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DevExpress WinForms - Reviews

by DevExpress (Developer Express) - Product Type: Component / .NET WinForms / .NET Class / 100% Managed Code

In June 2013 DevExpress renamed the DXperience WinForms edition to be called DevExpress WinForms.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:  based on 18 reviews.

alan [VA, USA] 04-Feb-2015Review: 

I have to say I agree with many of the other reviews that the documentation, while copious, is really very difficult to take and apply to real world applications. My frustration is currently with the report module. They go into detail on how to do something in the docs, then when you try to go and replicate that, it doesn't match with what you are seeing, or it gets you close to what you want but not a finished product. I submitted a request for help and got a courteous and prompt reply telling me to read parts of the documentation I had already read. I'm really frustrated and not sure whether to spend more time trying to make this work. I'll never again tell myself it can't be as bad as the reviews people post imply. It can.

oystein [Norway] 14-Mar-2013Review: 

Very satisfied both with support and the product. I like the fact that stylings is so easy and that all components follow the same style concept. Adds a lot to our products!
I wish for more animation effects :-)


ricwha [USA] 23-Oct-2008Review: 

I have been working with their products for years. Many of the components are good. I really like the Vertical Grid, and Grid control

Something’s I was disappointed in.

Documentation. I have come across worse but generally speaking for what you pay they simply don’t understand how to write meaningful documentation. I probably ignore 50% to 70% of what is there because of the struggle to figure things out. Seems like the examples never match what I am looking for. I don’t care for the video example I want something I can look at and go over carefully or even print out so I can make notes.

Had to give up on the Ribbon control. It was so memory intense or something that I had to go with another one from another provider.

The Report Designer: So much promise but only half way there. Doesn’t let you see tables returned by functions and lacks parameters like other report products. If you’re into a lot of coding you can get past this, but for all the hype they should have at least been on a par with other report products in terms of functionality. This could really be something with a little more effort. (I should note the documentation here is a little better.) The Sample looks real nice if only…

drippin [USA] 19-Jul-2008Review: 

The numerous controls and features make the learning curve high if you are not familiar with the product. However, the help files, tutorials, demos, and website knowledge base, blogs and forums provide a substantial foundation for learning the product. I am very glad that I chose it.

ckorth [USA] 24-Apr-2008Review: 

I have been using the win form controls for many years and could not live without them. The grid is great and I use most of the other win controls exclusively on all my projects. For the winforms controls I would give it 5 stars and have always recommended the package to other developers

On the other hand I would rank the other aspects of the DXExperience as follows
DXexperience - 10 stars. Great product!
ASPexperience - 1 star. Simply atrocious and cannot keep VS2008 running when adding their controls to any form with a master page. Only control I found stable was the menu.
CodeRush - 3 stars. Worked great until VS2008. Now causes VS2008 to become sluggish. Also cannot seem to turn it on and off on the fly. Had to uninstall
RefactorPro - 3 stars. Same problem as CodeRush
xPressApp - 0 stars. Couldn't figure out what to use it for. Lacking sufficient documentation and ideas

All of my criticisms regarding this product probably stem for one significant fact about developer express. No matter how good your product is, if you can't adequately explain how to use it in your documentation, then you may as well hang it up. They have a long tradition of having the absolute worse documentation I have ever seen in a product that basically costs over a thousand dollars and then hundreds each year for the subscription renewal.
I applaud them for their frequent updates to their controls, but they need a complete overhaul of their documentation.
Some real world concepts would be great.

So with all these complaints why do I renew each year? (have been using the grid since it was a standalone in 2002)
Because the winform capabilites are so superior to anything else out there so it justifies the cost. And each year I send them an email complaining about their documentation along with my renewal. :-)

Abdurahman [Saudi Arabia] 01-May-2007Review: 

I have spent about 6 months searching and testing many components. but, I did not find what I can say is as perfect, complete or fast a solution as Devexpress. Just one thing I dislike is that they don't support right to left RTL.

kwhite6 [USA] 21-Mar-2007Review: 

I have tried many of the component suites and DXperience is the best I have seen. The grid component alone will save you hours of coding time with its built in sorting capabilities. All of the components play nice together. My only complaint is that you sometimes have to dig to find exactly what some property or method does. Between the built-in help, web docs and the news groups I have always found the answer I need.

Anonymous 16-Mar-2007Review: 

I was initially flabbergasted at the massive quantity of controls included in the package and was very excited to begin using them in my Windows Forms and ASP.NET projects. However, once I had made my purchase and installed the product, I found myself struggling to figure out exactly how all these flashy gadgets worked. The Helpfile was all but useless as it lacked all but the most rudimentary examples for only a handful of the controls. The rest was dry, auto-generated help content that is completely useless. As another poster noted, their forum support is a bit slow and many times is as useless as the help file. Unless you're an absolute expert in .Net, you'd probably be better off starting with some other control suite.

cmehta [USA] 05-Jan-2007Review: 

I give XtraReports software 5 out of 5. I found XtraReports very easy to use in creating complex reports. Support is great and the tutorials/demo are helpful. I have also played with creating run-time report which is easy to design.

Keep up the good work

Anonymous 02-Jan-2007Review: 

I highly recommend the XtraReports reporting tool. I found it much easier to develop with compared to Crystal Reports; not to mention that it has more features than the Crystal Reports that is provided with VS 2003. XtraReports can be used to build static reports or to build reports dynamically.

It includes a lot of great built in features as well; such as being able to convert your report to a PDF or opening the report in a separate window. The tools on the toolbar save me a lot of coding time. XtraReports definitely makes developing reports easy.

NTD [Australia] 25-Nov-2006Review: 

I was trying to find the 7 out of 5 option but unfortunately can only select 5.

We spent close to 18 months trialing all of the major Component Suites.

Value for Money
Straight up the amount of components and range of components that you receive with DevExpress is impressive, there isn't a need for any other components (where as with all the others we would have required to purchase either a general controls UI suite or more detailed grid control or Full Outlook style calendar, DevExpress has the lot)

From tests that we performed, we couldn't flaw the speed of the grid control and the editors that come with the suite. DevExpress has it's own skinning technology which we originally didn't like as we were concerned about performance hits, but you won't notice much difference at all, even with over 100 controls on a form.

Although it may take a while for a reply their Knowledge Base, Support Center and Client Center are brilliant, nearly all information is at your fingertips. The Help file is good just sometimes requires a little "digging" to get to what you want, however with the amount of components a complex help system is inevitable.

Frequency of Updates
We purchased an enterprise subscription and find generally at least 1-2 updates a month. Even going from the minors 6.1 - 6.3 there was 4 (possibly more) components added to it! so your value has just increased again.

We wouldn't look back, NTD and DevExpress will have a long term relationship.

russell [USA] 08-Sep-2006Review: 

All of my comments are specifically about Developer Express's XtraGrid for Windows forms.

I have built several Windows forms application using Dev. Express, and I like Developer Express's grid for the following reasons.

1. The grid is incredibly fast, I have yet to test a faster grid, when it comes to getting large numbers of rows into the grid.
2. The grid is very stable, if you are a good programmer, you will never see any exceptions thrown.
3. The grid supports all of VS2005's new binding features like BIndingSource.
4. The grid's group-by features are the fastest I have ever tested.
5. The grid's event model is excellent.
6. Dev Express uses enums for grid anatomy instead of having to do String compares in other grid components that I have looked at.

If you are using custom business objects (not datasets), then you will really love the Sorting Cababilities, they are built-into the grid:
Your custom business objects will automatically get sorting (including multi-column sort), without writing a single line of sorting code.

General Support:
Their support is adequate.

Documentation is good.

Source Code:
You can buy it.
This is very important, as who would build in a dependency of this magnitude (meaning the grid) without source code. What if the vendor were to go out of business?

And finally, Developer Express's grid control is very well engineered. I have examined the source code and Dev. Express's is most impressive!

You can not go wrong purchasing this Grid Control.

Russell Mangel
Las Vegas, NV

h.kammerer [Germany] 30-Aug-2006Review: 

DevExpress liefert die beste Komponentensammlung für Win-Forms. Bis auf wenige fehlende Funktionen (und natürlich ein paar Bugs) ist die Sammlung vollständig, die Hilfe verständlich und ausführlich. Es sind viele Beispiele vorhanden, durch die man die vielen Einsatzmöglichkeiten dargestellt bekommt. Auch der Support und die Newsgroups sind hilfreich, die Antworten von DevExpress oder anderen Benutzern kommen (oft, aber nicht immer) schnell.

Vor allem wenn man die Sammlung mit Konkurrenzprodukten vergleicht, kommt kein anderer Hersteller auch nur annähernd an diese Qualität heran. Einzig die ASP.NET-Komponenten sind noch nicht komplett. Die wichtigsten GUI-Elemente (Grid und allgemeine Editoren) sind noch nicht auf das neue Konzept umgesetzt und die alte Grid-Komponente ist nicht besonders gut. Aber ich bin sicher, das die nächste Version auch ein Hammer sein wird. Bis jetzt hat es DevExpress immer geschafft, ca. im 4 Wochen-Rythmus ein kleines Update zu bringen, 3-4 Mal im Jahr gibt es ein großes Update mit neuen Funktionen.

Viel Spaß damit,

English translation from above...
DevExpress delivers the best collection for Winform components. Apart from a few missing functions (and naturally a few bugs) the collection is complete, the documentation clear and detailed. It contains many examples, which show you the many ways it can be used. The support and newsgroups are helpful as well, with (mostly, but not always) fast replies from DevExpress or other users.

Especially when comparing the collection with competing products, no other manufacturer comes anywhere close to this quality. Only the ASP.NET components are not complete yet. The most important GUI elements (Grid and general editors) have not been converted to the new concept yet and the old Grid component is not particularly good. But I am sure that the next version will also be excellent. Up until now DevExpress has always managed to release a small update in an approx. 4 week cycle, as well as large updates with new features 3-4 times a year.

Have fun with it,

steve.sharkey [United Kingdom] 14-Jun-2006Review: 

I've given this full stars now - with the proviso that I'm still waiting on better help but felt I should give an update on the support side of things.

It appears to have been a little hiccup I was suffering from because I've since had nothing but excellent fast responsive support from their support staff.

Steve Sharkey
Technical Director
FirmVisual Ltd

steve.sharkey [United Kingdom] 11-May-2006Review: 

I'd really like to give it 5 stars and can probably upgrade it to 5 stars with just a little extra attention...

So what's good?

The components themselves are very nice to use and there appears to be plenty of depth behind them too. I was looking at upgrading our current suite of components but for 90% of our projects the DevExpress Professional .NET suite has it all - and at a fraction of the cost of upgrading to the latest versions of our existing suites (Crystal reports, Infragistics, Steema Graphs, contour cube). Like I say this suite may not have the absolute power as some of those in their chosen field but for 90% of our requirements they provide it all.

And what lets it down?

I'm afraid like many components these days their help files are somewhat lacking. There is hope however as the coverage appears to be based on the age of the components so with the passage of time the newer components help files may get updated and improved (specifically: XtraLayoutControl suite and XtraCharts). There appears to be a worrying trend towards what appears like automatically generated helpfiles that give volume at the expense of helpful content. Where detailed technical help is provided there is no contextual sample code. And providing a sample application is not really sufficient because I have rarely seen a realistic sample app that does things the way a production application would. The main omissions here I feel is the getting started type tutorial and the task based help. Having said that as I suggested before this appears to be something they have in common with many other component suppliers (I was very disappointed at the .NET help for Contour Cube having been an enthusiastic supporter of their excellent ocx version and also of the dramatic reduction in quality of help that comes with the Infragistics suite.)

And finally....

They really aren't very responsive when it comes to emails. On average emails have taken 48 hours to be responded to which in the fast paced development cycle we work in is very limiting. Having finally ordered the product yesterday I find I can't yet install the purchased product because I have not yet received my registration details from ComponentSource.

Steve Sharkey
Technical Director
FirmVisual Ltd

lbGURU [USA] 15-Mar-2006Review: 

I have had a great experience with this company. The components are of great quality and the support is excellent. I wish they could get someone dedicated on the weekend or some live chat support, but you cannot complain. The support you do get is timely and very in depth with even sample projects sometimes.

tom [United Kingdom] 08-Mar-2006Review: 

I've used DevExpress WinForms suite for 2.5 years after evaluating 8 grids. Excellent fast products, and excellent support.
I use the DXperience Enterprise (Visual Studio 6 and .NET) Subscription that gives you access to full source code, which isn't listed at componentsource - or at least I couldn't find it.”

sunitjoshi [USA] 23-Feb-2005Review: 

I have played with XtraGrid, XtraPrinting & XtrReports so far and the impression so far has been pretty good. Their support is also fair and responds quickly.

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