14.2 Sneak Peek & Product Changes

Jason Beres / Monday, September 15, 2014

With an exciting 14.2 shipping in about a month, I wanted to give you a preview of what to expect, as well as some changes in the product lineup. In my previous posts around the 14.1 launch in the spring, I talked about 3 main areas of focus for this year:

  • Touch Everywhere, Office-Inspired Apps on Every Platform
  • Deliver Stunning with Awesome Branding & Styling
  • Developer Productivity across Every Device, Every Platform

 

You’ll see these three themes carry into 14.2, and when we talk about 2015 later this year, we’ll evolve these themes even further. Coming releases will continue our laser focus on delivering you the best UI toolsets and developer productivity tools for every platform, which means Desktop, Web, Native Mobile and Hybrid Mobile.

Before we get into the 14.2 features, there are two product changes you need to know about.

Product Status Change Notifications

Effective immediately, we are officially changing the status of the following products:

  • Infragistics SharePoint Web Parts (previously NetAdvantage for SharePoint)
  • Quince Pro
  • WinJS Controls (HTML controls for Windows UI)

 

While these products had amazing innovation and served many customers well, they have run their course.

Infragistics SharePoint Web Parts - We are officially retiring this product.  The overall story for how enterprises use SharePoint has evolved over the past few years, our focus (and more importantly our customer's) has fundamentally changed. The focus has turned from customizing dashboards with Web Parts to mobilizing the enterprise and building custom launch pads for richer SharePoint experiences using SharePlus on native iPad, iPhone & Android tablets.  An immediate alternative to using our Web Parts in HTML pages is to use our Ignite UI controls in your SharePoint environment, or to use SharePlus in your enterprise mobility solution.

Quince Pro - We are officially retiring this product.  We did a ton of great innovation on UX pattern discovery, cataloging & sharing, creating storyboards, screen flows and even storing annotated digital assets in the cloud. This innovation will not be lost, we’ve moved some of the features into Indigo Studio, and will continue to evolve the ability of an enterprise to share & enforce common UI patterns and brand requirements in their wireframes and interactive prototypes.

WinJS (Windows UI HTML Controls) - We are putting this product on HOLD.   WinJS, the HTML UI controls for Windows Store apps, has not evolved as a commercial market, and at this time we’ve decided to stop any development on the product. This does not mean we won’t pick it back up, but we’ve seen the Windows UI XAML toolset become the leader in both our sales and what you see online in terms of what developers are using to deploy Store apps. To be fair to anyone using the product, I don’t want to set the expectation that we are continuing any development on it. Even though the WinJS controls were technically wrappers of our Ignite UI controls, the cost of testing, bug fixing and delivery is too high for the current maturity of the market.

Impact of Retiring a Product

As I’ve written in previous blogs, we take the retirement of a product seriously.

When we retire a product or control, we maintain our existing support policy:

  • Bug fixes / service releases for 12 months after the retirement announcement
  • 3 years of developer support on the product

 

The difference compared to a shipping control:

  • No new features
  • No potentially risky bug fixes
  • Controls / Product are removed from the installer & website immediately

 

This results in:

  • The final service release for retiring product / controls in 14.2 will be October 2015
  • Support will expire for retiring product / controls in 14.2 controls in October 2017

 

If you have any questions on the status of these products, or would like to understand any deeper details, please email me at jasonb@infragistics.com and I will give you what you need.

Product Packaging Change Notifications

In order to better align our offering, we've shifted the packaging between what was in Infragistics Ultimate in previous releases. 

  • Infragistics Icons are now available as part of Infragistics Professional - so starting with 14.2, anyone with a Professional subscription gains access to our massive library of icons.

 

The following table shows the current packaging for both Professional & Ultimate in 14.2. 

Infragistics 14.2 Packaging 

 

14.2 Preview & Sneak Peek

The 14.2 release continues with our focus this year on making you, the developer, more efficient and productive when building apps.  Our theme during the 14.1 release of giving you everything you need to build Modern, Office-Inspired, Touch-Ready & Style-able rich desktop, modern responsive web, native mobile & hybrid mobile apps is a thread in everything we've done in 14.2.  This post is a high-level view of what you can expect, when we ship in mid-October, there will be a few surprises, but more importantly much more detail on what I'm announcing here.  Here are some of what you can expect in the major platforms.

Windows Forms

Windows Forms continues to be the predominant platform used in enterprise software development.  Though WPF has gained significant ground, it is still not as widely used in enterprise-wide, mission-critical, line-of-business development.  In 14.2, our focus continues around designing & building enterprise-ready, modern, touch enabled Office-inspired applications in Windows Forms.  Here is what to expect:

  • Modern, High-Performance, Touch-Ready Data Visualization - We've upped our game in data visualization and charting for Windows Forms.  All of the great visualizations, interactivity & animations that you've grown to love in our XAML, HTML5, iOS & Android charting controls are now available in Windows Forms.  This includes all of the high-performance rendering, mouse & touch interactions for range selection, zooming, and even Motion Framework.  Expect 50+ chart types, Trend Lines, Financial Indicators, and more.
  • Modern UI Controls - Last release, we shipped our Windows Forms Pivot Grid.  In 14.2, we've added a new default look & feel, a new Flat Datasource control and more optimized views.  You'll also see a slick new Carousel control, which is similar to what we've done in XAML. 
  • Coded UI - Full support for Visual Studio 2012.

 

Windows Forms 14.2 

WPF

Our WPF offering gets more exciting with each release.  We are focused on ensuring you can design & build enterprise-ready, modern, touch enabled Office-inspired applications that can be styled easily and built using standard MVVM patterns.  This release shines in terms of new controls and updated features & capabilities to make you more productive.

  • Office Inspired, Touch-Friendly - We are officially releasing our brand new Excel Spreadsheet control, our Diagramming control, as well as a brand new Property Editor control.  With these controls rounding out our Office Ribbon with Backstage, Word / RTF Editing, Syntax Editor, Excel & Word libraries, you can truly build out an entire Office experience.  To help you achieve this, we are shipping two additional best-practices apps - Infragistics Word and Infragistics Excel.  In 14.1, we shipping Infragistics Outlook, so now you are covered with pretty much pixel-perfect examples of how to design & build apps with these new controls & features.
  • Simple Styling & Theming - The ThemeManager is a new component that lets you change the theme of a single control, or an entire application with a single line of code. The ThemeManager will change the theme of all Infragistics controls as well as the common Microsoft controls we support.  We've also made it possible for you extend our themes, or to your own themes. 

 

WPF 14.2 

Indigo Studio

Indigo Studio continues to lead the market in innovation and productivity for creating rapid, code-free interactive prototypes.  We are continuing to focus on enterprise features in Indigo Studio, as well as productivity enhancements that flow into other products, like the Ignite UI Page Designer.  Since Indigo releases on a more frequent cadence than Infragistics Ultimate, you get your hands on features as they become available.  Check this blog out to read about the most recent updates:  Releasing Update 3 for Indigo Studio.  For 14.2, here is what you can expect:

  • Responsive Page Design - When designing pages in Indigo, you have the option of choosing the type of page or device size of the target.  What we've done is mapped the device selection in the Indigo Designer to the Bootstrap grid system.  This means that the code you export is responsive, and can flow directly into the Ignite UI Page Designer for app-finishing.  This is the kind of workflow we are spending time on with the code-export feature - any great design needs to start with Indigo, so taking that effort and moving it into high-quality, modern-web ready HTML5 & JavaScript only makes sense.

Indigo Features 

HTML5 & jQuery

We are continuing to push the envelope in HTML5 & jQuery.  Our goal is to deliver the absolute best and most product experience to build standards-based, enterprise-ready and touch-enabled ASP.NET AJAX, ASP.NET MVC, HTML5 / jQuery experiences for desktop, tablet and mobile experiences.  With that in mind, we are continuing investment in the Page Designer that we previewed in 14.1, we've added new controls, and we are adding new features based on your continued feedback.

  • Drag & Drop App Building with Page Designer - Our WYSIWYG HTML5 page designer is getting better.  The toolbox is chock full of advanced Ignite UI controls, with full drag & drop support and property editor support.  We've improved the component editor, the Responsive Web Design support for Bootstrap, we've improved how clean the code is in the code editor and we've made it dead-easy to link data up to controls.  This is a one-of-a-kind tool in the market today, we are excited to get this into your hands to start making your page design better and faster.
  • Modern UI Controls - We are CTP'ing 2 new controls in 14.2 - a TreeGrid control which gives you an efficient way of visualizing flat data in a hierarchical view, and a new 100% JavaScript Excel library.  Based on the same Excel library we have in other platforms like Windows Forms, WPF, iOS, ASP.NET, we've translated this to JavaScript and plan on delivering the most robust Excel library on the market for client-side apps.
  • Simple Styling & Theming - in 13.2 we previewed a concept around mapping different theme engines to our controls.  With 14.2, you can easily use your favorite Bootstrap theme with Ignite UI components. This opens up the theme story for Ignite UI to pretty much anything you like now ... from ThemeRoller to Bootstrap to your favorite Bootswatch themes, your app can take on any brand or style you can imagine.  

 

Ignite UI 14.2 

Native Mobile

Our Android controls are still in CTP for 14.2, but there's a good reason for it.  We are working hard on a richer native developer experience for the Visual Studio developer.  Stay tuned as we get closer to the mid-October launch of 14.2 for exciting news around our native UI controls story.

Wrap Up

As you can see there is some great stuff happening, and even more to come.  Stay tuned for more details on 14.2 when we ship in mid-October, and for exciting new product announcements.  If you have any questions around the product retirement notices, packaging changes or new features, shoot me an email at jasonb@infragistics.com.  Also, make sure to keep using our product ideas site as the primary conduit to the product management teams & team leads for suggestions at http://ideas.infragistics.com