If you’ve never worked with the DevExpress products before, you’ll want to download the free 30 day trial. The trial allows you full access to all of the DevExpress products and DevExpress graciously extends full support to you for those 30 days via the Support Center. The trial will work with Visual Studio and Visual Studio Express, but VS Express does not support all of the templates/wizards. Additionally, the newest version of DevExpress (14.1) requires .NET 4.0 and VS 2010. You may want to review the .NET Framework Support History documentation and the Visual Studio Support History documentation.
Once you’re up and running, try running the Demo Center to have a look at the various products and controls. There’s a lot going on so it can be a bit daunting, but most of the demos come with full C# and VB.NET source code, which is installed by default to C:\Users\Public\Documents\DevExpress Demos 14.1\Components\WinForms (at least for WinForms demos).
Note: Many of the DevExpress demos tend to be a bit obfuscated and do a lot of things that aren’t documented. While they’re a good example of what CAN be done, I don’t find them to be the best example of HOW to do a task.
Fortunately, DevExpress provides a lot of resources to help you learn. Unfortunately, they provide a lot of resources to help you learn. It can be a bit daunting at first, but you’ll find that you will have the most success if you can learn where to look for help.
Here are some great starting points for learning the ins-and-outs of the DevExpress products:
As a final tip, I recommend that users looking to search the support center/knowledge base use Google instead of the DevExpress search function. The DevExpress search feature leaves a bit to be desired, but searching Google with the -site:devexpress.com option works incredibly well.
Ready to go?