Motivation and History

DEXiWin has been developed with the motivation to eventually replace DEXi, a Windows program for multi-attribute decision making. DEXi has been conceived in 1999 as educational software. Since 2000, additional features were gradually added to DEXi, which eventually became a complete, stable, and de facto standard implementation of method DEX. After 20 years, DEXi reached the state that is difficult to maintain and improve any more. DEXi is based on an otherwise excellent, but largely outdated technology (Delphi) and has some design flaws that make it difficult to add new features. In particular, the user interface and model operations are insufficiently detached from each other in DEXi. Additionally, user-interface components that were available in 2000 do not fulfill the today’s requirements any more. All this called for a thorough renovation of the software.

DEXiWin has been redesigned and rebuilt from the scratch. It is now composed of two parts, a platform-independent software library DEXiLibrary for handling DEXi models, and DEXiWin itself, which implements a Windows-platform GUI over DEXiLibrary. The GUI is based on Microsoft WinForms, a mature platform to write desktop applications for personal computers. WinForms, together with an excellent ObjectListView open-source control by Phillip Piper, allowed us to design a consistent user interface that, at a first glance, looks very similar to DEXi’s, but improves on many aspects that were not achievable in DEXi: consistent use of colors in displaying good and bad values, structuring evaluation results, and many more. Reports and charts were thoroughly redesigned, too. See notes on DEXiWin compatibility with DEXi.