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Basic Tutorial (SimpleProjectManager Application)

  • 2 minutes to read

This tutorial explains how to create XAF applications that are used within a company department (Intranet). They use DevExpress Windows Forms and ASP.NET Web Forms UI controls for data presentation, and Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework and DevExpress XPO libraries for data access. This tutorial also describes how to build a user interface and handle user input.

These Windows desktop and Web browser applications can be used in the following scenarios:

  • a user can view, search, filter, print, create, update, and delete employees, projects and task data;
  • a user can view, search, filter, print, create, update, and delete customers and comments about a product to organize and provide data for a promotional website.

In this tutorial, you write the platform-agnostic business code which affects application aspects that are not specific to WinForms and ASP.NET Web Forms. XAF automatically generates UI screens and specifies database access.

Dependencies and Prerequisites

Before you start the tutorial, read this section and ensure that the following conditions are met:

  1. Any non-Express supported version of Visual Studio is installed on your machine. You have basic experience of .NET framework development in this IDE.
  2. A free 30-day trial version or a licensed version of DevExpress Universal Subscription is installed on your machine.
  3. You have basic knowledge of Object-relational mapping (ORM) concepts and the Microsoft ADO.NET Entity Framework or DevExpress XPO.
  4. Any RDBMS supported by the XPO (see Database Systems Supported by XPO) or Entity Framework (see Entity Framework 6 Providers) ORM tools is installed and accessible from your machine to store the application data (a LocalDB or SQL Server Express instance is recommended).
  5. You are familiar with XAF application architecture.

Tutorial’s Lessons

  1. Create an XAF Application - create a WinForms and ASP.NET XAF application and specify their connection strings.
  2. Define the Logical Data Model and Relationships - define the business model that serves as a base for the application’s CRUD UI.
  3. Customize the Application UI and Behavior - customize the auto-generated UI’s structure and metadata and implement custom user interaction.
  4. Reuse Implemented Functionality - add modules to your applications to enable additional functionality.

To see the result, run the SimpleProjectManager demo installed in %PUBLIC%\Documents\DevExpress Demos 18.2\Components\eXpressApp Framework\SimpleProjectManager or use the online version at

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If you need assistance with your XAF application, submit a new ticket to the Support Center.