Important: Product Changes and Control Retirements in 2011.2

Jason Beres / Thursday, November 10, 2011

With the 2011.2 release, we are making a few changes to continue the synchronization of the XAML product lines between Silverlight Line of Business and WPF Line of Business, as well as shifting controls from the XAML Data Visualization products to the Line of Business products.  There are 3 pieces I’ll talk about in this post:

  1. What Retiring a control means
  2. Product changes
  3. Control Retirements, and their replacements

What does Retiring a Control Mean?

When we retire a control, the control will 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 are added to a control after a retirement announcement is made
  • We remove the controls from the installer and help after the initial 12 month bug fix / service release time period expires 

 

 This results in:

  • The final service release for retiring controls in 11.2 will be November 2012
  • Support will expire for these controls in November 2014

 

Yesterday, I was with one of our bigger customers in Bangalore who was just starting the evaluation of a control from 10.1 that we are announcing retirement for today.  This obviously caused some stress, and he wanted to know why we are doing this.  I want to assure you that we take this very seriously, in the 8 years I’ve been at Infragistics I can count on 1 hand the number of times we’ve retired anything.  In all cases, we make sure there is parity of core features in the ‘replacement’ control, and we provide a good story in service releases and support for the control we are retiring.  With the control retirements we are announcing today, I’ve given the reason for each below, and I hope you see there is actually good benefit to you with the changes we are making. 

Keep in mind, anything we retire today has the same support as a shipping control.  So there is no need to ‘rip’ anything we are retiring out of your existing apps.  Keep using it, they are all awesome controls, and they are supported for another 3 years, we just aren’t adding any new features.  For new development, make sure to use the new controls. Now let’s talk about what we are changing in this release.

Product Change – xamDataChart now in XAML Line of Business

We are now including the xamDataChart in both the Silverlight & WPF Line of Business products. 

  • Previously, if you wanted to use xamDataChart, you had to purchase the NetAdvantage for Silverlight Data Visualization or NetAdvantage for WPF Data Visualization product
  • With this change, all subscribers of NetAdvantage for .NET and owners of NetAdvantage for Silverlight or NetAdvantage for WPF will get the xamDataChart. 

Why is this so awesome? 

Here is what you get with this control:

  • Fast Silverlight Charting for real time and high performance big-data XAML charting needs – hands down market leader in XAML charting performance
  • Over 20 chart types (including most common business charts like Bar, Column, Line, Pie, Funnel, Area, Scatter)
  • Full range of Technical Indicators, Formulas and Trend Lines
  • Financial Charting
  • Zoombar and Overview Plus Detail (OPD) support
  • Motion Framework, the coolest data-over-time animation tool for data trending and immersion

Control Retirement – WPF xamChart & Silverlight xamWebChart

With the inclusion of the xamDataChart in all of the XAML products now, we are announcing the retirement of the xamChart and xamWebChart, the current charting controls in NetAdvantage for Silverlight and NetAdvantage for WPF. 

What is changing?

  • For all charting in XAML platforms, use the xamDataChart.  Do not use xamChart or xamWebChart.

Why are we doing this?

The reason is simple – performance, performance, performance.  When we architected the xamChart (which is the same 2D charting API as the xamWebChart for Silverlight), we considered features and 3D first.  We didn’t look at high performance scenarios as the driver for creating this control.  In early 2008 when we started on the xamDataChart engine, we were designing for performance.  Now that the xamDataChart is a mature control, and has more than exceeded the core feature parity on the original xamChart, we want to ensure that you are using the best chart on the market in your applications, and this is the xamDataChart.

What about 3D Charts?  xamDataChart is only 2D!

When we built the xamDataChart, we went for the least common denominator for XAML, which is Silverlight.  Up until now, the 3D story wasn’t that great for Silverlight.  We are evaluating the current 3D potential of Silverlight 5 to include some ‘true’ 3D features in 2012.  From most customers I talk to, they say 3D is great for marketing, but never used in real world apps.  I’d love to hear your opinion on this, and what charts you would like to see in 3D.  Shoot me an email at jasonb@infragistics.com with your thoughts.

To compare the implementation of the xamDataChart with xamChart / xamWebChart, check out this link:

https://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/b/kiril_matev/posts/upgrading-your-charting-experience-using-xamdatachart

 

Control Retirement – xamTileView & xamTilesControl

One of the cooler innovations we shipped as a control was the xamTileView in Silverlight.  As we learned more about how customers wanted to use a Tile Layout, we changed a few things and shipped a WPF version of the control, the xamTilesControl.  The key difference between these 2 controls is that in WPF, the xamTilesControl has a much richer layout engine, with non-uniform tile sizes, resizing capability, and better tile states.  in the 11.2 release, we created a new cross-platform XAML control, xamTileManager.

What is changing?

  • The xamTileManager replaces the xamTileView and xamTilesControl for rich, tile based screen layout
  • xamTileManager is shipping in both Silverlight and WPF, with the same API

What is being retired?

  • In NetAdvantage for Silverlight, the xamTileView
  • In NetAdvantage for WPF, the xamTilesControl

Why are we doing this?

Once customers saw the xamTilesControl on WPF, with its richer layout capability, you demanded the same on Silverlight.  In keeping with our Shared XAML Strategy of cross-platform XAML consistency, we tool the existing WPF xamTilesControl, and create a new cross-platform XAML control called xamTileManager, which far exceeds the features on the Silverlight xamTileView, while maintaining the simplicity and ease of use we designed into that control.

To compare the new xamTileManager with the retiring controls, please review this blog:

https://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/b/atanas_dyulgerov/posts/xamtileview-and-xamtilescontrol-vs-xamtilemanager

To get an idea of what you can do with the new xamTileManager, check out this blog:

https://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/b/atanas_dyulgerov/posts/xamtilemanager-new-control-in-the-xaml-line-of-business-product-shipped-with-the-11-2-release

 

Control Retirement – Silverlight xamMaskedEditor, xamNumericEditor

Similar to the shift to the cross-platform tile layout control, in 11.2, we are shipping a set of cross-platform XAML data entry controls, named xamInputs. This gives you a consistent API for the editor controls in both Silverlight and WPF, and allows us to deliver consistent features in both WPF and Silverlight.

What is changing?

  • In NetAdvantage for Silverlight, the xamInputs replace the xamEditors control set:
    • xamNumericInput replaces xamNumericEditor
    • xamMaskedInput replaces xamNumericEditor
    • xamCurrencyInput is a new control for both Silverlight and WPF
    • xamDateTimeInput is a new control for both Silverlight and WPF
  • In NetAdvantage for WPF, the xamInput controls are available, but nothing changes with the WPF editors that are more tightly coupled to the xamDataGrid control

What is Retiring?

In NetAdvantage for Silverlight, xamNumericEditor and xamMaskedEditor are being retired.

Why are we doing this?

Instead of making breaking changes in the Editor controls, we opted to create new controls, same feature set, with a new name.  This gives us a great cross-platform XAML story, and also gives you additional controls to use, the xamCurrencyInput and the xamDateTimeInput.

To compare the xamInput and xamEditor controls, click here:

https://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/b/damyan_petev/posts/xaminputs-and-xameditors

To get a better idea of what you can do with the Inputs controls, check out this blog post:

https://www.infragistics.com/community/blogs/b/damyan_petev/posts/xaminputs-a-cross-platform-editing-experience

 

Summary

Those are all of the changes we are making in controls and control retirements in 11.2.  If you have any questions, shoot me an email at jasonb@infragistics.com.  I think you’ll find all of the new controls very exciting, and the inclusion of the xamDataChart in the XAML Line of Business products really gives you the absolute best chart for your apps. 

 

Thanks and enjoy 11.2!

Jason