Monday, October 30, 2006

Q4 2006 Preview

The days are getting shorter, clocks have been set back ("the good" DST change), and it's a cool 76 degrees in Texas. Fall has definitely arrived and that means it's time to get ready for the Q4 release of telerik's r.a.d.controls. With the Q3 release (and SP1) just weeks old, telerik is already hard at work preparing the Q4 release set to hit the virtual shelves of your account near the end of the year. Telerik has updated the public Road Map with a few details about what we can expect to see in Q4 and that's what we'll take a look at today. First, if you've spent any amount of time on the telerik forums you will have likely run into (or submitted yourself) a desperate plea for more documentation and examples for many of the r.a.d.controls. Telerik has heard your cries and a key deliverable of the Q4 release will be expanded documentation and samples for the controls. While many (including myself) think that telerik's documentation is some of the best among peer component developers, additional documentation can never hurt and it will definitely help people just getting started with the r.a.d.controls. Along with the documentation there is promise of several "full-sized" applications to show best practice implementation of r.a.d.controls, which means we'll probably see some new Help Desk Beta like demos. Telerik will also continue their journey of providing full support for ASP.NET AJAX (previously "Atlas") in Q4. The first beta release of ASP.NET AJAX changed a number of things in the core "Atlas" libraries (see Scott Guthrie's informative post) that caused many compatibility problems with r.a.d.controls. Telerik has been quick to analyze the changes, though, and it is likely that a compatibility fix will be delivered before Q4 in a possible Q3 SP2 release. In Q4, telerik will continue to refine the compatibility of all r.a.d.controls with ASP.NET AJAX and introduce a number of demos that highlight the differences between r.a.d.ajax and ASP.NET AJAX (the later of which is also supposed to be officially released before year end with the VS2005 SP1).

Finally, I've saved the best for last. Telerik will be introducing new major versions of editor, spell, input, and chart. Not much is known at this point about how these controls will change, but we do know that editor 7.0 and spell 3.0 will introduce a new "innovative AJAX spell check" and that chart 3.0 will introduce improved databinding (finally!) and multiple Y axis support. And while not on the official Road Map, input 2.0 has been mentioned several times in the forums as being a part of the Q4 release, introducing new data type specific textboxes to the infant control. We should also expect to see the first betas of telerik reporting by the end of this week, so it too may be released around the Q4 (or early Q1) time frame. Clearly, this release will be as big as ever and the enhancements should make good holiday (or New Years) gifts for all telerik developers. Keep your RSS readers tuned-in to this blog and I'll begin giving previews of the new controls as the betas start to roll out in the next few weeks. Thanks~ //Todd Anglin

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Service Pack 1 now available for Q3

If you've been waiting for Q3 SP1, then wait no longer. The first service pack for the Q3 release of r.a.d.controls is now available on the pages for all active telerik customers. This release includes a number of bug fixes for all r.a.d.controls and it delivers a few small control enhancements. Specifically, there are updated versions of ajax, calendar, combobox, editor, grid, panelbar, spell, splitter, toolbar, treeview, upload, and window. Among the enhancements are new client side events for upload and treeview and a new client-side property for ajax. Two new properties were added to splitter that should be helpful for anyone trying to use splitter as the main layout container for their site: FullScreenMode (which if true causes splitter to fill the screen) and HeightOffset (a property that allows you to tweak the height of a splitter defined in percents). Perhaps most significant in SP1, though, is full support for the brand new IE7 and FF2 browsers. By delivering support for these browsers (both of which are expected to launch in the next few weeks) in SP1, telerik is one of the first ASP.NET component vendors to officially support the next generation browsers. That's a huge plus for those of us who need to prepare our sites for the Windows Update push of IE7 later this month. Have fun playing with Q3 SP1. Now on to looking at what's coming in Q4...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Q3 SP1 Delayed

According to a recent post from telerik, the Q3 2006 SP1 has been delayed until at least Tuesday, October 17th. Telerik is working hard to provide full support for soon to be released IE7 and FF2 in SP1 and the extra testing required to validate those new browsers is in part to blame for the delay. If you are waiting on SP1 to update your application (or if you've been waiting on SP1 to download Q3), check the telerik site late Tuesday or early Wednesday to download this patch. If any additional delays are announced, this post will be updated with the latest news.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Service Pack 1 for Q3 Release

Telerik announced this week that the first service pack for the recently release Q3 2006 r.a.d.controls will be available Monday, October 16th. This service pack is expected to include cumulative patches for all of the problems that have been identified since the official Q3 release last week, including several problems in grid, treeview, ajax, and tabstrip. Telerik is also planning on including serveral small fixes necessary to make all r.a.d.controls fully supported in the rapidly approaching releases of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla’s Firefox 2. If anything comes up that will delay the release of service pack 1, I will bring the updated timeline to you here.

welcome to the telerik watch

Welcome to the Telerik Watch by Telerik MVP Todd Anglin! Telerik Watch is dedicated to previewing, reviewing, and demoing the newest controls that come from the Bulgarian masters of ASP.NET component development: Telerik. Inspired by the wildly popular SuperSite for Windows by Paul Thurrott, this site aims to bring the same level of attention and analysis to the products created by Telerik that Win SuperSite has brought to Microsoft products for many years. We will track the Telerik Road Map and bring you the latest news on new control development and we will provide illustrated tutorials to demonstrate the use of new controls.

Todd Anglin is a Telerik MVP and an avid developer of ASP.NET applications. He has worked on projects for Fortune 200 companies and currently splits his time between supporting the Telerik community, working as a full time I/T Analyst, and growing a small startup company focused on building ASP.NET software as a service. Consistently awarded "Most Active Community Member" by Telerik, Todd has demonstrated a commitment to understanding the telerik controls and supporting the community of developers that relies on them to enhance their ASP.NET projects.

This is a site for the Telerik Community by the community, which means we want to know your interests. If there is something that you want to know about the telerik controls (that you can't find on the already exceptional Telerik website,, contact us and we'll bring the information to you here!

preview of r.a.d.splitter

With the introduction of r.a.d.splitter, telerik introduces a powerful new control to its already strong library of ASP.NET components. Anyone familiar with Windows Forms development will recognize the splitter control and appreciate it's ability to dramatically simplify the task of laying out a form. Splitter allows you to easily divide a page into regions (and even subdivide regions into additional regions) into which you can drop the rest of your page's controls. The common task of coding

tags and building CSS (or heaven forbid, the use of Frames) just to layout a page with multiple columns can now be a time wasting activity of the past.


Defining a splitter is a simple process of adding individual "RadPanes" and "RadSplitBars" to a parent splitter control. And because you can easily nest splitter controls, you can achieve complex layouts with little effort. Each pane that you add to your splitter can contain HTML, server controls, or user controls to fill it's content. Alternatively, you can set the ContentUrl property and load an existing web page directly into your pane. That's pretty cool.

If you do not define any RadSplitBars in your splitter, you get a control that can act like an "invisible placeholder" for your page layout. The individual panes can still be manipulated using the powerful Client-side API (more on this later), but the actual division of the panes will be invisible to your users. In this mode, the splitter basically becomes an automatic markup generator for creating multiple-column layout. One thing to note here, though, is that splitter does use tables to build the control layout. This is not a big deal and it probably does provide a more consistent rendering across browsers, but for those of you who insist on "table-less" layouts splitter won't do it for you. Perhaps a future version will offer table-less rendering.

As with all controls in the r.a.d.control suite, splitter ships with a comprehensive Client-side API that gives you complete control over the splitter's behavior on the client. Using the API, you can resize, expand, or collapse individual splitter panes and respond to client events like OnClientPaneCollapsed or OnClientPaneResized. This is a powerful feature when combined with telerik's leading AJAX solution, r.a.d.ajax, because it enables you execute server-side processing in response to client-side splitter events.

Managing the state of the splitter panes is also a snap. The control automatically remembers the height, width, expand/collapse state, pane scroll positions, and ContentURL (if used) of each pane across PostBacks. The scroll position memory is a nice touch, especially if you have a pane with long scrolling content. One issue: the scroll position does not remember the scrollbar location of panes with ContentUrl set. It may be a beta bug, though, so we'll have to see what the final release brings.

How does it compare?

Telerik is definitely not the first company to offer a splitter control for ASP.NET. Major component vendor ComponentArt offers "splitter for ASP.NET", a splitter control that is very similar to telerik's splitter. On many levels these controls are comparable: they both provide CSS skinning, they both provide complex layout support (though telerik's seems syntactically easier to use), they both provide a client-side API, and they both maintain pane state across PostBacks.

I was unable to find any feature in ComponentArt's control that does not exist in splitter, but I did spot a few places where telerik has once again raised the bar. Specifically, it is not possible to load an external web page in the panes of ComponentArt's control (directly - you can place an IFRAME in the pane and manually load a page) and it is also (shockingly) not possible to directly load an User Control into a ComponentArt pane (you must use a PlaceHolder and load the UserControl into the PlaceHolder). That said, ComponentArt and Telerik have both produced quality splitter controls for ASP.NET. If you're a telerik developer (or considering becoming a telerik developer),though, the real magic happens when you use multiple telerik controls. The integration between splitter and the industry leading ajax opens the door for developers to create some truly innovative applications.


Telerik has another winner on their hands with r.a.d.splitter. The control lives up to the level of quality and feature support that we've come to expect from telerik's component offerings. If you have any applications that still use Frames or if you are tired of writing the markup to maintain multiple column layouts, this control is a must have. If you're a subscriber to the telerik control suite, this tool is automatically included in your subscription and you'll get it when r.a.d.controls Q3 2006 is released in late September. While you wait, visit the telerik site ( and check out the online beta demos of splitter to get a hands on feel for the new control. I for one can't wait to start building applications with this new control!

//Todd Anglin

//31 August 2006