Telerik Extensions for LightSwitch

140 posts, 0 answers
  1. Paul Patterson
    Paul Patterson avatar
    40 posts
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    May 2010

    Posted 10 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Okay, I'll be the one to ask...

    Is Telerik planning on creating any extensions for Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch? Microsoft has said they are working with third parties on extensions. Curious if Telerik is one of them.

    Cheers,

    Paul 

  2. Vassil
    Admin
    Vassil avatar
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    Posted 11 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Hi Paul,

    Yes, LightSwitch is on our radar and we will provide extensions for it. As the efforts in their very beginning, I am afraid I cannot share much other than our commitment. As can be evidenced by our product portfolio, we are very aggressive in terms of supporting new Microsoft tools and platforms.

    Speaking of LightSwitch, could you tell us more about your needs? What kind of extensions would you like to see from us? Is it just more powerful controls that work within LightSwitch, more appealing themes/templates or is it something else? Also, are you considering this tool for the dev organization as a quick and dirty prototyping tool or you are looking at empowering your business users to create apps without IT involvement?

    Your perspective would be much appreciated. 


    Kind regards,
    Erjan Gavalji
    the Telerik team

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  4. Paul Patterson
    Paul Patterson avatar
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    Posted 11 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Thanks for the quick response Erjan.

    Considering the vision for LightSwitch, I would anticipate a need for editor (controls) and theme extensibility. LightSwitch isn't even out in beta yet (due August 23rd), so from a needs perspective it is tough to try and give you some specifics. 

    From a business perspective, if we can do more in less time, then the return is obvious. LightSwitch is apparently going to help us do that. So if you talk about usage scenarios, I would suggest that the value of Telerik extensions for LightSwitch would include;

    • Telerik Project Type Templates - using Telerik forms and controls.
    • Telerik UI Control Extensions - creating new "Telerik" centric screens, or modifying existing LightSwitch generated screens, to use Telerik user controls.
    • OpenAccess ORM Extension - extend the existing LightSwitch data designers to use the OpenAccess ORM.

    I am following LightSwitch closely because I believe it will have a relativly large impact the development and business community. 

    LightSwitch claims to make it easier for developers to create line of business applications quickly. No, it is not necessarily an tool you want to use to create a large enterprise class solution, but LightSwitch should take care of development efforts for a relatively larger number of LOB apps needed in the future.

    How many developers out there have been challenged with supporting an Access application created by people with little or no experience? How many organizations have small IT shops where quick one-off Access type applications are deployed only to find the application growing organically - and then becoming really expensive to support and maintain. I've been there and done that. 

    Eitherway you look at it, LightSwitch will have an impact and I want to be prepared with the tools that will help me build solutions that are attractive, usable, and provide value to my customers. I use Telerik tools for that now. When LightSwitch comes out and it allows me to create LOB applications faster than using just Visual Studio and Telerik, then I am going to invest in it and use it. If using Visual Studio LightSwitch with Telerik helps me create LOB applications just as fast; then great because I can then go beyond creating a solution that solves a business problem - I can create a solution that looks great too.

    For what it is worth, I have been blogging about LightSwitch at http://blog.SelectSystems.ca. Feel free to keep up with the entires because I am going to be following LightSwitch very closely.

    Also of note; it was either at the VSLive keynote (video here) or maybe it was the MSDN Channel9 video, I can't remember, where someone mentioned that Microsoft was working with Infragistics on this LightSwitch. I still prefer Telerik though ;)  

    Thanks for listening,

    Paul


  5. Paul Patterson
    Paul Patterson avatar
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    Posted 11 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Okay,

    The LightSwitch team just posted an article on their blog (here) about the LightSwitch presentation tier (nice timing). The article has some insight into the extensibility model that will be very helpful to you.

    Cheers,

    Paul

    P.S. Sorry to see another reference to your competitor.

  6. Erjan Gavalji
    Admin
    Erjan Gavalji avatar
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    Posted 12 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for sharing your vision with us, it is indeed much appreciated!

    We're actively monitoring any information and public opinions on LightSwitch. These help us shape better our vision, and in turn, result in better offering.

    Cheers,
    Erjan Gavalji
    the Telerik team

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  7. techvslife
    techvslife avatar
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    Aug 2010

    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Does your silverlight timepicker control work in Lightswitch? see for reference:
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/lightswitchgeneral/thread/5690c303-e020-42f8-a6c6-e079b6e76aaa

    Thank you.

  8. Milan
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    Milan avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Hi techvslife,

    Thank you for your interest in our controls. In general there should be no problem to use our controls in LightSwitch but we will soon initiate an effort to determine if that is indeed true. We will keep you updated on the matter. 

    Best wishes,
    Milan
    the Telerik team
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  9. Paul Patterson
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Yes it does.

    Check out Micheal Washington's article on his blog here. I used this as a reference to add a RadTimePicker control to a screen, and bind it. 

    Cheers!  

  10. Milan
    Admin
    Milan avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Hello Paul Patterson,

    Thank you for sharing this.


    Regards,
    Milan
    the Telerik team
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  11. Doyle
    Doyle avatar
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    Aug 2010

    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Like Paul I am all over this Lightswitch thing and I am planning on spending some money on your stuff. If you could support everything you have within the lightswitch environment that would be a big plus... I know you folks can do it... you do some amazing work.

  12. techvslife
    techvslife avatar
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    Aug 2010

    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Thank you but I haven't been able to get the timepicker to work with lightswitch yet. 

    I'm in the lightswitch "design screen" page, and I selected custom control in the dropdown box for each time field (the alternative is "not visualized), then in the properties sheet for each time field, I selected "Change" under Custom Control and navigated to:
    Telerik.Windows.Controls.Input,
    Telerik.Windows.Controls,
    RadTimePicker

    But even so, the screen that lightswitch created does not include the time fields.

    I'll go over the directions again.  Note that lightswich creates an uneditable Data Binding of this form:
    FootablenameCollection.SelectedItem.Footimefieldname

    --NOTE:  I don't see Silverlight class library as an available type to add under silverlight in the c# section, just Silverlight business app and WCF RIA Class library.

  13. Paul Patterson
    Paul Patterson avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    @techvslife, are you running LightSwitch standalone, or are you using it with VS 2010 Pro or better? You'll need VS 2010 Pro or better installed to take advantage of building control extensions. Not sure that you can build and use custom Silverlight controls using just the standalone. 

    Paul

  14. techvslife
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    I am running it with vspro 2010, with all of visual c# installed in the installer option, and with silverlight 4 and silverlight 4 sdk installed.  However I only have two templates under silverlight in the visual c# section.  Was I supposed to install something else?  (visual web maybe?) 

  15. techvslife
    techvslife avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Ok, I just noticed a minor note in the download for silverlight tools:
    Visual Studio Requirements:

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 with the Visual Web Developer feature

    So I'll plod through the whole installation routine of vs 2010 and then silverlight tools again and see if that makes a difference.
    Would have been nice just to select the timepicker control directly as a custom control in lightswitch . . .

    p.s. I already tried the devenv.exe trick (I forget the switch name now, /installtemplates or something) but it does not install those silverlight templates.

  16. Paul Patterson
    Paul Patterson avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    For what it's worth, follow this link to my blog post where you can download the VS 2010 solution in which I used the RadTimePicker control.

    Note: It's using RadControls for Silverlight Q2 2010 SP1 - sorry community... and your welcome Telerik ;)

    Cheers!

  17. techvslife
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Paul,
    Thank you for your detailed post.  The problem as I see it is, do you want to do that for 50 time fields on a screen?  It seems not the best way.  Also, I want the time picker to be the control for the field, not a field in addition.  For example, in this post:
    http://lightswitch.adefwebserver.com/Blog/tabid/61/EntryId/2/Creating-A-LightSwitch-Custom-Silverlight-Control.aspx
    If you go the screenshot immediately after the heading "Consuming The Silverlight Custom Control" I'd like to have RadTimePicker in the drop down to the left for the original field, MoneyOwed (--I mean the original time field I'm using, e.g. TimeDue) AND I want to use it as the default for ALL time fields / time spans, in the same way as the DatePicker is the default for all date fields etc. 

    There probably is some way to do this within the Lightswitch custom code, especially since all my time fields end in "Tme" but I'll have to see. 

    The second thing is that we should be able to skip this whole step of going outside Lightswitch and creating a separate project etc., since the control is already registered as a Silverlight control on the computer.

    Let me know if I've overlooked something.  
    P.S. For Telerik, this link may be useful:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ac1d8eb5-ac8e-45d5-b1e3-efb8e4e3ebd1&displaylang=en


    (p.s. I do have the silverlight class library project now, after adding "Visual Web".) 

  18. techvslife
    techvslife avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    offhand, It doesn't seem that it should be necessary to manually type in the binding name (collection and field name) because that is already being passed by lightswitch, if you look at the properties in Lightswitch for each control in a screen, it is passing in the proper value under "Data Binding," i.e. the same value as you are manually typing in the xmal for each and every separate control.

    I suspect there is a very simple solution that is quick, that doesn't require manually creating a separate custom control on a field by field basis and manually typining in the binding parameter in xaml etc, but I don't know what it is.  When I directly choose the Telerik timepicker as the custom control for a field in lightswitch, it is not displaying the field on the screen and I am not sure what custom code to add to lightswitch to produce the right effect here.

  19. techvslife
    techvslife avatar
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    Posted 25 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Paul,
    There may be a more fundamental thing I'm tripping on.  In your blog post, you said:
    I used a RadTimePicker control to bound it to a DateTime field in a Customer entity.

    Have you successfully bound it to a Time (time only) field (i.e. an sql server 2008 time field, which becomes a .net timespan in the lightswitch entity model)?    I ask because there may be issues peculiar to time fields, which lightswitch seems to have problems with.  (with datetime, light switch already has a working control, but with time fields, it always suppresses them from screen output, as far as I can tell).  thanks.

    (---Note: Paul responded to this in his blog post's comments section.)

  20. techvslife
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    Posted 26 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Correction to what I wrote below:
    The method I give *seems* to work at first, however the value is not actually saved in the backend database nor does Lightswitch know the field has been edited, since the Save button remains greyed out unless you edit another (and non-time) field.  Even if you press Save, the changes to the time field are not saved in the database.  I assume it has something to do with the binding property. 
    I have a thread on this here:
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/lightswitchgeneral/thread/5690c303-e020-42f8-a6c6-e079b6e76aaa

    ------------
    There's no need to create a custom control.
    Here are the directions:

    Go to Solution Explorer in Lightswitch.
    Switch Solution explorer from logical to file view (one of the top buttons under solution explorer).
    Warning: Lightswitch is VERY VERY slow in navigating solution explorer in file view,
     so be patient.
    Right-click on "references" underneath the "Client" section.
    Select "add reference."
    Under .NET, browse to and locate the "Telerik.Windows.Controls.Input" dll
       to add it as a reference.
    Now in the design screen, select "custom control" for a time field,
    and navigate to and select the RadTimepicker control (under telerik.windows.controls.input,
    and then under telerik.windows.controls) for the "custom control" field in properties of that time field.

    The free trial version also works but you have a telerik ad displayed briefly.

  21. techvslife
    techvslife avatar
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    Posted 26 Aug 2010 Link to this post

    Some more information and a code snippet, in case anyone has suggestions:
    The Telerik silverlight timepicker control that I'm trying to use in Lightswitch has the following relevant properties:
    SetBinding,
    SetValue,
    GetBindingExpression,
    DataContext,
    and also this one:
    ClockItemsSource  ("Gets or sets a collection of TimeSpan used to generate the content of the clock.  This is a Dependency property"

    I'm just not sure how to get the two way binding, or any binding to work here. 
    This is the code snippet that I take it will access the control, but perhaps this is the wrong way to go about it:

    using System;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.IO;
    using System.IO.IsolatedStorage;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using Microsoft.LightSwitch;
    using Microsoft.LightSwitch.Framework.Client;
    using Microsoft.LightSwitch.Presentation;
    using Telerik.Windows.Controls;
    namespace MyLsTest
    {
      public partial class MyScreen
      {
        partial void MyScreen_Loaded()
        {
          IContentItemProxy proxyTme = this.FindControl("EntryTme1");
          proxyTme.Invoke(() =>
            {
              var ctlTme = (Telerik.Windows.Controls.RadTimePicker)proxyTme.Control;
              
              /*What property to set here ? */
    
            });
        }
      }
    }
    

  22. Bruce
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    Jan 2008

    Posted 02 Sep 2010 Link to this post

    Any thoughts on whether Telerik Reporting could be integrated into LightSwitch?  LightSwitch has pretty much nothing for reporting (create an Excel or Word document and print that is their solution).
    TIA

  23. Svetoslav
    Admin
    Svetoslav avatar
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    Posted 03 Sep 2010 Link to this post

    Hi Bruce,

    Generally speaking Telerik Reporting can be separated in two parts - the reporting engine that is responsible for the processing and rendering of the reports and does not depend on any UI technology and the report viewer controls that allows you to display reports in Windows Forms, Web, WPF or Silverlight applications.

    As far as the LightSwitch is concerned, you can use the Silverlight ReportViewer control just like you do with any other Silverlight control, ex. the RadTimePicker discussed below to display the reports.

    Telerik Reporting is a part of the Telerik's product family and as such it follows closely the company policy. In this case our policy is to provide full support for the new VisualStudio LightSwitch tool, and this includes our Reporting product.
     

    All the best,
    Svetoslav
    the Telerik team

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  24. Erik Damgaard
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    May 2010

    Posted 12 Sep 2010 Link to this post

    In Lightswitch the different screens are placed in a tab control. If you could adapt you docking-control to Lightswitch so the user could take a screen out of the tab and float it, that would be a very cool feeature.

  25. George
    Admin
    George avatar
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    Posted 16 Sep 2010 Link to this post

    Hi Erik,

    This is really a very good suggestion! We are considering integrating our RadControls in the LightSwitch and providing full support for this new Visual Studio tool. If you have any other suggestion that we could discuss - please, let us know. It would be very appreciated. 
     

    Sincerely yours,
    George
    the Telerik team
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  26. Erik Damgaard
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    May 2010

    Posted 16 Sep 2010 Link to this post

    I have played around with LightSwitch and data access is great but UI-components is very limited. So as I wrote; your dock control would be fantastic. But again in LightSwitch the menu is too simple, and yours is great. So integrate RadControls into LightSwitch has great potential.

  27. Henk
    Henk avatar
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    Posted 06 Oct 2010 Link to this post

    Yes, I think Lightswitch is the RAD way for building LOB applications for Silverlight. The drawback is that the standard UI is not compelling and, standard only for sqlserver and at this point the UI cannot easily changed. Its way of data binding should be an example for Telerik ORM how easy it should make working with RIA services for data binding and connecting the RIA service to a telerik SL control or using the service for validation! Then you have a winning combination: flexible and compelling UI (the strenght of SL) using telerik controls and easy data binding using telerik ORM. At this moment the RIA support in ORM is still too cumbersome, still lot of coding for basic CRUD operations (automatically in the old winform world ;-) ) and limited (especially when u are using Oracle with stored procs/package(functions)/ref cursor) I think the emphasis in the roadmap should not be adding more databases support in ORM but to make it as simple as the Lightswitch way of creating LOB applications!

    Henk

  28. Oscar
    Oscar avatar
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    Aug 2012

    Posted 08 Oct 2010 Link to this post

    Hello,
    I just came across this post and the only way to describe it .... is :  "Beautiful and just what we were looking to hear"

    As you can see on our LightSwitch post here
    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/lightswitchgeneral/thread/3f6161b6-33a3-4b6a-a4d8-ea693d6ba273

    Microsoft LightSwitch will not have a reporting engine (they already made that public) on it's first final Release  for Version 1 (we speculate the date will be around May 2011) , but without reporting for it..

    We think the LS Dev. Team  could be waiting for Silverlight 5 future super printing ability to create the LightSwitch reporting engine, thus is they wait for SL5 they will have to delay the release of LightSwitch 1.0... nobody outside Microsoft knows for sure, we can only speculate.

    By judging by the decisions the LightSwitch Development team  has taken up to now;
    (the best possible decision balancing the fact that we all want LS as soon as possible becasue it reduces the development time in 1/10, that is made to build the best possible Business Application seeking performance )

    Now, a lot of us, have customers asking for LightSwitch applications, our only option and hope is reporting is Telerik (judging for the ability in which Telerik handle XAML for their controls  always seeking performance and beauty is unprecedented ),

    I read Telerik is considering LightSwitch.... but as you can see the above Microsoft LightSwitch post, many, if not thousands (remember that is Microsoft) will seek Telerik for LightSwitch, first desperately for the reporting, then for your RAD suite becasue LightSwitch will have a SHell (beta 2) that will allow us to create a type of Dashboard using controls, and who has the best controls... Telerik

    is anything you could share on the reporting issue  working closely with LightSwitch aside from what is already said on this great post ?

    Regards

  29. B
    B avatar
    42 posts
    Member since:
    Jan 2010

    Posted 17 Oct 2010 Link to this post

    I echo Oscar's request on reporting.  What LOB application doesn't have Reporting?  This is the one area Microsoft has really dropped the ball when it comes to Silverlight LOB applications.

    Background:
    My company currently has a large (100+ screens) multi-tenant LOB ASP.NET application we sell via ASP model.  Our goal is to start converting it to Silverlight in the near future.  (We are soooo tired of cross browser testing for html/ajax/javascript and all the client issues they present.).  Instead of rip and replace...we would like to slowly migrate and/or share certain technology in the ASP.Net app while developing the Silverlight version...thus reducing time/development/risk. 

    Why Telerik:
    We chose Telerik because we feel your controls particularly the Telerik reporting help us accomplish this goal.  To start, we are currently in the process of converting all the existing reports in the ASP.NET version to Telerik reporting and the Telerik ASP.NET reportviewer.  This will allow us to leverage the same reports (with little or no -rewrite) in the Silverlight version of the application using the Telerik Silverlight ReportViewer.  This is a HUGE time saver for us since there are over 100+ reports we also have to convert. 

    Why LightSwitch:
    In terms of Silverlight development itself, we've been evaluating a lot of technologies/patterns/tools including Entity Framework 4, WCF Ria Services, MVVM, MEF, XAML, BLEND, Blah Blah Blah....  Obviously this is quite an over-whelming list of things to get up to speed on in order to develop true industrial strength 3 tier LOB applications.  That is where LightSwitch presents many possibilites.  I know it's been marketed by Microsoft as a RAD tool for data entry instensive applications (what business apps aren't), but if it is extensible enough so that it will allow us easily build 70-80% of the UI and drop down into code for the rest ....including adding good reporting and/or custom controls, we will definitely consider using it for Silverlight development.  That way we can focus most of our time on the data model and service layer (EF4 and WCF Ria Services) and let LightSwitch handle most if not all of the UI and Navigation. 

    With all that said, anything you can do to enhance the developer experience in LightSwitch using your controls including the Silverlight ReportViewer would be a HUGE win for Telerik customers. 

    In terms of specifics, I can't give you any right now because I still need to get up to speed on how LightSwitch extensions work and how to add/develop Themes and Skins.  Right now there is not a  lot of info available on those topics, but I suspect there will be by the time LightSwitch releases.  Anyway, keep up the great work.  We appreciate all you guys do!

  30. Vassil Petev
    Admin
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    Sep 2012

    Posted 19 Oct 2010 Link to this post

    Hi guys,

    Yes, there is an obvious opportunity in providing a custom Reporting control for LightSwitch and we will do our best to provide one, as Svetoslav noted on 9/3/2010. Telerik Reporting's viewer depends on our Silverlight controls and right now we are in the process of making sure that our Silverlight controls work in LightSwitch. As soon as this happens, we will provide information on how to use Telerik Reporting's Silverlight viewer in a LS project. As you may know, you can use Telerik OpenAccess in LighSwitch today, so the integration between LS and Telerik will be effortless soon.

    We will update this thread as soon as we have something for you guys to play with.


    Kind regards,
    Vassil
    the Telerik team

    Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans? Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items

  31. edison fernando
    edison fernando avatar
    18 posts
    Member since:
    May 2010

    Posted 28 Feb 2011 Link to this post

    Hi we have not heard if you have extensions
    telerik to LightSwitch

    reporting 
    screens 
    themes 

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