Sencha March Madness

It’s not everyday we release two product updates and launch a new bundle in one fell swoop, but today is not an ordinary day. We’re very excited to announce the release of Sencha Architect 2.2, Sencha Ext JS 4.2, and the new Sencha Touch Bundle.

If there’s a common theme across all three of these announcements, it is developer productivity. Today’s releases make things faster, easier, and more convenient for developers. The new Sencha Touch Bundle brings all of our mobile development technologies together in a convenient and cost-effective package. The many new features in Architect 2.2 and Ext JS 4.2 range from better team capabilities in Architect to Internet Explorer 10 support and the Neptune theme in Ext JS. And better yet, they all work well together, letting you easily use these new Ext JS features from within Architect.

You can get a great introduction to the new releases in this video, where a few of our engineers and product managers talk about it in their own words.

We also cover all of the details of each product below, and you can look forward to a few follow-up blog posts in the coming week that will go even deeper on specific features and functionality.

Sencha Architect 2.2

Sencha Architect

Larger and larger projects are getting built in Sencha Architect with multiple developers working on the same project and in Architect 2.2, that’s exactly what we focused on: improving the experience for developers working on large projects and in multi-person teams.

  • We start off with massive performance improvements. We upgraded the platform of Architect to our own Sencha Desktop Packager 1.1, resulting in a significant performance improvement. Additionally, Architect now selectively loads components as the developer opens them, instead of opening all project components at once. These changes reduce Architect’s memory footprint on real world projects by 60% to 80%, and speeds up project load times for large projects by an order of magnitude.
  • To enable better integration with source control systems Architect now watches the developer’s file system for changes to project files that happen when synchronizing changes from other developers. When changes are detected, Architect handles all the updates to the underlying files seamlessly. If a collision happens, we now prompt the user about how to proceed.
  • As projects grow in complexity, it can be hard to keep track of all the components and to navigate around the project. Architect 2.2 adds multiple tab support to the canvas enabling easy switching between components. There’s a new Quick Open feature to make it easy to find and open a component in your project — which is a major time savings on the business-scale projects being built in Architect.
  • Quick Open Feature and Tabs

  • After making Architect faster, easier to navigate, and easier for teams to use, we also made it easier to write great apps with improvements for bringing in external libraries, inserting custom code into components, and mocking up data for stores. Many applications use other libraries with the Sencha frameworks, and Architect 2.2 allows simpler integration of these external JavaScript libraries without using code overrides by using createAlias and createClass configs to set up an xtype or class name for the external component. Additionally, when a component starts its lifecycle, it’s now easier to insert your custom behavior code using the new processConfig (Ext JS) or initialize (Touch) configs in Architect.

    If you have been using custom overrides before, this new method makes it easier to keep the application more streamlined and uses frameworks best practices. Lastly, for many applications, it is not easy during development to get good data from their store(s), for example the store may require geolocation information, or a user-specific authentication token. Architect 2.2 now supports mock-up data in a store’s Data config. This mock data is available to render in canvas views, but is not included in the final code that Architect generates, making it both easier and safer to design your application.

  • And of course Architect 2.2 supports the latest released frameworks and all their features, about which you can read more below. Architect 2.2 makes it easy to get all the new framework goodness by upgrading existing projects to Ext JS 4.2 with just a couple of mouse clicks.
  • Upgrade

Sencha Ext JS 4.2

Sencha Ext JS

For the release of Sencha Ext JS 4.2, we’ve been working on some of the most demanded features from our customers and community, in addition to working on general stability, bugs, and performance improvements. For the full list of what’s new and changed, please check out the Release Notes.

  • Big data grids: we’ve done a major overhaul of the bufferedrender in Ext JS 4.2 in order to support enterprise developers who are building high data point applications. Applications such as financial or insurance applications can take advantage of these new capabilities to show much larger data sets across a large variety of browsers. To see how dramatic the changes are, check out this video walkthrough.
  • Neptune theme: The long awaited Neptune theme is finally here! Neptune gives developers a light and clean, fully modern UI with even even more powerful customization capabilities. We’ve restructured how themes are built in Ext JS to be more flexible and integrated theme packaging with Cmd so it’s easy to share and also easy to minify themes. Pictures speak a thousand words, so check out any of the Ext JS demos, which now have Neptune enabled by default, but give you a convenient way to switch to the classic, grey and accessibility themes.
  • Right-to-left support: if you’re a developer who has requirements to build applications for the Middle East or East Asia, the new support for right-to-left in Ext JS 4.2 will make your life significantly easier. We’ve enabled it as an optional package so the framework doesn’t carry extra weight for this support, but if you need it, it’s right there for you to enable it.
  • IE10 support: Ext JS 4.2 now fully supports Internet Explorer 10, ensuring your applications have uninterrupted application compatibility as IE10 shows up in more businesses. (note: we’re also actively working on a patch for Ext JS 3.4 to add IE10 support, so stay tuned).

Sencha Touch Bundle

Sencha Touch Bundle

Sencha Touch has continued its amazing trajectory, and Touch adoption has continued to grow rapidly. In parallel with our constant improvements to Touch, we’ve been steadily building out a rich set of premium mobile development tools to help developers be very productive and efficient building apps with Touch — but we’ve left it up to developers to find and buy these, as well as technical support, individually. Today, we’re rolling out the Sencha Touch Bundle, to bring all of that together and make it easy for customers to buy a single package of mobile development tools, components, and business-grade support.

The Touch Bundle includes Sencha Touch, Sencha Touch Charts, Sencha Architect, Sencha Eclipse Plugin, plus business-grade support and maintenance for all the products. We’re making it available today at a special introductory price of $695 ($100 off of list price). If you’re a serious mobile developer who wants the best possible toolset with full support, this is a great deal.

Sencha Touch 2.2 (Beta)

We’re also using today to call attention to Sencha Touch 2.2, which is currently in beta. Touch 2.2 brings you powerful new components, support for Windows Phone 8 and IE10, significant performance enhancements, and more. We’re still working on additional betas and would love your feedback, so we invite you to check out the beta here.

Final Thoughts

Ext JS 4.2 delivers on our previous commitment to deliver a modern theme as well as RTL in the Ext JS 4 product train. We are still actively working on accessibility, which is the final remaining product commitment that we made for Ext JS 4.

Also, we wanted to give special thanks to our beta testers, who downloaded and tried early builds of these products, and gave us very valuable feedback. These releases are much stronger thanks to your help. We love your support and we’re excited to release these products to you and to the broader Sencha community.

Finally, Sencha Architect 2.2, Sencha Ext JS 4.2, and the new Sencha Touch Bundle are all available for download and purchase today. Please give them a try and let us know what you think!

Written by

Aditya is Sencha's vice president of product marketing and is responsible for the product planning and strategy for Sencha's product lines. Prior to Sencha, Aditya held various senior product management roles at Adobe and Microsoft, focusing on developers and media in the mobile and consumer electronics space.