John Tuohy, Data Access Worldwides "VDF Architect" wound up the seminar with a live webinar from the west coast of the USA.
As always with John, this was a privileged insight into both some aspects of the current features in VDF, and glimpses of where we are headed.
Under Where we are headed, web application development looms large in future plans. As commented elsewhere, the AJAX Library continues to be the basis for this, with plenty of opportunity to continue to improve performance and to increase the ease with which Web Applications can be developed from our existing VDF for Windows code base.
Windows development has, however, by no means become restricted. The major feature, scheduled for VDF 2010 will be a completely new data entry grid. John devoted some time to this, from defining initial requirements through the selection process, to where the project is right now. Based on the Codejock controls, which proved the most capable of the product evaluated, this new grid will be offer much more capability than the current data entry grid. This should include such niceties as
- Resize, Remove, and Reorder Columns
- Hide and Show Column Headers
- Sort Data Across Multiple Columns
- Auto Column Sizing
and much more. Some of these features have been added to data entry grids by developers, but this new control will remove all the hassles of adding to, allowing everyone to easily create such state of the are data entry features and more of such than any one individual developer will have been able to build in. Having been using such augmented grid controls with easily changeable/ removeable/ searchable columns, I would observe that you dont know what you are missing if you havent got them!
As for the current state of development, John acknowledged that it has become a much bigger project than at first allowed for, and one in which the Codejock product team had to be involved in creating additional facilities in order for Data Access to build a really excellent, fully data dictionary aware control. All of that is now pretty well done, and should be with us in Q1 2010.
Because this will be a new and radically changed grid, it is not being designed as an in-situ replacement. The current grid will continue to be part of VDF, with the new one available to be used instead, with some code changes needed to instantiate it beyond just use the new one that is, or in new development.