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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Usability improvements to the Model Editor layout designer and more in XAF v16.1.5

The recently released minor update brings several small, but useful features I hope you and your end-users will appreciate.

1. The layout designer available in the Model Editor at design time and runtime now generates a layout very close to what you can see in the end app. In particular, being invoked for the WinForms modules or apps, it now generates real Property Editors (in the disabled state and with fake data) instead of equivalent text boxes or bricks. It also tries to take into account and visualize the most popular layout and other options like ToolTip, ShowCaption, etc. IMHO, the most useful thing here is that you can now customize embedded ListView elements or List Property Editors corresponding to collection properties much easier via the grid control, like you can already do under the Views | ListView | Columns node. Even though the layout designer invoked for Web modules will not display real Web controls, but rather their corresponding WinForms analogs, the overall development experience will be better than before.

2. We have fixed the DetailView layout designer inconsistency with the missing Add and Remove buttons in the Customization form when it was removed from Visual Studio (previously, these buttons were already available at runtime or for the Customization form invoked from the Views | ListView | Columns designer). Additionally, we have finalized our recent Object Model dialog improvements for WinForms and Visual Studio by providing check boxes making it easier to add multiple items.

3. We have improved the collapsible layout groups in the new XAF Web UI by storing their state in the Application Model, like we already do for many other UI elements. The new IsCardGroupCollapsed property was added for that purpose.

My team and I are looking forward to hearing from you in comments on whether you liked what you saw here. If there is anything we can do to make your XAF development easier, please drop me a line in comments, as always.


  1. Awesome - this is extremely useful. Thanks Dennis (and team)

    1. Thanks for testing, Dave. We are happy to hear this!

  2. Excellent improvements. Thanks so much .

  3. Are you saying no more getting lost in complex forms by endless search for correct nested list views?!
    *drools uncontrollably, passes out out of sheer happiness, wakes up, gets drunk cuz it cant believe it is real* :-)

  4. OMG - this is amazing guys!! miss still one thing - can you please store the position of the customization form? currently it opens each time on the same position - very annoying if you have to open the form several times on the same layout

    thx Guys!

  5. Excellent Dennis - they may be "small" changes, but they are very helpful/useful additions.

  6. Hey Dennis - not sure about end users yet but I am loving these additions. Makes design time layout editing much more efficient and less cumbersome. Thank you!

  7. @All: Thanks for your comments, Guys!
    @Noxe: Yes, we will take it into account. As I see, it currently saves only the scroll bar position within the layout customization form.