Ext Designer 1.2 Beta Available for Preview
We know you’ve anxiously awaited the release of Ext Designer with support for Ext JS 4. So, today we’re very happy to announce the availability of Ext Designer 1.2 Beta with Ext JS 4 support. Ext Designer 1.2 is completely re-architected and more powerful than ever.
To quantify the re-architecture, let me give you a few stats: Designer 1.1 contains 19,515 lines of code (without factoring in the runtime environment), while Designer 1.2 Beta (as of July 25 2011) comes in at 34,588 lines of code, of which only 322 weren’t touched at all.
Designer 1.2 is essentially a new application in disguise. But, the real advantages of the new architecture will come to fruition in the next months, when we’ll be able to deliver quicker updates in response to framework changes, expand the feature set and address a list of long-standing users’ requests and usability enhancements.
Let’s dive into this exciting update and see what has changed:
Support for Multiple Frameworks
When creating a new project, you can choose between Ext JS 3.3.x or Ext JS 4. Right now, you can start a new project in either framework, but you can’t switch a project between versions of the framework. While we believe that Ext JS 4 should be the version of choice for every new project, it’s up to you to decide if you’re ready to dive into Ext JS 4 or stay on familiar ground with Ext JS 3. Designer 1.2 can easily handle projects in either version.
Of course, for those of you that are ready to make the leap to 4.x, there are plenty of new handy features waiting to be explored. Let’s review them one by one.
One of the most exciting new features of Ext JS 4 is the brand new, plug-in free, charting package. Built on web technologies (SVG and VML), the new charting package is a write-once, run-anywhere solution that doesn’t rely on any third party dependencies. Now you can leverage the power of the charting package from the comfort of Ext Designer 1.2.
Creating a new chart is a piece of cake: just pick one of the available chart styles including Bar, Column, Gauge, Line, Pie or Radar, drag it onto the canvas and Designer will take care of connecting the chart to a dummy data set and give you a quick preview of what your chart will look like once connected to real data.
If you need to customize it further, all the controls to do so are available from within Designer. You can customize your chart by selecting a custom Chart Axis, Series and, if needed, even a Legend.
The data package has been completely rewritten for Ext JS 4, and Designer is now able to handle it properly. Designer can now instantiate JSON and XML Tree stores to use in conjunction with the new Tree Panel.
All stores are displayed with their Proxies and Readers as separate items in the Stores hierarchy to reflect the new architecture and make their configuration easier. And of course, you can test your stores by connecting them to any component that supports data from within the fly-out menu on the canvas from that component.
New Layout Options
Ext JS 4 removed FormLayout and allowed the creation of forms using any combination of layouts, and Designer 1.2 lets you do the same. We also now have support for the DockLayout, which makes it easy to dock components inside other components.
With 35 new components, improved layouts, a brand new data package and a slew of architectural changes to improve speed and reliability, Designer 1.2 is the biggest and best Designer release to date. Designer 1.2 is ready to bring the power of Ext JS 4 in your daily workflow.
So go ahead, download Designer 1.2 Beta from this forum post. Spend some time exploring all the new features and support for Ext JS 4, abuse the app, and make sure you report all problems to our Ext Designer Bugs forum. Doing so will help us make Designer 1.2 our best release ever.
To make sure everybody can try this new beta version, we re-authorized all expired trial accounts: if you tried Designer before and ran out of time, you now have another chance to test the application. Enjoy!