I have been exploring XAF for a few projects recently , and have a number of MAJOR projects coming up, for which XAF seems to be a very good fit. Given the number and size of these projects (many developers, multi-year projects), I need to consider XAFs ongoing support, maintenance and roadmap before it can be selected.
I have been trying to find recent (i.e. last 2 months) information about the roadmap/development plans for XAF over the next 1-5 years, but have found it to be ambiguous and unclear. While the mobile support is obviously coming, I am particularly interested in what is happening for the web and desktop apps as well. For example, what are plans for supporting .NET core, WPF, or offline capabilities? I am finding a higher demand for these features in the projects I am involved with.
Without a clear idea of the 1-5 year roadmap for XAF, I am concerned its shelf life may be insufficient to use on a large scale, long term project. I would appreciate your comments, and certainly hope you can belay these concerns, as I have been so impressed with XAF so far.
XAF is one of the major frameworks in the DevExpress suite of components and libraries, because it showcases what can be done with our WinForms and ASP.NET products, as well as provide a stable beginning for many corporate and enterprise applications. It has been, up to now, a good decade in the making, and we have no plans to retire it as can be evinced by the recent addition of the Mobile UI feature.
As to what XAF will look like in 5 years’ time, we have only the vaguest ideas. I hasten to add that a lot of the design and development of new features and capabilities come from our users’ feedback: we introduce some feature, customers love it, except for X, Y or Z, and then we derive our medium-term plans from that feedback.
In answer to your specific questions:
WPF support? No, we have no plans. Instead, we would prefer to continue our work on a better WinForms look & feel that may include updated templates, icons (e.g. SVG support), better High DPI support, etc, or polishing extra modules like dashboards, reports and security.
.NET Core, Web, and Mobile UI plans? I briefly described our thoughts on these at Questions on XAF and .NET Core.
Offline support? No immediate plans at present.
To allow me to help you determine whether XAF Web/Mobile UI is the right product for you, please answer these questions:
1. How many concurrent users do you need to serve? I am asking because if you are planning thousands, other technologies are better to be used as well.
2. How many your end-users find it important to have a native app vs a mobile-optimized web site for a typical line-of-business/data-centric project?
WinForms UI does not have limitations in regard to the number of concurrent users and customization capabilities, so it is not covered here.