Using DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in SharePoint

Sometimes we get questions from our developer’s community asking about DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in SharePoint. The common question is: Can we use DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in SharePoint? The answer is yes we can. If we can use it, then how? In this post we will answer that ‘how’ question.

First thing we have to concern about the version of DevExpress and the version of SharePoint we use. Different SharePoint version requires different DevExpress ASP.NET Controls version. In this post we want to limit the scope of SharePoint versions: 2013 and 2010 (widely used at the time of writing this post).

We also have to know DevExpress ASP.NET Controls version cycle. DevExpress releases one major version each year, two minor versions for each major version, and several revisions (variable) for each minor version. For example in 2013, they rolled-out DevExpress ASP.NET Controls version 13.1.4 on June 6th, 2013. Major version is 13, minor version is 1, and revision number is 4. As you can see the first public revision number does not necessarily started from 1. Then they launched version 13.2.5 on Dec 4th, 2013. The pattern seems obvious here, the first minor version is launched on June and the second one is launched on December.

DevExpress Version Cycle

As the time of writing, the most recent DevExpress ASP.NET Controls version is 14.1.5 (Jul 17th, 2014), but we haven’t touched version 14 yet. In this post, we also limit our scope to DevExpress ASP.NET Controls major version 12 and 13 only. In other words, we may mention major version 11 or lower, but we actually haven’t tested them.

Now we will explain version matching between SharePoint version and DevExpress ASP.NET Controls version. SharePoint 2013 will work with DevExpress version 13. This is because SharePoint 2013 and DevExpress version 13 has the same .NET Framework as target of compilation: .NET Framework 4.5. On the other hand, SharePoint 2010 will work with DevExpress version 12. This is because both platform target the same .NET Framework 3.5.

So if your DevExpress version is lower than 12, you should check the version of .NET Framework as its target compilation. If it targets .NET Framework 3.5 it should work with SharePoint 2010. Also, DevExpress 14 should work on SharePoint 2013. We haven’t verified it yet because we haven’t use it for existing project. Surely we will update this post when we already apply DevExpress 14 in our future projects.

Now we will explain how we can use DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in SharePoint

Using DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in Development Environment

In Development environment, we just need to install DevExpress from its installer package. We can install it on a developer’s machine, or on web server. Launch the installer, and follow installation wizard until finish.

In Windows Explorer, open C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress 13.2\Components\Tools\SharePoint (note: you should replace 13.2 with your own DevExpress version). You can run ASPxSharePointRegister.exe or register its farm solutions (DevExpressSharepoint2013_GAC.wsp or DevExpressSharepoint2013_GAC.wsp) manually using PowerShell. There is also some batch files (*.cmd) to make us easier registering the farm solutions to SharePoint. Note that when installing DevExpress from its installer package we enter its registration license if we already bought one.

Then we can use DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in our SharePoint 2013 Visual Web Part project from Visual Studio 2012/2013.

Using DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in Production Environment

In Production environment, we shouldn’t install DevExpress from its installer package. We just need to copy SharePoint folder from C:\Program Files (x86)\DevExpress 13.2\Components\Tools\ in Development environment to any folder in production web server. Then run ASPxSharePointRegister.exe or register its farm solutions. Note that we don’t have to enter license information in Production environment. License information is verified only in Development environment.

Compilation and build should be performed on the Development environment where we entered our license. Assembly output from this compilation process already has license information embedded. So, when the assembly is deployed to Production environment, it won’t need to enter license information again.
Source: Using DevExpress ASP.NET Controls in SharePoint

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