Visual Studio 2013 support

Visual Studio 2013

I’m pleased to let you know that all Mindscape products have full support for Visual Studio 2013!

If you have have an active subscription you can download the latest nightly builds to get this new support. If your subscription has ended, you can renew it to obtain the latest builds.

Some products needed explicit support to work at all (e.g. Web Workbench), while others just have nice-to-have improvements like putting WPF controls into the toolbox for you.

Happy Coding!

April + Mega Pack + Half Price = Win

April 2012 Mega Pack Sale

What’s good about April? Four day weekend; chocolate in rabbit format (!?); and a massive sale at Mindscape!

To spice this month up a bit we’re doing 50% off the Mega Pack, normally priced at $999 USD, but until the end of April you can get it for just $499 USD.

Five reason’s why the Mega Pack is awesome:

  • You get all 9 amazing Mindscape developer tools worth thousands, at a great price
  • Included are 12 months of updates, new releases and nightly builds
  • Mindscape products are designed to save you time and improve your productivity
  • New products released for the duration of your subscription are added free of charge
  • It’ll help you be the best developer you can be
Even better, if you want to go for the source code, team licenses or site licenses too, these also receive the half price discount!

Note: This sale is now over



Tagged as MegaPack, News

Kick start 2012 with this special offer!

Get 9 products for an amazing price

Make building better software your New Year’s resolution by taking advantage of our 30% sale on the Mega Pack.

For a limited time, pay only $699 and you’ll receive:

Plus, you also get:

  • 12 months of new releases, nightly builds and new products!
  • The best support in the business!

Imagine that – a full range of developer tools across WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone, Data Access, Web Development and Domain Modeling for just $699!

So, save thousands of dollars by getting all your tools at once with our 30% off Mega Pack Special now.

Hurry, promotion ends 1 Feb 2012!

WPF Elements 5 Dashboard Sample

Not long ago we released version 5 of WPF Elements, a suite of fantastic WPF controls (if I do say so myself, as the lead developer…). This version includes a high performance data grid control, a time explorer for selecting time ranges in a convenient manner and hundreds of enhancements across the board. In the latest nightly build you will find a new sample app that demonstrates how to use various controls from WPF elements to build a sales dashboard. This app is built using the Caliburn Micro framework and is implemented using the popular MVVM design pattern.

Pipper Catering Dashboard

User interaction

First lets have a look at what this dashboard provides in the user interface. Along the top of the dashboard is the time explorer control. This allows the user to select a time range by dragging or clicking the mouse. By zooming in with the mouse wheel, the time explorer will display shorter time intervals such as weeks and days. Within the time explorer is a line chart displaying some summary data for the overall dashboard. This makes it easy for the user to select a time range around any interesting points in the data. Every time the user selects a new time range, the data displayed in the charts, gauges and data grid are updated to only include the data in the selected time range.

Time explorer interaction

Data drill down

The stacked bar chart below the time explorer is plotting a category breakdown of the data for each point displayed on the X axis. An individual bar shows the data for either a month, day, or 2 hour time slot based on the magnitude of the selected time range. Clicking on one of the bars will drill down to the next time interval.

Data drill down

Category filtering

Selecting one of the segments in the doughnut chart will filter the data grid by the selected category, and emphasise the appropriate points in the stacked bar chart and the equivalent gauge.

Category filtering

Along the bottom of the dashboard is a text block displaying the total sales value, animated linear gauges, and our WPF data grid. Users can reorder, resize and sort the columns in the data grid to display the current data however they would prefer.

MVVM architecture

The MVVM design pattern is commonly used to create robust WPF applications that are easy to maintain. The main idea behind this pattern is to cleanly separate the data model from the user interface. The only things linking these two parts together should be bindings, commands and event handlers. The data model of the dashboard application listens to changes made to the various controls based on the user interaction. These changes are analysed and the displayed data held within the model is updated to reflect the selected time ranges or filters. The controls within the user interface listen to the changes made to the data model and then updates the visuals for the user to see.

You can download the trial version of the latest nightly build from here, or go to your account page if you are already a customer. The smaller data model classes can be found in the Model folder. The main data model class is called DashboardViewModel, and the UI is built up in the DashboardView.xaml file. The SimpleLinearGauge extends our AnimatedValueDisplay, and the remaining class files are for hooking into the Caliburn Micro framework.

Have any questions about WPF Elements? We’d love to hear from you in the forum!

Web Workbench 2.0 – Faster, Minification and Pro

We’ve been blown away by the interest in the Mindscape Web Workbench. It seems .NET web developers were hungry for Sass, Less and CoffeeScript inside Visual Studio as we’ve now passed 14,000 installs! We’ve had a boat load of feedback and we’ve been incorporating the smaller bug fixes into our nightly builds while in the background working on a grunty new version for you all!

Going Pro

We originally released this tool to scratch an itch. We wanted to play with some of the cool new tech that was being used in the open source camps and so the idea of the Web Workbench was born. With the massive uptake in interest of the product though we’re thinking it would be fantastic to spend even more time investing in making it the best Visual Studio Extension possible. To be able to achieve that we need to fund the development while still keeping this as inexpensive as possible and also keeping what is currently there free.

Here’s what we have done:

  • There will always be a free version and everything in version 1 continues to be free.
  • None of the existing features will require you to have a Pro version and in fact they will just continue to run better than v1!
  • Some new features will be for Pro users only by way of thanks for supporting the new developments.
  • The price of the Pro edition should be low enough that it’s a no brainer to support future development.

That last point is the key one I want to make. We’ve been swamped with great ideas, feature requests and things we could improve. By purchasing a Pro license you’re helping support the future development of the tool and as a sign of appreciation we want those that help to get some nice extra bits and pieces.

So what is new in Version 2?

V8 Engine Enabled – Free FeatureGoogle V8 JavaScript Engine Logo
Feedback on the initial version was great… until folks had BIG files. Like 1000+ line CoffeeScript files. Unfortunately the JavaScript engine we used, while very cool, wasn’t quite fast enough to keep up with such large files. We have spent the last few weeks baking in Google’s V8 JavaScript engine that ships with Google Chrome to super charge the speed when working with larger files. Early feedback on a test release was very promising:

“I am using win7 x64 – I just applied the update and I am seeing a great improvement! Woohoo!” – Dan

“10 words: “Awesome job”!” – Bagosm (aka Binary Man)

This improvement is included for everyone, including the free users.

LESS compilation – Pro Feature
Initially we did not compile LESS files into .css files as we assumed folks used the JavaScript parser. Feedback was that it would be really cool if the Web Workbench would just create the CSS files on save in the same way that we do with Sass. So this is now included.

CSS & JavaScript Minification – Pro Feature
Editing the files is great, but having another step to do minification was proving to be a hassle to users. In the pro edition we now include the option to minify both the CSS output and the JavaScript output, saving you even more time!

Thanks again for all your feedback to date and we hope this release makes the Web Workbench even more compelling for you. Thanks to everyone who helps support the ongoing development effort by upgrading to the Pro edition — we have some really great ideas for the future and you’re helping it become a reality.

You can obtain version 2.0 by doing an update from the Extension Manager in VS 2010, or by clicking here to download it free. If you wish to support further development the purchase options are available within the Web Workbench itself. And if you don’t, well, all the features you love are still there and we hope you enjoy the free V2 enhancements as well!

Used Mindscape Web Workbench... Now the most ninja coder in the company


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