Newforma is a project information management (PIM) software company connecting architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) organizations worldwide.

The Newforma PIM solutions help AEC/O firms organize and share project information, drive accountability, raise transparency and streamline project delivery processes, including those surrounding building information modeling (BIM), integrated project delivery (IPD), contract management and more.

As of January 2012, Newforma customers comprised more than 52,000 licensed users in 644 companies across 10 countries, using Newforma Project Center as a mission-critical enterprise application to manage in excess of 700,000 projects.

Newforma Info Exchange Project

The Newforma Info Exchange web application is a secure site hosted by our customers for their clients as a portal to access and update project information.

DevExpress ASP.NET components modernized our existing ASP.NET web application written in plain old HTML and standard ASP.NET Microsoft controls many years ago. The existing code made extensive use of data binding and we continue to use data binding with the DX controls. Themes added so our customers can change the site to match their corporate colors, etc.

Internationalized the site for Chinese with more languages to come, including bi-directional languages such as Arabic.

The following are a few sample screenshots:

Why DevExpress

We were looking for a richer set of controls than provided stock with ASP.NET. Of primary interest were ASPxGridView for its column sorting and filtering, ASPxHtmlEditor to allow rich text authoring, ASPxPageControl for tabs and last and by no means least, ASPxScheduler for a calendar display of events. Other requirements were: provide compatibility with the jQuery core and jQuery.UI, support Unicode languages, include bi-directional languages, such as Arabic.

I compared several vendors (Infragistics and Telerik). Newforma has Windows other projects that use Infragistics and DevExpress, so either could be easily adopted for our Web project. In the end, we chose DevExpress ASP.NET for its maturity, features that satisfied project requirements, and working demo pages and sample code. Our small team was able to come up to speed quickly.

Project Challenge

Grid column sorting and filter with built-in AJAX support for partial page updates meant we didn’t have to code all of this functionality ourselves.

How Many Project Hours Have You Saved with DXperience?

I wouldn't measure it in hours, but in evenings at home instead of at the office. We did not need to reinvent the wheel for features common to web applications. Were we to create components even close in functionality to those available from DevExpress would consume months of development time which would be lost to implemented features unique to Newforma's product. Little time was needed to become proficient and efficient with the DX controls. When we had questions, DX support forum answered same day or next day to help keep us productive.

Why We Like DXperience from DevExpress

  • Robust
  • Flexible components
  • Very rapid technical support

We have many features we simply would not have without using DevExpress components. The Visual Studio IDE productivity tool has sped progress by making common tasks quick and easy. Extracting strings to resources for localization would have been absolute torture with DX. Daily coding is easier too with refactoring, adding 'using' statements and marking unused variables. Just today, the DX IDE tool prevented a defect because a variable displayed in gray, meaning it is unused. I said to myself, "that variable should have not been unused". The little gray variable showed that I had forgotten to replace a temporary hard-coded value with the variable.

Best Things about DevExpress Products

The ASPxTreeList combination between a tree and a grid matched perfectly with how we wished to display files for download. The calendar (ASPxScheduler) has also received positive feedback. The multicolumn ASPxComboBox with incremental filtering has probably been the surprise feature receiving the most comments.

User Feedback

Here's a quote: "They love the new UI on Newforma Info Exchange."

What Would You Say If You Were Recommending DevExpress to a Friend?

The DX controls are robust, mature with a large user community. DevExpress tech support is very good and very fast, even when a bug fix is required, the patch is available quickly.

Doug Domeny