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Thursday, March 8, 2018

XAF WinForms v17.2.6 - Beware of missing icons in inactive tabs after restoring the Tabbed MDI layout

I want to draw your attention to the T611846: DocumentManager - TabbedView does not show images for documents issue already fixed in the XtraBars Suite and which XAF WinForms Tabbed MDI users might encounter after upgrading to v17.2.6. The number of users who already hit this exceeded a certain threshold, and the known issues section in the What's New documentation or manual searching the Support Center may not help effectively discover it yourself. So, I am posting this here to widely inform those who have not yet upgraded their XAF/WinForms projects to v17.2.6.

You can also download a hotfix build from here.

Please accept sincerely apologies from our XAF and XtraBars teams for all the inconvenience here.

Diagnostic tool for Security System - YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED!!!

Earlier we described the prototype of diagnostic tool. We created it to help a developer to understand why access to a certain object and its members is allowed or denied.  
We analyzed the feedback we got on this matter and provided the following improvements in v17.2.6:
 - To enable the security diagnostic tool, use the familiar EnableDiagnosticActions option.
 - You can select a type and a member you wish to analyze.
 - Results are presented in the XML format.
 - We provide more details on how the diagnostic tool calculates results.
 - There is a way to visualize criteria for easier analysis.

You can get more info about the tool from the KB article below:


Your feedback is needed
Please test the tool and let us know whether it is useful in your development process and how you would change it. For instance, the more specific there are use cases of this tool where it was difficult to configure permissions for a user, the greater it is possible that we can arrive at technical solutions that will address them.

Monday, February 26, 2018

AccessViolationException at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.IVsRegisterEditors.UnregisterEditor may occur in Visual Studio 2010, 2012

This sporadic design time error might go away in Visual Studio 2013, 2015, 2017 and newer.


 Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.
   Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Interop.IVsRegisterEditors.UnregisterEditor(UInt32 dwCookie)
   Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.Package.Dispose(Boolean disposing)
   DevExpress.ExpressApp.Design.Core.XAFPackageV4.Dispose(Boolean disposing)

We have been tracking this error for years from XAF users using We also received a few tickets, but could never replicate this behavior for debugging. Our attempts to log diagnostic information about this error did not help either. Well, it does not seem to relate to the DevExpress.ExpressApp.Design.Core.XAFPackageV4.Dispose method itself. There are also many non-XAF reports devoted to the same error, but different packages on the Web.

From the Logify stats, we know that this error occurs only with these two old Visual Studio versions. It seems that something got fixed in newer IDE versions. If you are on Visual Studio 2010 or 2012 and encountered this error at design time, consider upgrading your IDE - it's 2018 after all:-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Usability change for SingleChoiceAction with a single visible sub-item - YOUR FEEDBACK IS NEEDED!!!

We have incorporated the usability improvement from my past post in v18.1 by default. It affects SingleChoiceAction with ShowItemsOnlyClick = False and ItemType = ItemIsOperation  and should improve UX for the majority of our users. We also want to enable the same behavior in an upcoming minor update (e.g., v17.2.6 or next). Our team would appreciate your feedback to help us decide on the latter.

While this behavior is always desired for the New & Clone Actions, because their meaning is clear from the context, certain custom and built-in Actions like Show In Report, Change State may be affected when they keep only a single sub-item. Examples:

17.2.5 and older versions:

18.1 (and 17.2.6+, if the majority likes it):

Notice that we've replaced a dropdown/triangle glyph with a simple button. We believe that this visual change is still not breaking (and thus is acceptable for a minor version), and it all is more logical than it was before. Before, when ShowItemsOnClick = False, you could still press the SingleChoiceAction's button blindly, i.e., without expanding its items using the triangle glyph. To help you avoid mistakes, the button is now displayed in the ChoiceActionItem's tooltip. You can also control the default Action item behavior using the DefaultItemMode property. If you do not like the new behavior, you can always set ShowItemsOnClick = True in the Model Editor.

Question: Are you OK to have this new behavior as default in v17.2.6+ too? 

Please answer with +1 or -1 with comments in this post. If you need to test your real apps live before making a decision, I can provide you with v17.2 or v18.1 hotfix builds. Thanks for your help in advance.

Thanks to everyone! With v17.2.6, this behavior is enabled by default.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Learning through reading the source code

I will start this post with the new Visual Studio 2017 function, which I hope will be helpful for XAF developers too. I have both RTM and Preview versions installed, but I am mostly using the latter one for testing. The new function I spotted in their change logs is called "View decompiled source definitions instead of metadata (C#)".

As you can guess from its name, it changes the very often used "Go To Definition" command (F12) so that it displays the actual code of a C# type or member who's source code is unavailable - very useful and convenient, IMHO. It is decompiled using ILSpy, the tool I have already been using for years as default program association for opening *.dll files -  partially the reason of why this news got my attention. This experimental feature is new in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 preview 2+ and it must be turned on explicitly using the Tools > Options  >  Text Editor > C# > Advanced > Enable navigation to decompiled sources menu item. 

Customization Forms and Model Editor Improvements - XAF v17.2.6

Customizing Views layout, e.g., making certain fields visible, changing their locations is something that XAF developers usually learn and appreciate from day one. That is because you can drastically change the UI of your app by just moving the mouse and without any coding and recompilation, also at runtime. 

The next maintenance release (v17.2.6) should come with a few minor improvements to the customization forms in DetailView, ListView and the Model Editor, which we hope will be welcomed by both developers and end-users as well.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Beware of the failures when uploading JPEG/JPG images using the System.Drawing.Image type properties - XAF ASP.NET WebForms v17.2.5

 issue, which is already fixed in XAF v17.2.6

We apologize for the inconvenience, and if you cannot wait for the hotfix or did not plan to spend additional time on upgrade right now, please consider using the workarounds.

Important notes and workarounds
From v14.2, Image Property Editors (both WinForms and ASP.NET) support images saved as byte array objects (in addition to previously supported System.Drawing.Image objects). This allows us to significantly decrease web server memory consumption because the byte array can contain an image in a compressed format and the server does not have to unpack it. The previous approach with the System.Drawing.Image type property is still supported, but we recommend that you migrate to the byte array storage to improve performance. Refer to the BLOB Image Properties in XPO  and How to change the image property type from System.Drawing.Image to byte array help topics for more details.