "Meet XAFARI - a business platform from Galaktika Corp", please refresh your memory first to learn more on this powerful business platform, which is built on top of eXpressApp Framework (XAF) to provide more reusable modules and components for various verticals.

The main reason for this post is that XAFARI got an English version of their website (it was only in Russian previously), which means that more XAFers could benefit from the numerous features this commercial third-party platform provides:



To learn more on pricing, features and services, including but not limited to access to the source code, online documentation, priority support, etc), check out http://galaktikasoft.com/xafari/buy (of course, free trial included):




Here it is important to note that the platform provides a good number of general purpose components, which are FREE for everyone:



Of course, to learn more on this cool stuff, visit their official website: http://galaktikasoft.com/xafari/. Also, feel free to share your feedback with other community members if you evaluated or used these XAF extensions.

Finally, the XAFARI team also regularly writes articles (unfortunately, currently in Russian only) about their product and also publish solutions for general XAF tasks, so you may also want to follow their news feed: http://xafari.ru/posts (Google Translate from Russian to English may be required). Hopefully, there will be an English version of these articles in the future.

13 comments:

  1. Dennis, thanks for the information.
    2 things:
    1. For developing commercial applications Xafari is paid product
    2. As active Universal subscriber a must to say that about 2 years my company pay to Devexpress only for "minor support", because it seems that XAF is "new feature frozen" product, and we also have paid to Xafari developers for the new feature development. This is not make us happy and we serious thinking about not prolongating our Universal subscription only for "minor support"

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  2. Thanks for your feedback, Tristan!
    A1: Yes, these products are charged, but certain parts are free to everyone. I think I emphasized this in my post. You can also learn more on this at http://galaktikasoft.com/xafari/buy
    A2: XAF is not a "new feature frozen" product and it gets new features, bug fixes and other and other improvements with each and every product release. Please check out the What's New documentation for more details: https://www.devexpress.com/Support/WhatsNew/
    It is also worth noting that the Universal license consists of not only XAF, but also other products, which are unique for this subscription and which add value to it (e.g., dashboards, report server, Test Cafe, etc). You can learn more on this at https://www.devexpress.com/Subscriptions/
    Getting back to XAF, I would be more than happy to learn more on which concrete features you are missing in XAF. For instance, which common and repetitive tasks you want to solve with the framework in a more effective way than you can in the current version as far as time and resources are concerned. Thank you in advance!

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  3. Dennis, thanks for the reply. We are carefully reading any release notes related to XAF and must to say that within last 2 years there is nothing "serious new" was added into XAF. For examle, in XAFARI every release contains an interesting feature. I want to ask your team - why they (XAFARI) develop a new features instead of your team? For example their last announcement about MVC WEB UI - it is a serious improvement. As I remember the feature request about this still is not implemented. Why desing-time for list views still not implemented? Why we must to pay twice?

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  4. Stanislaw, thank you for clarifying your concern. Looking back at XAF 13.2 and 14.1 releases, I cannot agree with you about [WHAT], because there was a good number of major features, including but not limited to custom fields, soft validation rules, SplashScreenManager integration, brand new and yet more powerful ReportsV2 module, not to mention countless smaller improvements. All this was added into the standard delivery based on the most popular customers requests (probably except Entity Framework integration, which is important for us strategically) and we haven't stopped adding more value to the product. Here, I also want to repeat what I said above: XAF is not the only product that justifies the price of the Universal license. There are also several products exclusive to this subscription, not to mention updates to the traditional WinForms, ASP.NET, WFP/SL and other suites, which are inherent parts of the Universal license. It is certainly your decision to renew or not to renew your license, and thus receiving new features and bug fixes, as well as investing into further product development. This decision will also be likely to be based on how much value and time the product saved your team and company, and whether it will do so in the future. If you think it is not worth it, then of course do not upgrade. However, I must note that it may be sensible to renew it later in the future once the product receives the feature you were longing for.
     
    As for your question to my team, I think it is not accurate to compare the XAF and XAFARI teams, as well as results of their work, because we are at completely different levels, working on different tasks and the amount of work, some of which may be hidden to your from this side, is not even comparable.
     
    I appreciate your feedback on the new Web UI for XAF - this one is also on our radar as we are interested in having a better experience for our clients.
    As for the design-time for the ListView, would you please elaborate a bit more on this. Do you want to be able to move columns in the grid like you do in the layout or something else. Also, how is this particular feature critical for you and are current solutions difficult to use, and cost you money and resources?
    Finally, I am not forcing anyone to pay twice here: XAFARI is a third-party ISV using XAF just like you and which is not affiliated to DevExpress in any way. Here I am just informing the community about all available options to develop XAF apps. Their XAFARI product provides both free and paid components, and it is fully up to you whether to use them or not based on their value for your project. After all, the framework is flexible enough and nothing prevents you from creating and publishing similar extensions yourself. They first created them for their own app and then recognized that it can be helpful for other developers. I fully support this movement and encourage other XAF developers to publish their reusable solutions, free or paid for others - this will make lives of all XAF users easier.

    P.S.
    Upon writing this I realized that I partially addressed a similar concern in our FB group earlier this year, so you may want to check my comments to that thread as well: https://www.facebook.com/groups/44672618737/permalink/10152490793213738/
    Thanks. Do not hesitate to contact me via email at dennis at my company dot com if you want to discuss this subject further.

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  5. Hi Dennis, Where can I find the XAF development roadmap? You have plans to offer support for mobile applications? The project is still active or are redirecting the effort to other tools? Thanks!

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  6. Hi Julian,
    Thank you for your interest. We have not published a roadmap for our .NET products this year. The XAF project is active and is developed by us. We look forward to a promising 14.2 release, which should be out by the end of this year.
    As for creating mobile apps, DevExpress already provides a separate DevExtreme product for this, and we are looking forward to having some kind of integration with such mobile frameworks from the XAF side, though it is too premature to make any announcements. BTW, I would be more than happy to learn more on your requirements for mobile apps for business. Feel free to email me at dennis my company name dot com on this.

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  7. Dennis, thanks for your reply. I need to convert a legacy VB6 application and I am evaluating XAF. I think it's a great tool, but in my opinion should also generate a HTML5 client since today many users work from mobile devices like tablets or smartphones. It would be great if XAF generate HTML5 mobile client, even with less functionality than currently offered by Win and Web clients.

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  8. Thank you for your answer, Julian. I agree with you that it would be nice to automatically generate an HTML5 mobile client and this what we would want to have for XAF in the future. For now, it is possible to use the DevExtreme and other mobile frameworks that would work with a data service created based on the XPO or EF data model from an existing database. Using this approach, you can create basic CRUD mobile experiences and then extend it according to your exact needs (e.g., add security as per https://community.devexpress.com/blogs/eaf/archive/2012/12/12/how-to-configure-the-xaf-middle-tier-security-service-and-deploy-it-in-the-cloud-for-further-use-by-desktop-xaf-and-mobile-dxtreme-clients.aspx).

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dennis,
      Are you aware that the oData service sample above makes a new connection to database on each request? I noticed the behavior after examining the mobile apps client connections on my database server. Surprisingly for one view (I bind the ODataContext result to a dx-list) produces more than 50 connections and not closed even after closing the mobile apps.
      I think you need to update this data service constructor:
      public CustomAuthenticationDataService(HttpContextBase httpContext, DataServiceHelper dataServiceHelper, string containerName) :
      base(new MyContext(containerName, dataServiceHelper.NamespaceName, dataServiceHelper.CreateDataLayer()))

      I have updated the CreateDataLayer() method and make it static. The problem seems to be solved.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Achmad. This demo example is very old and it should not be a problem in the official implementation.

      Delete
  9. Been trying XAFARI, promising but still too early for to go for it as the support teams seems not ready for a 'commercial' like support. Oh, I'm not comparing DevExpress support with XAFARI (Dennis, you guys are rock), I cant even post a ticket on their site. Well, I'm sticking with XAF at the moment...

    Achmad Mulyadi

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  10. Thanks for your feedback and compliments, Achmad. I've forwarded it to the XAFARI developers.
    I believe that you can post a ticket on their site via the http://galaktikasoft.com/submit-ticket link (registration required). If you find the features of their product really helpful for your project, then I think a temporary site outage (I guess this what happened in your particular case) could not stop you from using the product.

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