Happy Halloween

Art by my good friend Bojan....

Art by my good friend Bojan....


1. Make sure you try latest version of the software before you contact support and make sure you include version of the software you are running with your support request. Most reputable companies will fix problems and include those fixes in latest versions so your problem might already be resolved.

2. Make sure you have included sample project or clear step-by-step instructions on how to reproduce the problem using the sample applications you provide or is provided by vendor.

I can’t stress this point enough. When you try to write and explain the problem there is a lot left for interpretation and explanations are usually not clear enough. Time ends up wasted by back and forth in trying to nail exactly what problem is.

If you provide sample project or step-by-step instructions on how to reproduce the problem there is no ambiguity. If you have project and you run it and there is a crash it is perfect. If you can follow your step-by-step instructions to crash an app it is excellent information as well. Always include exact exception and stack trace if available as well.

If you do these two things I can guarantee you that you will get most out of any support request you send anywhere.

I cought my self number of times writing emails requesting support which when I re-read before sending, I saw are not adhering to what I just wrote.

So often we get frustrated by the problem we are trying to solve that we forget to clearly communicate what the problem actually is…


There are plenty of companies out there that are just in business of pushing their crap on you, but when you need help they are either nowhere to be found or they just give you such run-around that you give up frustrated.

I had recently two experiences of that kind on both ends of spectrum. My Sony’s Laptop hard-disk failed while it was still under warranty but failure was not complete drive failure where it does not boot, rather it fails to read/write certain sectors…

I called Sony support and they did not want to take laptop in for repair because over the phone they could not reproduce the problem. After spending couple of hours with them on phone I just gave up and ordered new hard-disk on my dime and installed it. However, I decided to stay away from Sony laptops in future and in mean-time have sold this one…

On opposite end of spectrum was my experience with Apple. My MacBook which replaced Sony had intermittent charging problems. Magsafe connector did not connect properly. I made appointment for Genius bar in Apple store, arrived there, they looked into the problem, saw it happening and gave me new machine on the spot. Whole event took 20 minutes total. Amazing service and one of the reasons Apple is getting lot of people to buy their products these days…

Here at DevComponents we try to do same for you when you contact us for support. If you report bug we’ll work with you to reproduce it and once that is done it is 99% guaranteed that it will be fixed in next build. We drop everything and work on getting that resolved first. Why only 99%? Sometimes it is .NET Framework issue or something that is outside of our control, but this is very rare.

So if you are selling something stand behind it or don’t sell it all…


One of the new features we added to AdvTree control in 7.6 release is search. While control has input focus you can start typing and we’ll search and select the node that begins with the text you typed. You can type whole words and if there is a node that begins with that text it will be selected.

The input buffer for search of course expires after pre-defined period of inactivity. Here are properties that you might find helpful if you are trying to control this feature:

  • KeyboardSearchEnabled – Turns on/off the keyboard search
  • SearchBufferExpireTimeout – The timeout for the buffer expiration if there is no keyboard activity. Default value is 1000 milliseconds. If you set it to 0 the buffer will be disabled and control will essentially search for first for first node that starts with the letter you typed on keyboard.
  • FindNodeByText – method that you can use to search for node that starts with given text from code

New release of DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.6 is now available with over 60 new features and enhancements including 2 completely new controls. DotNetBar now gives you 43 controls to create professional applications with ease.

New controls added:

  1. ComboTree control which is ComboBox with drop-down tree control. This is extremely versatile control that you can use to replace any DropDownList style ComboBox when you need multiple-columns on popup or to represent hierarchical data.
  2. TextBoxDropDown control which is single line text box control with drop-down support and Office 2007 style. You can drop-down any Windows Forms control using the drop-down button built into the control as well as add any of our standard items, like buttons, check-boxes, etc. to the popup.

We also added a ton of new features to our very popular Advanced Tree control. We focused on adding great support for data-binding and I am very happy with outcome. You can now bind Advanced Tree control to all standard binding sources by setting DataSource property. Control will nicely display the non-hierarchical data, but where it really shines is in automatic grouping support that it provides.

You simply set the GroupingMemebers property to comma separated list of field names you want control to group data by, and all work is done automatically. Very useful, very nice and no code needed. We even automatically create human readable column headers based on your field names… Here is screenshot from our updated TreeControl sample that demonstrates this:

This release is available now. If you have DotNetBar license you can download latest build at any time on our Customer Only web-site.

Trial version can be found on DotNetBar web site.


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© 2009 Denis Basaric: DevComponents Blog