DevExpress Launches DXtreme Toolset for Windows 8, Device App Development

DevExpress announces the release of DXtreme Enterprise, its new tools suite for building apps for Windows 8, iOS and Android.

DevExpress, a maker of software development tools, has announced the next release in its DXv2 generation of software development tools, DXtreme Enterprise, a suite of tools for developers to create multiscreen applications across platforms and devices, including Windows 8 devices.

The new DevExpress DXtreme toolset is available in limited preview now and will be generally released to market on Dec. 3, 2012.

The DXtreme suite contains a set of Windows 8 and HTML5, CSS and JavaScript tools targeted at developers building interactive Web applications that push the boundaries of user experiences to a new level, DevExpress officials said.

"The technology landscape has changed and developers are faced with the unenviable task of creating unified digital experiences across multiple platforms and multiple devices," said Julian Bucknall, CTO at DevExpress, in a statement. "DXtreme tackles that challenge head on and helps developers build the modern, multi-channel, touch-enabled applications for Windows 8, iPad and iPhone and Android using their existing skills and resources."

"I find a lot of vendors release 'cool tools,' but with DXtreme there are immediate benefits to both the developer and consumer," Paul Usher, founder and senior solutions architect at Usher.Net, told eWEEK. "We write apps across multiple platforms already using native environments. DXtreme is going to allow that to happen faster, concentrating on the user experience not the tools we use. It's an exciting time to be a developer."

With DXtreme, developers can create a single Visual Studio solution with one code base that crosses platforms and devices without the need for the iOS or Android software development kit (SDK), said Dave Mendlen, chief marketing officer at DevExpress. With an integrated project, it is easy to reuse content assets and application code across all target applications. Meanwhile, built-in Visual Studio support enables developers to preview their application while building it with visual designers for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows 8 and the Web.

Moreover, for developers who want to run touch-based applications natively on all target devices, DXtreme offers support for Apache Cordova-the technology behind PhoneGap. Developers also can submit their applications to the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. And the toolset enables developers to create apps in the platform they are most familiar with and that feel to users as though they were designed expressly for the device.

"Our approach is to focus on the Visual Studio developer," Mendlen said. "There are other HTML5 and JavaScript tools out there, but none really contemplate the Visual Studio dev and we've got that clearly in our sights, including planned wizards and templates to help them take advantage of all of the platforms. Additionally, we uniquely have a solution that spans iPhone, iPad, Android as well as Windows 8."

DXtreme will also have built-in social media functionality, including support for Facebook, which enables developers to focus on building applications without having to worry about authentication and user management. Getting data from the Web means accessing information from various types of Web services and APIs like OData. DXtreme supports this and makes it easy to reach across the Web and integrate information into all applications-just plug it in and go.

"With DXtreme, multi-channel means building applications that span devices and optimize the best parts of each platform using your current skill set," said Ray Navasarkian, CEO at DevExpress, in a statement. "The reality is we live in a world where end users demand a unified digital experience across multiple devices and they expect to be delighted. With DXtreme, developers can give them what they want and more."

DevExpress also announced the Extreme offer. Every customer with an active product subscription on the day of the next product release (version 12.2 on Dec. 3, 2012) will receive all or part of the new DXtreme toolset at no cost.

"We are at the beginning of an exciting, revolutionary shift in our industry," Mendlen said. "The Extreme offer allows us to support our loyal customers by giving them a head start with the tools they need to create stunning, modern applications while leveraging their existing skill set."