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Call to Action for Windows UI Toolkit Developers

By Steve Ives, Posted on February 25, 2020 at 5:06 pm

Steve Ives

In recent months several customers have reported significant slow-downs in their Windows UI Toolkit applications when upgrading to Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016. We’ve been researching this issue, and we believe that much of the slow down resulted from alterations that Microsoft made in the operating system to mitigate the Windows Spectre-Meltdown issues.

In an attempt to mitigate these performance changes, and working in conjunction with one customer that had reported the issue to us, we have been working on various performance optimizations in the Synergy runtime related to low-level window creation, and for the Toolkit file-stack routines when using large lists. The new runtime also has UI improvements related to scaling of fonts on high-DPI monitors, most notably when moving a toolkit application between monitors with different DPI settings in Windows 10. This work is now complete, and we believe it has resulted in significant improvements in performance, which we hope will largely restore previous levels of performance.

We have performed as much internal testing as possible, and the customer we have been working with has also reported good results when testing the new runtime. We would like to be able to ship these improvements in the next Synergy release in the May timeframe, but before we can do that, we need to have several other Windows UI Toolkit developers validate that the changes do not cause any other unforeseen issues in their applications.

What we are asking you to do is to install your application onto a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 (or higher) that has Synergy 11.1.1c installed, apply a special runtime patch that we will provide, and test your application. There is no need to re-compile your code; just run your application in the patched 11.1.1c environment and look for any UI issues. You would be looking for any visual anomalies in the UI Toolkit user interface, regions not being painted or cleared correctly, etc.

We believe that our recent runtime changes can deliver significant runtime performance improvements for a lot of users, but because of the significant nature of the internal changes, we need help validating those changes in real user scenarios.

Can you help? If so please contact us as soon as possible, either via Developer Support or through your Synergex Account Representative.


SDI Developer Build 2704 Now Available

By Steve Ives, Posted on February 21, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Steve Ives

We are continually working on improvements to our Synergy DBL Integration for Visual Studio (SDI) product, and we are pleased to announce the release of a new developer build #2704, which is available for immediate download.

This release contains some important improvements in the debugging environment, and also contains some enhancements to IntelliSense related to indexed groups and indexer properties. We also made some improvements in the category options in the new project dialog in  Visual Studio 2019.

If you are running an earlier version 11 release of SDI then we recommend you upgrade immediately to take advantage of these improvements, and if not then you should consider doing so, at least for your development tools. Remember that you can use runtime version targeting to produce binary software for older runtime versions if you’re not ready to upgrade your customer or production systems yet.



Help Us Help You!

By Steve Ives, Posted on February 9, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Steve Ives

As many of you already know, after a little over twenty-two years working as a Senior Consultant in the Professional Services Group, I recently transitioned to a new role as Product Manager here at Synergex. I’m excited about this change because it means that not only will I will have a much more significant role in determining the future roadmap for Synergy/DE and related products, but I also get to continue working directly with our customers.

One of the primary driving factors for some of the recent role changes here at Synergex is our desire to become more market-driven when it comes to determining future product enhancements. In part, we will achieve this by continuing to pay close attention to what the industry as a whole is doing. But a large part of our strategy going forward is based on working more closely with our customers when building new feature lists and future product roadmaps.

Product management is an entirely new area of expertise for me, and it will take some time to become fully competent in my new role. To help me with this transition, I was asked to attend a two-day Product Management conference, which I must say was an interesting and informative experience. I learned a lot, not least of which was that I learned how much more I have to learn!

I don’t want to criticize the event that I attended, which was on the whole very well put together, so I’m not going to name the event, which was attended by product managers from some large organizations that everyone would immediately recognize. It wasn’t an unusually large event; I estimate there were perhaps 200 people in attendance.

In the spirit of honesty, here comes the sales pitch! I have been attending Synergex conferences since the early 1990s, first as a customer, then as a partner, and later as an employee. I can honestly say that nobody does it better when it comes to offering an environment with such abundant learning opportunities AND the chance to network with peers. The conference I just returned from cited peer networking as a benefit also, but in reality, it didn’t happen. For whatever reason, many delegates didn’t seem to want to interact, but also, the event schedule and venue didn’t promote that valuable interaction either.

The 2020 Synergex DevPartner conference is being held in Sacramento, CA this year, and we all hope to see you there. If you have attended one of our events in the past, then you already know what an excellent opportunity it is. If you haven’t joined us in the past, I encourage you to not miss out on this unique opportunity this year. For additional information check out the conference website.

As I settle into my new role, you’ll be seeing more blog posts introducing things we’re considering, and some of you will hear from me directly as I try to extend existing relationships and build new ones. My point of contact with your company will be with some specifically nominated person, but I want to hear from all of you! If your life is in any way touched by Synergy/DE, or by related products such as Harmony Core, and you have something to say, good or bad, I want to hear it.

One way for you to provide feedback is through our Ideas forum, but if you prefer to contact me individually, that’s OK too. I’m not going to post an email address here because I don’t want to deal with a thousand replies from BOTs, but try first name dot last name at synergex.com. That should put us in touch.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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