WPF Elements 3.0 beta

We’re pleased to announce that a beta build of WPF Elements 3.0 is now available to existing WPF Elements, WPF Property Grid and WPF Themes customers.

WPF Elements is our suite of controls for Windows Presentation Foundation and in 3.0 we’re not only bundling in the popular Property Grid control and our stylish WPF themes, we’re also adding a whole load of new controls:

  • Scheduler – Outlook-style calendar display
  • DualProgressBar – display operation and sub-operation progress
  • DualSlider – a handy and visual way for users to select a range
  • OutlookBar – an attractive and compact tab control
  • PaletteColorPicker – help your users select colors that work well together
  • SplitButton – it’s a button! It’s a menu! No, it’s a benu! Or possibly a menton
  • TimePicker – for selecting a time of day
  • TimeSpanPicker – for selecting a duration
  • RichTextToolBar – a convenient and familiar UI for formatting the WPF RichTextBox

WPF Elements

The PropertyGrid control has also been enhanced with new themes, and WPF Themes extends these to the built-in WPF controls.

The WPF Elements 3.0 beta is in the store now and is free to current WPF Elements, WPF Property Grid and WPF Themes customers. Take it for a spin and if you run into any issues, let us know!

WPF Elements 3.0 – Important notice for WPF customers

In the next couple of weeks we will be shipping WPF Elements 3.0, it will be the largest shake up to our WPF product line up to date and is great news for all our WPF Elements, WPF Property Grid and WPF Themes customers. Personally, I can’t wait to see this update come out and see some of the great applications that people will build with all the upgraded offering! :-)

Some important notes about the new release that all WPF customers should be aware of:

WPF Property Grid

We will be merging our WPF Property Grid control into the WPF Elements family. It will no longer be a stand alone product to purchase from our store. It’s interesting and a little sad to see it go as its own standalone product as it was Mindscape’s second product that was released to market but it’s also an important step in continuing maturity of our WPF offering.

What does this mean for existing customers? If you own the WPF Property Grid product you will automatically be migrated to owning WPF Elements 3.0 as part of your active subscription for free.

WPF Themes

We released a WPF Themes product that included 5 themes for all the built in WPF controls. We’ve decided that this would be better bundled up with WPF Elements 3.0 as well and will also be discontinuing the WPF Themes individual product when WPF Elements 3.0 is released.

What does this mean for existing customers? If you own the WPF Themes product you will automatically be migrated to owning WPF Elements 3.0 as part of your active subscription for free.

WPF Elements 3.0

Beyond doing the product line up tango, WPF Elements will also get a big upgrade by way of new features in existing controls and new control additions. We’ve received wonderful feedback from customers about what they would like to see added (for example, a WPF Scheduler control like the Outlook calendar) and I’m looking forward to seeing how customers make use of them.

Price changes – the call-to-action part of this post!

With WPF Elements 3.0 we will be increasing the price of the product which is why we’re making this announcement now. If you are currently evaluating any of our WPF products then it would be a very good idea to purchase a 12 month subscription today and lock in the current pricing for the next 12 months. If you already have a subscription, you may wish to extend it for another 12 months now. This will represent a substantial saving over buying the products or renewing them once WPF Elements 3.0 is released. Also, note that if you have an inactive subscription, you can still re-activate it and renew for 12 months at a reduced amount from your account page.

Existing customers can extend their subscriptions here
Cannot-wait-to-be-customers can purchase from the store here

We hope that you’ll love the new WPF Elements when we launch it later in July.

Happy coding!

Nightly news, 11 June 2010

Lots of stuff going on at Mindscape HQ right now, but we’ve found time to deliver a few enhancements and bug fixes in the last week’s worth of nightly builds. Here’s the goodness.

WPF Elements

We’ve started porting some of the cool controls from Silverlight Elements to WPF, and the following are done and included in the current nightly build of WPF Elements:

  • DualProgressBar
  • TimePicker
  • TimeSpanPicker

Other controls will be arriving in future nightlies — we expect to make a proper announcement next week.

LightSpeed

  • We’ve added some checking to the designer to provide a more meaningful warning if you create an association to a concrete table inheritance base class.
  • Fixed a problem with validation when using .NET remoting.
  • Fixed a designer bug which prevented you from using the tree view to add CLR attributes.
  • We’ve fixed a problem in optimistic concurrency checking where version information was being updated on a failed save. This fixes a related issue which could result in concurrency checking being fooled by repeated save attempts.
  • Updated SQLite provider to version 1.0.66.

Silverlight Elements

  • The RichTextEditor now supports changing the background colour.

WPF Property Grid

  • Fixed an issue with dangling event handlers which could cause memory leaks or errors in collection scenarios.

Nightly news, 5 May 2010

We’ve frequently been asked to publish change logs for our nightly builds, and although it’s not very convenient for us to make that information available on a nightly basis, we thought it would be a good idea to publish the occasional round-up of recent changes. We are planning to make this a weekly thing… for some value of “weekly” that will depend on how much JD gets distracted into making Photoshops of Batman.

Here, then, is a round-up of the last week or so’s fixes and enhancements across the Mindscape product range.

LightSpeed

  • Visual Studio 2010 designer support! We’ll be officially launching this soon, but it’s already in the nightlies.
  • Support for using SQL Server spatial data type methods in a query. Instructions here.
  • Consistent read support for Amazon SimpleDB. Instructions here and here.
  • Support for localising field names in validation messages. Instructions here.
  • You can now add (but not remove) unique constraints via the designer and via migrations.
  • The designer now remembers the zoom level when you save the model. Handy for big models where you usually want to work zoomed out.
  • Fixes for a spurious error in the designer, for Oracle SYS_GUID support in the designer and for entity range variables in LINQ joins.
  • Fixed a British spelling in the help file. Hey, you may think this isn’t worth mentioning, but JD brooded about it for six straight days…

Silverlight Elements

  • New OutlookBar control.
  • New Expander control.
  • New menuing and command controls: Menu, ContextMenu and SplitButton.
  • New numeric controls: Slider, DualSlider, DualProgressBar and NumericUpDown.
  • New layout controls: DockPanel and a pair of truncating StackPanels.
  • TimePicker and TimeSpanPicker now have up-down functionality.
  • Several fixes to design-time functionality and to the UniformGrid.

WPF Property Grid

  • Fix for TypeEditors mapped to built-in editors not respecting BuiltInEditorStyles.

SimpleDB Management Tools

  • Visual Studio 2010 support.
  • Now uses consistent reads for all queries.
  • Old-style query syntax (Amazon’s Crazy-Ass Query Language (TM)) is no longer supported.

You can download the latest nightly builds from the store, or from the Downloads page for free and trial editions.

Improved support options for customers

Hand in hand with our recent volume discounts and LightSpeed 3.0 release we have started to put in place an improved support capability for customers who need priority support options or may occasionally want to escalate support beyond what we normally offer.

Tooting our own horn a little, we have had very positive feedback from many customers who have said our support is fantastic. We hope this addition helps us maintain end user happiness as we continue to grow and our support load scales up.

What is priority support?

Priority support is the option to ensure that your request is dealt with promptly, and is reviewed before and prioritised over normal forum posts. It is also useful for folks who wish to not use the forum which is quite open and may not be viable for talking about sensitive parts of a software system.

Can I use it for feature requests?

No, we still urge that feature requests be posted in the forums so that others may discuss them (and because we don’t think it’s fair to charge you for suggesting cool features!). Features are still only added to products at our discretion.

How much does priority support cost?

We have priced support at $199 USD per priority support issue OR at $499 for a 5 pack of support issues, a 50% saving. You will be able to see if you have support tickets in your store account page. We have been issuing 1 priority support ticket per customer to LightSpeed 3.0 customers and upgrading Enterprise Edition customers. For other products, we’re in the process of migrating Enterprise customers to have a priority ticket added to their account.

The pricing is designed to be very cost effective and is inexpensive compared to the support options offered for other software (for example, one commercial NHibernate support vendor quotes 600 Euro, approximately $870 USD, per incident for ad hoc support).

You can purchase Priority support tickets in our online store.

Do I need it? Should I put all my requests through priority support?

If you need a guaranteed response, or a quick response is crucial to you, or you don’t want to discuss your issue on the public forum, then you should put a request through priority support. The forum will still get monitored actively by Mindscape staff and questions will be answered, but there are no guarantees around response times (our response times have usually been pretty good, but never guaranteed!).

Priority support is for those times when you need additional help and you don’t want to rely on the forums. You are welcome to simply buy a support ticket as you need them for $199 USD however it may be wiser to simply purchase a 5 pack in order to save 50%.

If I’ve missed any questions you have then please post a comment – I’m happy to answer them :-)

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