Thursday, December 20, 2007

News brief: Enterprise adoption of Vista still slow

Here's an interesting bit of news for those of you developing applications in (or for) the Enterprise space. According to October 2007 Gartner research published by InformationWeek, Windows Vista is installed on just 0.9% of all Enterprise PCs. That compares to projections in 2006 that suggested it would exist on 6% of PCs by this time- off by a factor of 6! The research also revealed that businesses have delayed their Vista deployment plans nine to twelve months past their 2006 projections. If we assume those plans don't suffer additional delays, it's reasonable to believe fewer than 10% of Enterprise PCs will have Vista by then end of next year. Additional Gartner research backs that up.

Why do I bring this up and how does it relate to Telerik? For the better part of a year, developers have been struggling with the decision to build new Windows apps with WinForms or WPF. While both are viable platforms on the dominant XP operating system, WPF is not guaranteed to be installed and the hardware of an XP machine may not be able to take advantage of WPF's modern architecture. Even under those conditions, if Vista's adoption were taking off and businesses were quickly ushering in the era of accelerated graphics and WPF, it might make more sense to charge ahead with the new platform and say goodbye to your WinForms years.

But Vista isn't taking off at expected speeds. Even the impending SP1 is not garnering the reaction that past SP1s have brought to new versions of Windows. That means as developers there is a lot of life left in WinForms development, and even a lot of good reason to wait a while longer before beginning WPF development.

I bring this all up, of course, because Telerik has the full toolbox of controls for your WinForms development that enables you to deliver those next gen, "WPF-like" UIs in WinXP without waiting on Vista to arrive or hardware to be upgraded. That frees you from worrying about the platform and hardware while enabling you to build modern looking applications. And when the time really arrives for mainstream WPF development (maybe with Windows 7?), Telerik's RadControls for WPF (coming in 2008) will be there to make the transition easy. Just some news and ideas to keep in mind as you enter a new year and begin finalizing your development plans for 2008.

Telerik launches new Enterprise Services

When it comes to developing software, Enterprise software shops (especially internal software shops or "factories" as they're often called these days) are a unique animal. They have massively complex requirements, tight deadlines, carefully monitored metrics, and the need to respond quickly to any of the crazy innovative ideas the business units submit. Having spent some time myself in a large, Fortune 200 IT shop with over 1,500 people, I know first-hand the challenges facing Enterprise developers are unique.

Telerik also recognizes the unique nature of Enterprise development and with the Q3 2007 release has launched new services tailored for Enterprise customers. These new services are primarily aimed at providing extra levels of support and training for large development teams that need to be 100% confident they can generate rapid ROI with Telerik tools. Launching this week are:

More services will be introduced in the coming quarter, including a number of innovative new services focused on training. For now, though, if you're an Enterprise customer (defined as a customer with 15 or more licenses), head over to the Telerik website and review the new service options available for your immediate consumption. If you're not an Enterprise customer, watch for more exciting information soon about new services designed for you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More new "Prometheus" controls: RadScriptManager and RadStyleSheetManager

The Q3 news just keeps coming today, hot on the heels of the official Q3 2007 release. This time I want to bring your attention to two new controls in the Q3 2007 "Prometheus" release: RadScriptManager and RadStyleSheetManager. Some eagle-eyed developers may have spotted pre-release versions of these controls in our Futures releases, but the Q3 release marks their official readiness for production applications. These "manager controls" provide some very neat functionality for "Prometheus"-based applications and deliver some features that aren't possible with the old ASP.NET 2.0 control architecture. Let's take a closer look.

This control, as the name indicates, is similar the ScriptManager control that ships with ASP.NET AJAX. In fact, if you use the RadScriptManger, you should remove the "plain" ScriptManager from your application. Aside from delivering all of the "normal" functionality the original ScriptManager provides, the RadScriptManager is also capable of combining all "Prometheus" JavaScript resources in to a single web resource request!

The effect is controlled at the control level via a new "EnableScriptCombine" property and it does require that you register a new HttpHandler in your web.config. Once it's enabled, though, you can significantly reduce the HTML output to your page and reduce the number of requests that your page needs to make during load to initialize "Prometheus" controls.

Like the RadScriptManager, the RadStyleSheetManager enable you to combine all of the CSS output for "Prometheus" controls in to a single stylesheet web resource request. If you have many "Prometheus" controls on your page, this can dramatically reduce the number of stylesheet links your page must request and load. The one caveat, though, is that this feature only supports embedded resource files. That means this feature only helps if you're using a control's default skin. If you're using custom skins, you'll have to do manual stylesheet combining to achieve the same effect.

The RadStyleSheetManager is also controlled at the control level via the "EnableStyleSheetCombine" property and it also requires a new HttpHandler in your web.config.

These tools should help anyone trying to maximize the performance of "Prometheus" controls, especially those who currently spend time manually combining the control JavaScript resources. Look for the tools in the latest "Prometheus" build and have fun building even better applications with Telerik's controls.

New "Prometheus" online demos framework

While we didn't build up any hype around the "secrets" contained in the Q3 release, that doesn't mean there aren't a few surprises for you. One of the most obvious surprises is the brand new framework for the RadControls "Prometheus" online demos. The update is mostly superficial at this point, but it paves the way for a more modern Telerik demos website as we head in to 2008. The online demos framework (or "QSF" internally for "Quick Start Framework") was long overdue for a refresh, and this update finally begins to push out the XP-era styling for a more current Vista/WPF look-and-feel.

Expect more updates along these lines as we continue to update all of our online resources. In fact, in the not so distant future, you can look forward to completely revamped Telerik Blogs and a new and improved The blogs update is first up, so keep your browsers locked to this blog for more details about that change in the coming days and weeks. Hopefully you'll enjoy the new looks as they roll out and find that they make it even easier to use Telerik's online tools.

RadControls for Silverlight demos online

Following the huge interest in the RadControls for Silverlight exposed during the recent World Premiere event, Telerik has delivered on its promise to make the RadControls for Silverlight demos available online. Now you can do more than watch the Silverlight controls in action; you can try them for yourself. Everything shown-off in the World Premiere (and then some) is available online, which includes the following Silverlight controls:

  • RadAnimations
  • RadButtons (6 types)
  • RadCombobox
  • RadListBox
  • RadMenu
  • RadProgressBar
  • RadSlider
  • RadTabStrip
  • RadTextBox
  • RadTreeView
  • RadUpload
And while you can't download the Silverlight controls during this release, you can use the "View Source" tool on all demos to see the related XAML and C# markup. These demos should start to help you really think about how you'll be able to use Silverlight to build applications in 2008 and prove that Silverlight is going to be a platform just as capable as ASP.NET or WinForms.

While you're playing with the online demos, do remember that this is an alpha preview. Performance is severely limited by the Silverlight framework itself, so you can expect the final versions of these controls to be much faster than they are today as the framework matures. Other than that, have fun and be sure to share your feedback!

Q3 release live

Here's some news that should please those of you who just can't wait to get the latest Telerik bits at release time: the Q3 2007 release is live! The dev teams and product managers have worked hard to get the bits out to you before the expected Wednesday arrival, so you can begin enjoying the goodies in the Q3 release a day early. We've already covered the make-up of this release in previous posts, so if you're still wondering what's new be sure to review the archives.

As with all releases, the final step at Telerik is updating everyone's licenses so that you have access to the new code. That process does take some time, so if you don't see the new bits in your account right now, wait a few hours for your account update and check back again. While you wait, you can check out the official release notes for Q3:

The entire website is still actively being updated for Q3, so don't be concerned that the new Q3 banners are not on the homepage yet. They'll be there soon. You just have fun with the new controls and check back here often for more Q3 news.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Q3 2007 this week (update)

The time has finally arrived! Well, maybe I shouldn't say "finally" since it has really only been a few months since Q2. Either way, this is the release week for Q3 2007 and there are a lot of fun things coming out soon. Over the past several weeks we've talked about what you can expect to see in this week's release, but in case you've missed some of those posts, here's a quick (not exhaustive) recap:

  • VS 2008 compatibility updates for all controls
  • Native build of "Prometheus" controls against .NET 3.5
  • 6 freshly "Prometheus'd" controls: RadGrid, RadTreeview, RadCombobox, RadMenu, RadSpell, RadUpload
  • 7 brand new WinForms controls: RadColorDialog, RadDateTimePicker, RadMaskedEdit, RadStatusStrip, RadRotator, RadRadioButton, RadSpinEditor
  • Major enhancements to 2 "classic" ASP.NET controls: RadChart and RadGrid (RadEditor will get major enhancements in SP1)
  • New 'Export to Excel' feature in Telerik Reporting
  • Tons of new and improved documentation for all controls, especially WinForms controls
  • Preview release (online only) of RadControls for Silverlight
Clearly, there's a lot going on across all of the product lines at Telerik and a lot to get excited about as a developer. The release should drop by the middle of the week, so check your downloads on Wednesday or Thursday for the new bits. Consider the release your first present this holiday season!

UPDATE: Added RadSpell to the list of new controls coming to "Prometheus" in Q3.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Silverlight World Premiere huge success (update)

With almost 1,000 people registered to attend from over 61 countries and about 400 actually making the live event, I think we can say the interest in Telerik's Silverlight controls is huge. The world premiere event today for Telerik's RadControls for Silverlight went very well and I want to thank everyone that attended. Hopefully the early look at Telerik's work in the Silverlight space gives you confidence that we are committed to the framework and already well on our way to producing the best UI components available on the market.

For everyone that missed the event live (or had trouble dialing-in to the audio bridge), I have moved quickly to make the on-demand version available online today! Check out the recorded version right now (download is about 50 MB) and then take a look at the "Follow-up Question & Answer" PDF that contains all unique questions asked during the presentation with answers. If you still have questions that aren't addressed there, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll be happy to help.

Now on to the Q3 release next week! Don't forget that you'll be able to get your hands on the online demos showcased today during next week's release activities.

UPDATE: For those not able to view the WMV version of the recorded webcast with the GoToMeeting codec, I have re-encoded and uploaded a Quicktime version. The new version is available from the original on-demand link.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't forget, InstallFest tonight

I hate to taunt those of you not in the Houston area, but this is a PSA I must make as the local NHDNUG President. Tonight is the big "VS 2008 InstallFest" for the Houston area that I've mentioned to you previously. The event kicks-off at 6:00 PM at Microsoft's local Houston offices and is scheduled to wrap-up around 9:00 PM (though I'm sure you can leave early). If you didn't register for the event, "walk-ins" will be welcome, but the registered attendees get first dibs on the free copies of VS 2008. If someone who registered doesn't show by 7:30 (or so), Microsoft will start giving away VS 2008 copies to people on the walk-in waiting list. Obviously, get to the event on-time if you didn't register and want a good spot on the waiting list.

Otherwise, the event should be fun. Free food, games, and plenty of networking to waste the night away while you get your comp copy of Visual Studio. The registration is closed, but you can still visit the registration page for the event address and details. See you tonight!

P.S. I hope those of you not in Houston managed to find an InstallFest in your area. If not, pretend you never read this post. InstallFest? Must be a myth.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Telerik Overview webcast this Friday

This is a busy week for online webcasts. In addition to the "RadControls for Silverlight World Premier" this Friday at 3:00 PM EST, I will also be doing a webcast earlier Friday that provides a general overview of Telerik. Now I know what you're thinking. "If we didn't know who Telerik was, then why are we reading this blog." Fair enough, and for many of you who have been with Telerik for a while this webcast isn't targeted at you. But if you're interested in getting the full picture of what Telerik does (beyond ASP.NET), this is a great webcast to attend.

The webcast will begin at 12:00 noon EST and cover all of Telerik's product lines- ASP.NET, WinForms, Reporting, Sitefinity- at a high level. If you find yourself saying, "I didn't know Telerik made WinForms/Reporting" components when reading that last sentence, you should definitely register to attend.

This is part one of a four part webcast series that focuses on Telerik's products. In parts two through three, we'll drill down into the individual product lines and talk about the features, merits, and uses of each. Those events will be much better suited for those of you just looking to more clearly understand one of our newer product lines. I'll provide registration details on this blog once they are available.

For now, those interested in the overview should register for the webcast and then tune-in Friday morning for the first webcast of the day!

Monday, December 10, 2007

ASP.NET MVC, 3.5 Extensions CTP released

In the rare chance that you missed this breaking news in the .NET community, here is your courtesy notice that the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions CTP Preview has been released. That's right. A "CTP Preview". Doesn't that make this a preview of a preview? I think the CTP naming has gotten a little out of hand in this case, but the point is clearly that this is an early preview release of unfinished features coming to ASP.NET.

Nonetheless, this release is crammed-full of new goodies for ASP.NET. Frankly, it's a lot more exciting than the recent official .NET 3.5 release. Included in this preview of a preview are:

  • ASP.NET AJAX improvements (including history support, permalink support, JS improvements)
  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data Support
  • ASP.NET Silverlight Support
  • ADO.NET Data Services (including "Astoria" preview)
I haven't talked much about MVC on this blog, but you can check out some of my thoughts on the new framework on my ASP.NET Weblog. There is definitely a lot to take-in with this release (as if there wasn't already enough new stuff to deal with), so expect a lot of additional information in this blog and others over the coming weeks. For now, the best place to go to get download links to all of these bits is ScottGu's original announcement post.

Had enough new technologies and frameworks in 2007 yet?

RadControls for Silverlight World Premiere Webcast

I've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that (for reasons too complex to explain here) the "Visual Studio 2008 Celebration" scheduled for today in San Jose, California has been canceled. The good news is that means we are moving the world premiere of our RadControls for Silverlight 2.0 online where everybody can participate! No longer exclusive to those that could make it out to San Jose, Friday's world premiere event will be hosted live and online for your viewing pleasure. This event marks the first public appearance and public discussion of Telerik's RadControls for Silverlight 2.0, so if you want to be one of the "cool kids" at the office Christmas party, you'll want to attend this Webcast.

The Webcast will review Telerik's involvement with Silverlight, talk about its current plans for Silverlight 2.0, and (of course) show live demos of the RadControls for Silverlight. The controls, like the framework, are still alpha, but this will be your opportunity to glimpse the work Telerik is doing in the Silverlight space.

To join the fun, hit the registration link now and reserve your virtual seat. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible this Friday, December 14th at 3:00 PM (EST).

Friday, December 07, 2007

WinForms Q3 beta ready for download

As we rapidly approach Q3, the WinForms team has stepped-up to the plate with a public beta of the RadControls for WinForms Q3 2007. The Q3 release for WinForms is packed with new controls and performance improvements, some of which we've talked about before. There are seven new controls in Q3 for WinForms, including:

  • RadMaskedEditBox
  • RadRotator
  • RadStatusStrip
  • RadSpinEditor
  • RadColorSelector
  • RadRadioButton
  • RadDateTimePicker
In addition to all of the new controls, the entire Telerik Presentation Framework has been tweaked to run faster than ever. All controls are now more responsive thanks to faster screen painting and refreshing.

The only major control that won't get its "major" update in Q3 is RadGridView. RadGridView has been totally rewritten and the new major version is significantly better than our current GridView and better than most other WinForms grids out there (performance-wise). It will be released shortly after Q3, but we'll be publishing many more details about how that will work soon. For now, just note that the improvements in the Q3 version of GridView are just the tip of the iceburg that is to follow in January.

The documentation is also getting a big boost in Q3, so check that out too if you've found the docs to be lacking in the past. All in all, there are a lot of good things going on in Q3 for WinForms developers, so get started today by downloading the beta and telling us what you think about all of the improvements.

Sitefinity Challenge open, Win free stuff

What better way to spend your weekend than competing in a good 'ol fashioned geek challenge? Actually, it won't take your whole weekend, just a few minutes of your time. What do you have to do to play? Simply head on over to the Sitefinity Challenge start page, read the simple instructions, and get started. You'll have to watch a few short videos showing you some of the cool things that make Sitefinity unique, answer a short 15 question survey/quiz, and that's it! If you answer all 15 multiple choice questions correctly, you'll be automatically entered in a drawing for some fabulous prizes. The first three winners of the random drawing will get a Zune media player ('cuz everyone has iPods these days) and a free commercial Sitefinity license. The next 12 winners won't get Zunes, but they'll still get the $900 commercial Sitefinity license for free! Not bad for an effortless challenge.

You've got until January 31st to play, but I'd suggest you play early so you don't forget. The prizes will be a little late to make Christmas gifts, so I guess you'll just have to enjoy them yourself guilt-free in the new year.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Feedback wanted, WinForms new and improved documentation

It is not often that I call on you to volunteer to be editors, but the opportunity has presented itself again. This time it is for the new and vastly improved RadControls for WinForms documentation. Over the past several months, Telerik and it's incredible documentation partner, Falafel, have been diligently pounding away at filling-out and improving the documentation for all RadControls for WinForms. Our early surveys found that documentation was a weak point for WinForms, so we've been working very hard to fix the problem. And now we can happily report that we think we've done a good job.

But what do you think? That's what we really want to know. If you're a WinForms developer (and according to my local survey, about 20% of you are), take a look at the new documentation and tell us what you think in the official documentation feedback forums. Even if you're not a WinForms developer, take a look at the documentation and let us know how you think it compares to other documentation you've used. A simple "pretty impressive" or "you really need more about X" is all we need to know. So put on your editor hat and give it to us straight!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Survey Says: Most .NET developers not attending User Groups

In yet another completely unscientific, non-representative straw poll run on this site, I asked how many of you, dear readers, attend a local .NET User Group (or DNUG). It turns out, most of you don't attend DNUGs. I found the results of the survey a little surprising considering the audience. You represent developers passionate enough about technology to spend time tracking down and reading a very niche blog like this. You are exactly the type of people I'd expect to find attending DNUGs.

So that begs the question, why don't you attend a DNUG? Are there no well organized DNUGs in your area? Do you prefer to spend your evenings as far from technology as possible? Or do you simply not find DNUGs appealing? Whatever your answer, I want to know. Sound-off in the comments and let the world know your opinion of .NET's little social learning clubs.

And, of course, if you're in the Houston area, don't miss the premier of the North Houston DNUG in early January. I promise it will at least be an okay time.

Sitefinity 3.1 SP2 released, Road Map reviewed

In what is a relatively small update for Sitefinity developers, the second service pack for 3.1 was quietly released this week on This update mainly targets problems involving generic content in sites running multiple languages, but a few additional problems have been fixed along the way. If you're interested in reviewing the paper thin release notes, jump over to the Sitefinity forums and have a look.

More exciting is that work continues to move steadily forward on Sitefinity 3.2. Still on track for a January release, 3.2 is going introduce many new features to the CMS platform, including:

  • Integration with Windows Workflow
  • Ajaxification of most Sitefinity tools (finally!)
  • New! Document module for creating document galleries (photos, media, PDFs, etc.)
  • New! Newsletter module for creating/sending HTML email campaigns
  • New! Notification Service with API for sending automatic emails
  • Export tool for exporting projects to reusable templates
So that's 3.2 and January- just a few short weeks away. The Road Map for the next next major version, 4.0, has also been published online, giving you a unique long term look at what's coming in Sitefinity. So far (and these things could change, obviously), 4.0 is promising to deliver:
  • Automation service for tasks like background indexing and auto page publishing
  • Sync service for auto dev-to-prod migrations and mirrored servers
  • Integration with Silverlight
  • Browse-and-edit mode for editing sites without entering admin area
And that's just some of what's planned! Clearly some exciting progress being made on Sitefinity, the first bit of which we'll get to taste in January. If you're still not developing with Sitefinity, what are you waiting for? Really. Let me know in the comments.

"Prometheus" Futures updated, available now

Today I am excited to bring to you, hot off the build servers, the latest RadControls "Prometheus" Futures release. The Futures release, as you may remember, is designed to preview some of the work being done in the "Prometheus" suite in-between official releases. The releases are similar to betas, but since the "Prometheus" suite itself is in a long beta period, the "Futures" process helps avoid naming confusion.

I must admit that I am very excited about this release. In it are previews of "Prometheus-ized" RadGrid, RadComboBox, RadMenu, RadUpload, and improved versions of RadEditor, RadWindow, and RadChart. The Prometheus suite is really starting to feel complete with this release, but more exciting than the new controls are the new features and major performance improvements being delivered in the controls.

For example, the versions RadMenu and RadCombobox in Futures have added the ability to bind directly to web services and completely control item collections on the client (with changes persisted to the server). RadGrid has an all new- completely rewritten- data binding core that is delivering incredible performance boosts (I'll provide some solid numbers soon). And by Q3 RadGrid will also have a brand new ExportToExcel engine that will give you unprecedented control over your data exports.

So while we're not going to see any "new" new controls in Q3, we are receiving some great improvements in existing controls. I like to think of Q3 this year as a release that will make the core tools we use everyday better than ever- faster, more flexible, and with additional features. As we move in to 2008 with a revamped set of "base" controls, we can then move on to bringing new innovative controls to the web.

Want to get your hands on today's Futures release? Head over to the Telerik website and download your free copy or take the online demos for a spin. The demos do not yet feature the improvements in the Prometheus Futures controls, but everything will be updated for Q3. Enjoy the new release and don't go far- Q3 will be here in about two weeks.

Friday, November 30, 2007

RadControls and VS 2008, .NET 3.5

As everybody knows by now, VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 were released last week. If you have a MSDN/TechNet subscription, you have probably already downloaded a copy (retail copies still won't be available for a couple of months). One of the biggest impacts of this release is that the previously separate ASP.NET AJAX Extensions are now an integrated component of the .NET 3.5 assembly. That means controls that reference ASP.NET AJAX (a.k.a. System.Web) classes need to be "updated" to work in VS 2008.

There are actually two ways you can update your controls to work with .NET 3.5:

  1. Install new versions of the controls built directly against .NET 3.5
  2. Add binding redirects to your web.config file
Both methods work equally well and there are very few situations that actually need new versions of controls built against .NET 3.5. In fact, so far Telerik has only identified one scenario where you will need a new version of the RadControls to work in VS 2008. If you have a computer with VS 2008 installed and you don't also have the older ASP.NET AJAX Extensions installed, you'll need a new version of the RadControl assemblies to get toolbox support. Other than that, the version of RadControls you're using today already works perfectly in VS 2008 with .NET 3.5 and a simple binding redirect.

For those who have never seen a binding redirect, it is a small piece of configuration code added to your site's web.config file that points references to one version of an assembly to another. In the case of the RadControls, any references to System.Web 1.x will automatically be re-routed to the 3.5 assemblies. Visual Studio 2008 will even add these redirects automatically in many cases, but if you need to add them manually the code looks like this:

<assemblybinding xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1">
<assemblyidentity name="System.Web.Extensions" publickeytoken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
<bindingredirect oldversion="" newversion="" />
<assemblyidentity name="System.Web.Extensions.Design" publickeytoken="31bf3856ad364e35" />
<bindingredirect oldversion="" newversion="" />

So while some component vendors have rushed to encourage you to replace all of your control assemblies with new .NET 3.5 versions, the truth is you likely don't need to do that. But in the case that you do need a .NET 3.5 version, Telerik will be providing a native build soon. Hopefully this will save you some time on your projects and clear-up some of mystery about binding redirects. If you still have questions about Telerik and VS 2008, don't miss Ivo's blog post on the Telerik Blogs.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Silverlight 1.1 now Silverlight 2.0

Surprise, surprise, surprise. In ScottGu's exhaustive post yesterday on the road map for .NET web technologies, he revealed that the formerly versioned "Silverlight 1.1" update that we've all been waiting for will actually be released as Silverlight 2.0. This should come as little shock to anyone that has been following Silverlight's development up to this point; in fact, given the radical impact of adding .NET to Silverlight, it's a wonder this update was ever consider a "dot" update. My guess is that Silverlight 1.0 really should have been version .5, but they needed a "1.0" product to get out as early as possible to begin the plug-in adoption rate clock. But who am I to speculate.

Beyond the "name" change (really it's a version change), we also received some more details about when we can expect from the next Silverlight update. The beta, which will drop in Q1 2008 (which probably means Mix08), will include controls like textboxes, checkboxes, tabs, and even a grid. It will also support cross domain data access to "trusted" sources on the web and sport more support for the WPF UI framework. And most importantly, it will ship with a Go Live license, allowing developers to finally begin building production sites with Silverlight 1.1 2.0.

From this news, we can also publicly assume that the final version of Silverlight 2.0 won't be shipping until Summer 2008. Mix 08 will probably be where most of the new Silverlight 2.0 beta features get shown-off to the world amidst a flurry of new demo apps, and then mid-year we'll finally have a new, finished platform. That is to say, if you're planning on building Silverlight apps, you've still got some time before the platform is ready to go.

Telerik will, of course, continue to work on the bleeding edge of the Silverlight platform. I'll be premiering our Silverlight 1.1 (remember 2.0 is not available yet) controls in about a week, and after that we'll start putting more information online. Stay tuned, stay patient, and keep telling us what want to do with Silverlight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

RadCarousel for WinForms coming, preview available now

Doesn't it seem like every "cool" WPF demo application you see these days features some kind of flashy carousel UI? You know the type: you click on a button and items spin past you, growing and shrinking from background to foreground along a circular path. Have you ever wished you could include that in your apps today without making the whole jump to WPF? Now you can.

Telerik has just announced the carousel control included in the Q2 2007 WinForms demos will become an official, full-featured control in the Q1 2008 release. But you don't even have to wait 'til Q1 to get your flashy WinForms UI on. The complete code for the control has been posted in the Telerik Code Library, available for your immediate download. Clearly, this code does not represent the final version of the control that will be released in Q1, but it's enough to get you started with the carousel in your apps.

Count this as just a small sign of things to come as Telerik builds on the innovative "Telerik Presentation Framework" underpinning all RadControls for WinForms. I'll share some more about what's coming for WinForms in Q3 soon!

Celebrate VS 2008 in San Jose with Telerik, be first to see Silverlight 1.1 RadControls

For those of you that missed us at TechEd, DevReach, DevConnections, and Boston, there is yet another opportunity to meet with Telerik this year. And this time we're showing some love to the West Coast by visiting beautiful San Jose, California to participate in a "Visual Studio 2008 Celebration". This event is being organized by our good friends and partners at Falafel Software in cooperation with Microsoft to celebrate the release of VS 2008, WPF, WCF, WF, and other new Microsoft technologies. The December 10th half-day seminar will kick-off at 9:00 AM in the Sainte Claire hotel and will be packed full of information and practical demonstrations. The main speaker at this seminar will be the always entertaining and brilliant Falafel President and CEO Lino Tadros, which alone makes the event worth attending.

I will be the sole Telerik rep at this event and I'll be doing a short presentation towards the end of the seminar. My presentation will cover some Telerik basics and, for the first time ever in public, preview the Telerik RadControls for Silverlight 1.1. If you're dying to see what's coming in our 1.1 component suite, you definitely don't want to miss this conference!

The event is free, so register today to save your spot and come say 'hi' in a couple of weeks. See you there!

Monday, November 26, 2007

In case you missed it: part IV

Time has been flying by at an unbelievable pace during the final "Q" release cycle this year, and lost in time's wake are a couple of "ICYMI" updates. To refresh your memory, these updates bring you highlights from the blog posts over on that you may have missed due to your RSS gluttony (I know, I feed too much, too). Many people contribute to the Telerik Blogs and there some excellent posts, full of information, that you shouldn't miss. So without further delay, here are some standout posts from the Telerik blogs from the last couple of months:

Until next time, enjoy the reading and don't forget to subscribe to the Telerik blogs feed.

Meet the Sitefinity team in Boston

As 2007 comes to an end, there are a few opportunities popping-up for you to meet with some of the friendly people from Telerik in the US. The first of those opportunities is this week, where you can meet with some of the Sitefinity development team members- including the Team Lead- in Boston at the annual Gilbane Boston Conference. The conference kicks-off Wednesday and runs through Friday and Telerik will be setting-up shop in booth #131. The Telerik crew will have the latest demos of Sitefinity on-hand to show you the cool things being done on that product and they will obviously be ready to answer all of your pressing Sitefinity questions.

If you're in the Boston area and want to meet some of the Sitefinity team or if you're interested in the general topic of CMS platforms, don't miss this conference. And if the $1000+ conference fee is not in your budget, you can grab a $75 "Technology Showcase" pass that gets you access to the exhibit floor and a seat in one of the keynotes. If you can't make the Gilbane Conference, I've got another exciting event on the other side of the country to share with you that I'll blog about shortly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The delayed exciting news: Get VS 2008 Pro for free!

Many, many moons ago, I promised some exciting news on this site for people in the Houston area. The news was really two fold: first, I wanted to announce the new North Houston .NET User Group that I created and invite everyone to attend/spread the word, and second, I wanted to let you know about a way you can get your own personal copy of VS 2008 Pro for free! Zippo. Nada. How you ask? By attending a VS 2008 InstallFest.

The InstallFests should be happening across the US during the last week of November and the first couple of weeks in December. They'll feature free food, Xbox fragging, and (of course) free copies of VS 2008 Pro. Not just a few copies. A free copy for everyone that attends the event. I don't have details for all of the InstallFests, but if you're in the Dallas, Houston, or Tulsa I've got you covered. Visit this link to register for the events and prepare to snag your freebies.

If you're not in Dallas, Houston, or Tulsa, try contacting your local DNUG and see if they have any details about an InstallFest in your area. Hopefully these will be available everywhere so you can all get in on the fun. In fact, if you have details about an InstallFest in your area, leave details in the comments so others can benefit.

I wanted to bring this news to you a couple of weeks ago, but some last minute details forced me to delay the announcement. You know about it now, though, and you've got to admit it's pretty cool. Now everybody summon their best Monster Garage voice and say it together: Freebies...freebies...freebies.

Announcing North Houston .NET User Group

Do you live in a big city? Does your city have a .NET User Group? Is it like super far away. If you live in North Houston (The Woodlands, actually), then all of the above are true. To solve the problem and bring the .NET community together in the North Houston area, I've created the North Houston .NET User Group. This new user group will meet on the third Thursday of every month at 18:30 beginning January 17th and should become an outstanding resource for local .NET developers.

Now, I know many of you that read this blog are not in the Houston area and will not able to join us for the fun, but you can still take a couple of things away from this post. First, if you also live in an area that has .NET developers but no active DNUG, start your own! The process is not hard and you can find everything you need (including a complete directory of existing DNUGs) on the CodeZone website. Second, if you are in the area in the future, feel free to drop in on our group. I'd love to meet more of you face-to-face and I encourage you to visit as guests or speakers.

Check out the newly created NHDNUG website (running on Sitefinity, of course) for info and drop me a line if you're in town.

FireFox 3 Beta 1 now available

That's right, the next version of the venerable challenger to Internet Explorer is just around corner. Mozilla yesterday announced the availability of the first beta for FireFox 3. For those of you who haven't been following FF3's progress, here are a few release highlights:

  • New download manager with integrated anti-virus and resume capabilities
  • Full page zoom (a la IE7)
  • One-click bookmarking and a host of new tools for managing bookmarks and history
  • New graphics and font rendering architecture
  • Improved HTML rendering engine
  • Tons of performance improvements and fixed memory leaks
  • Easier add-on installation
You can review a complete list of what's new on the Mozilla site. After downloading and installing FF3 (which you can do parallel to existing versions as long as you use a different folder), I must say it definitely feels more like an incremental improvement than some big leap forward in the browser wars. The overall interaction with the browser remains relatively unchanged and in the current beta the skin has not changed at all from FF2. Most improvements in FF3 will take time to appreciate, but then again, other than terrible memory performance and slower page loading, I have few complaints with FF2.

Download your copy
of FF3 beta 1 today and give it a try. Is this what you expected from FF3 or does it feel more like FF2.5 to you, too? I'm not sure what more (or maybe less) I want my web browser to do in the future, but maybe you have better ideas. Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think of FF3 and how you would change it to be the perfect "next gen" browser.

Monday, November 19, 2007

VS 2008 RTM out? (update: confirmed)

According to the diligent Telerik admins, the VS 2008 RTM bits are live and available for download on the MSDN site. The public MSDN site does not appear to be updated- still saying "arriving this month"- but the bits are being downloaded in the Telerik labs as I type. None of the other "big bloggers" have dropped any word on this yet either, so expect a flood of posts on VS 2008 availability later today or the MSDN download to be pulled. Either way, you heard it hear first, and if you're an MSDN subscriber you should jump over to your downloads and see if you can snag the bits. Drop a line in the comments if you manage to start the download.

UPDATE: The release is confirmed via our good friend ScottGu. Enjoy VS 2008!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Telerik "Best Employer" and "Rising Star"

While you may know Telerik as a reliable partner you can count on to deliver more than expected, we have recently been recognized for a few accomplishments outside of the award winning components we produce.

First, we have been named a "Rising Star" in Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 for Central Europe. The Fast 50 awards recognize the 50 fastest growing companies (based on revenues) in the technology, telecommunications, and media industries headquartered in Central and Eastern Europe. Telerik took 3rd place in this year's awards, but the recognition is a strong testament to Telerik's outstanding success as the "new kid on the block" in the .NET component industry. This award isn't possible without you- the loyal and engaged Telerik community that has helped us grow- so a special thanks to you for helping us earn this recognition.

Next, Telerik has just been named the "Best Employer" in Central and Eastern Europe in the Small to Medium sized business category. This is Telerik's first year to enter the the Hewitt Best Employers Study, so it is a huge honor to come out on top. Needless to say, the award reinforces what all of us at Telerik already know, but it should give you- our customers- some insight in to the company that is building the tools you depend on. Our people love what they do and our company takes great care of them so they can continue to deliver more than expected!

Prometheus SP2 out, Q3 coming soon

Hello again dear blog readers. If there is anything that seems to be universally true about the software industry and end of the year is that it is a very busy time. That's at least the case for me and the reason this blog has had a dearth of posts of late. But fear not, I'll do my best to keep bringing you the latest Telerik news in the midst of it all as we head in to the holidays.

Along those lines, in case you missed it, the official "SP2" release of the RadControls "Prometheus" officially shipped about 12 days ago. After a couple of short delays to ensure a high quality release, the SP2 release shipped with a lot of helpful fixes. Most of the work centered on bringing RadEditor "Prometheus" up to par with the ASP.NET 2 version, and I think that task is definitely complete. RadEditor "Prometheus" is now by far the best rich text editor available for ASP.NET development. You can check out the full release notes for the 2007.2.1107 release to see what else was fixed in this service release.

With no SP2 planned for the regular ASP.NET controls, it's now on to Q3, which is only 4 short weeks away! Hard to believe. What can you look forward to in Q3? Glad you asked. Here are some "public" highlights:

    • RadGrid, RadTreeview, RadUpload, RadMenu, RadCombobox, and RadSpell are all getting Prometheus'd (leaving just TabStrip, Toolbar, Panelbar, and Rotator for Q1)
  • WinForms
    • Totally refactored RadGridView with significantly improved performance/stability
    • Many new controls, like MaskedEditor, Rotator, StatusStrip, and DateTimePicker
    • Significantly enhanced and expanded documentation
  • Reporting
    • ExportToExcel (based on new ExportToExcel engine)
    • New table layout feature
    • Additional report converters
  • Silverlight 1.1
    • Previews of RadControls for Silverlight 1.1
Clearly another big release and a great way to end 2007. Watch for more details in the coming weeks and get ready for some early Christmas presents.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

DevCon 07 wrap-up

Another conference has come and gone and in its wake is a great week of conversations and meeting Telerik "fans". For those of you that stopped by the booth, thanks again for coming by. It's always fun to put faces with names and we love getting to meet the people that use our controls around the world. And for those of you that missed DevCon, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a while to visit with Telerik. With PDC cancelled, we're settling in to the holiday conference "drought" and that means you'll have to make your plans to see us at any of the many places we'll be in 2008.

I do regret that I didn't get to blog as much as I had hoped this week. The internet at the conference was simply terrible. WiFi for a single computer at the conference cost $500 (and you thought your local hot spot was expensive)! Nonetheless, I will be posting some more follow-up tomorrow and I will finally announce the "exciting" news promised last week.

For now, I've got to catch a flight and jet back to Houston. As a parting note, don't miss the big keynote news that VS 2008 is going to be officially available by the end of November. I'll share more about this news and Telerik's plans for VS 2008 soon.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Telerik at DevConnections 2007

Your next chance to meet and hang out with the Telerik crew is just around the corner. Actually, it's just around the weekend. Next week kicks-off DevConnections 2007 in Las Vegas and Telerik will be there in full force showing-off products on the expo floor and giving away some great swag. I'll be on the floor along with a handful of Telerikers from the home office in Bulgaria, so stop by even if just to say hi. And unlike my last trip out of the office, I don't intend to let the blog go silent next week. Stay tuned for some great updates from DevConn.

If you don't get a chance to make it to this year's conference, don't worry- there will be more opportunities to meet the Telerik crew and hang out in the near future. In fact, if you're in the Houston area I've got a very exciting announcement to make next week. Enjoy your weekend and dial-in Telerik Watch next week for some fun (and don't forget to change your clocks in the US)!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Kazi Manzur joins Telerik team

I don't often blog when new people join the Telerik team, but this new team member deserves a bit of attention. I am pleased to announce that Kazi Manzur, active blogger, .NET community member, and of fame will be joining the Telerik Sitefinity development team. Kazi was previously a part of the core development team, a team that created one of the first full scale sites built on ASP.NET AJAX. Kazi brings an incredible wealth of ASP.NET AJAX knowledge to the Sitefintiy team along with experience developing for a high traffic portal page. Expect some cool things in future Sitefinity updates that take advantage of Kazi's expertise.

Sitefinity is really moving along at an incredible pace, so if you still haven't given the accelerated web development platform/CMS a look, now would be a good time. We're happy to welcome Kazi to the team and we hope you get excited about what's coming down the road!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween treats from Telerik

Google's logo is different today, which means another holiday is upon us. This time it's the scariest of all holidays that haunts you once a year. If you thought anything other than Halloween, you're a twisted thinker (and I want to know what you thought- leave a comment). To commemorate today's holiday, I've two treats to hand out.

First, for those of you that haven't noticed, the first service pack for Sitefinity 3.1 just dropped and is now available for download. This service delivers a number of stability and bug fixes across the 3.1 release, including improved site search support, better localization support with workflow, a number of medium trust fixes, and fixes for the new forums module. As usual, if you're a Sitefinity developer you'll definitely want to download and run this update. I promise it's not a trick.

Second, and I've saved the best for last, I've created a Telerik pumpkin carving template for all of you carvers out there that decided to wait 'til the last minute to get your carve on. The directions are easy to follow and if you're successful it should look something like the pumpkin featured on this post. Consider this the "easy" template for 2007- maybe next year I'll unleash a more advanced version.

Enjoy the treats and have a safe Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Todd Anglin on Silverlight

While I generally hate to refer to myself in the third person on this blog, "Todd Anglin on Silverlight" is really the only way to title this post. In between speaking at various sessions during DevReach, a couple of guys from pulled me aside to do a quick interview about Silverlight. The interview covers everything from the current state of Silverlight, how Telerik plans on supporting Silverlight, and even addresses the popular myth about the nirvana Blend/XAML workflow (a popular theme that week). The whole thing was recorded live to video and it is now available online (in a Silverlight video player, of course).

If you're interested in learning more about Silverlight or gaining a better understanding of Telerik's plans for Silverlight, check out the 30 minute video today. And if you're looking to hear more about Silverlight from men wiser than I, don't miss Lino Tadros' or Chad Hower's interivews on the site, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New RadEditor "Prometheus" build available

While the official Q2 2007 SP2 won't be available this week as planned, a new build of RadEditor "Prometheus" with most of the SP2 enhancements is available. The new internal build, dated October 25 (make sure you scroll down in the forum thread to download the correct build), delivers almost all of the enhancements mentioned in this week's SP2 post. The only features that are not ready in this internal build are the Table Wizard dialog, a few layout issues with toolbar modes, and a few missing localization points in the dialogs. All of these items will be addressed, though, before the official SP2 ships mid-next week.

With this release, RadEditor "Prometheus" comes very close to duplicating all of the functionality in the original RadEditor. In fact, one of the only features that won't be present is docking toolbars (a feature that currently is not planned for the "Prometheus" version). So if you've been waiting for "Prometheus" to catch-up with the old Editor before giving it a spin, now is a good time to take it out for a test drive. Look for the final SP2 version along with SP2 updates for all "Prometheus" controls next week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Microsoft: WinForms here to stay...for now

As promised, here is the shocking news that is starting to come to light. When Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 start shipping in a few weeks, Microsoft won't be recommending that companies use WPF to build applications. No, they'll be recommending that people building new LoB (Line of Business) apps (a.k.a. business apps) use the tried and true WinForms technology to get the job done. WPF won't be explicitly discouraged, per se. Instead WPF will be encouraged as the platform for "rich experience apps" and WinForms will get the nod for everything else...from Microsoft.

If that doesn't surprise you, then you've probably missed what seems like at least a year's worth of "WinForms is dead" "don't start any new development in WinForms" discussion in the industry. It will be very interesting to see how this increasingly public position from Microsoft will affect the adoption rate of WPF in business development and how the component industry will react. Microsoft claims this is not a new position and consistent with the messages they've been sending, and based on the details in the WPF paper they promoted technically they're right. In fact, for many months Microsoft has been saying "use the best technology and integrate" (meaning build with WinForms and integrate WPF), it just seems that message is finally starting to sink in.

So what does this news mean? Does it mean the tools in Visual Studio 2008 aren't really ready for full scale WPF development? Does it mean WPF itself (or at least with its current out of the box tools) is not ready for business development? I'll let you draw your own conclusions on those points, but it definitely does mean that WinForms development is here to stay for at least another couple of years. Sound off and let me know what you think of this news in the comments.

"Prometheus" SP2 due Thursday

Another service pack for the Q2 2007 "Prometheus" controls is coming later this week. Service pack 2 will primarily address RadEditor "Prometheus" and will deliver a number of enhancements that the dev team has been busy preparing. Among the features RadEditor "Prometheus" will see in SP2 are:

  • Toolbar button tooltips now display in FireFox
  • NodeInspector module now implemented
  • AJAX spell check issues in FireFox now fixed
  • Genearl UI improvements
  • Table borders in preview mode removed
  • New dialogs:
    • FormatCodeBlock
    • ImageMap
    • ImageProperties
    • PageProperties
    • TableWizard/TableProperites
  • New toolbar modes supported
  • 3 new skins: Monochrome, Telerik, Web20
Clearly, the RadEditor team is hard at work making the next generation rich text editor for the web the best that it can be. Some of these improvements are already available in a pre-release hotfix build if you're interested in giving them a try. The other controls in the "Prometheus" suite will receive minor updates in SP2, and at this time a SP2 date for the other RadControl suites is not available. If you're forging ahead with "Prometheus" based projects, mark your calendars and grab this update late Thursday.

Community 2.0 published on AspAlliance

I've be longing to share this incredible content with you for what seems like months now. After a lengthy review process- most of which was just waiting for an open publication date- my whitepaper on "community 2.0" has been published on the popular AspAlliance website. This whitepaper grew out of an internal effort at Telerik to effectively understand and describe what it takes to build a strong, thriving community. The research in the paper was so compelling, though, that I couldn't resist making it available to the community for broad consumption.

What is community 2.0? I assure you I am not out to create yet another "2.0" version of a common word (Business 2.0, you'll be missed?). Rather, this paper methodically examines the elements of many popular "web 2.0" sites that have thriving online communities. What did Digg and Wikipedia do correctly to grow their communities that others like Netscape failed to do? Through my research, three simple and easy to understand principles emerge that connect the success of online communities, and by these principles you'll have the best chance at creating your own successful online socials.

If you have a site or business and you want to create a community, this paper is a must read. Check it out on the AspAlliance site, tell your friends, and then let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy my latest publication.

Monday, October 22, 2007

WinForms controls on dnrTV

Here's another hot news item that I didn't deliver to you on time. A little more than a week ago I sat down (virtually, of course) with .NET celeb Carl Franklin to film a new episode of dnrTV all about Telerik's RadControls for WinForms. The episode was released late on October 12th, but it is still on the homepage of dnrTV at the time of this writing.

What is dnrTV? For those that have never seen it, dnrTV delivers Camtasia captured screen casts of conversations that Carl has with a vast array of guests from the .NET world. The WinForms episode that we "filmed" comes in a series of dnrTV episodes focusing on various .NET products. But unlike unfettered internally produced web casts on .NET products, dnrTV episodes benefit from the candid and insightful questions that Carl delivers to guests- often the questions you wish you could ask while watching a web cast.

Either way, it was fun to shoot and it is a great way to learn about what Telerik is doing in the WinForms space if you still have yet to check it out. And without giving too much away, I have some pretty big news regarding WinForms learned at VSIP that I'm going to try to share later this week. I guarantee it will surprise you. Until then, check out the dnrTV episode and look for more content like this in the future.

Telerik Watch celebrates 1 year

As I was composing my last post explaining the uncommon week of silence on this blog, I realized that in all the preparation for the VSIP Summit and the recovery from DevReach I missed a very important event: the first birthday of the Telerik Watch blog! That's right, you've been enjoying this fine publication for over a year now. The first post, dated October 11, 2006, set the stage for what has been a very successful blog- thanks in no small part to you, the outstanding and loyal audience.

Time marches forward, though, and I look forward to bringing you another great year of content. When I originally started this blog, Paul Thurott's WinSuperSite was a big inspiration and I aimed to deliver the same in-depth attention for Telerik products that he delivered for Microsoft. Since then, a few things have changed. Most notably, I was hired full-time by Telerik in early 2007. I also started contributing to two additional blogs: Blogs and ASP.NET Weblogs. Needless to say, this blog has adopted a much more casual approach of brining you the latest Telerik and industry news while leaving more in-depth content for other venues.

Is that what you want? I want to know. I'm starting a new poll that will run for the next couple of weeks on the side of this blog asking you to submit your opinion: should Telerik Watch keep on keepin' on or should it start running more in-depth content? With your feedback, we'll build on the success of 2007 and march boldly in to 2008, delivering content you enjoy reading.

Happy birthday Telerik Watch!

The week the blog stood still

Since it's introduction almost over a year ago (can you believe that?!), not a single week has passed where this blog didn't bring you something new. Over 200 posts later with a continually growing audience- thanks as always to you for reading- this blog had it's first week of silence last week. It wasn't to make a point and it certainly wasn't due to a dearth of good news to share. Rather, I was in Redmond, Washington enjoying the annual Visual Studio Integration Partner (or VSIP) Summit and simply didn't have the time I needed to bring you your regularly scheduled, high quality, Telerik Watch posts.

But I am back now and have plenty of news items to share. Much of what we learned at VSIP is under Microsoft NDA, so I'm afraid I can't bring you a lot of news from that event (yet), but there is plenty of fun stuff to share in the meantime. Expect quite a few posts this week as I try to catch-up and bring you back up to speed on the world of Telerik and its surrounding environment. I hope you enjoyed your week off and used the time to catch-up on your "guilty pleasure" RSS feeds- Engadget, Joystiq, you know the ones. As for this blog, it's time to get back to your regularly scheduled content.

Friday, October 12, 2007

.NET Rocks WPF Panel

One of the fun little activities that took place at the recent DevReach conference in Bulgaria was a panel discussion on the current state of WPF. The panel featured Tim Huckaby, Brian Noyes, and yours truly (and the famous .NET Rocks hosts, of course) discussing the merits of WPF, dispelling some of the myths, and clarifying some of the misconceptions about designer tools available for WPF. Tim brought to the table excellent first hand experience using WPF to deliver solutions; Brian brought an incredible depth of technical WPF knowledge; I brought a unique perspective that needs a little introduction.

Ever since joining the "programming world" about 6 years ago, I have been reluctant to mention my "hidden" past as a graphic designer. Yes, that's right. I'm the artist in the room of engineers. For years I did freelance logo design, brand development, and designs for all variety of print projects. I cut my proverbial computer teeth on Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, and the Macromedia design products. In fact, in my early hunt for colleges RISD (Rhode Island School of Design or "riz-dee" for the initiated) and similar topped my list of interests.

"What in the world are you doing in programming?!" say you. Glad you asked. I may be an "artist" but I am also thoroughly pragmatic. I had no intention of becoming a "starving artist". With entrepreneurship in my blood, Texas A&M's highly ranked business school replaced my desire to go hang with hippie artists and involvement in the school's Student Council lead me to programming. An ugly (and I mean ugly) ASP application was dropped in my lap one day and I didn't run away. Quite the opposite. The web suddenly became my playground for building things and it gave me a venue to continue to flex my graphic designer muscles.

The rest (as everybody says) is history. I spent much of my own time learning as much as I could about building things for the web- ASP Classic, ASP.NET 1.x, ASP.NET 2, and now about 5,000 different Microsoft platforms. I never left my designer roots, though, so when Microsoft starts touting tools that "designers will love" my ears perk up.

I'll let you uncover my opinions on that marketing message in the .NET Rocks episode. Either way, that's my true background and the source of my unique perspective on this panel. Hopefully you'll enjoy the new point of view.

Silverlight Short Cut giveaway winners

The time has come to announce the two lucky winners of the Silverlight 1.1 Short Cut giveaway. Today our winners will be taking home one fabulous prize...A NEW CAR PDF (so it's not quite as exciting as The Price Is Right). The Silverlight 1.1 Short Cut covers everything you need to know to get up to speed on Silverlight, how 1.0 compares to 1.1, and how to use the tools that are available today for working with this alpha technology. An updated version will also be available soon that corrects a few last minute errors in the copy, so check your O'Reilly downloads page later next week to get the latest version.

And with that, my ability to stall the naming of the winners has run out. The same technique used to select the Learning Guide winners was applied here, so thank the random atmospheric noise if your number doesn't get called. And the winnings numbers are...
Clayton Powell and Asit...come on down. Send an email to todd[dot]anglin[at]telerik.[youKnowWhat] to get your free copies of the Short Cut. Thanks to everybody who took time to play; I promise there will be more fun giveaways in the near future. And don't forget, have your pets spayed or neutered.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Q2 2007 SP1s released

Landing just a few weeks after the original Q2 launch and a day later than planned, the first round of service packs for the Q2 2007 release is now online. Updates have been released for the RadControls for ASP.NET, RadControls "Prometheus", and Reporting; an update for RadControls for WinForms should be available later today. These service packs address a slew of bugs reported across all of the product lines and add a few new features along the way. You can get the complete scoop by reading the release notes for each product:

Jump over to your accounts and download the latest bits to get your applications running on the latest Telerik release. There will be one more service pack released for the ASP.NET and WinForms controls before Q3 in December, so keep sending your feedback and we'll do our best to solve any of your issues.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sitefinity 3.1 released

While a little late out of the gate, Sitefinity 3.1 is now officially available for your consumption. If you've been following along on this blog, then you already know most of what's new in the major Sitefinity update: site search, forums module, new page edit mode, and so on. There are at least 8 new major features by my count, so this should be a no brainer update if you're using Sitefinity 3.0. That said, there are a few issues with some of the new features to watch out for. The release notes clearly identify these issues, so take a quick look over there while you're upgrading to understand what will be fixed in an ensuing service pack.

I know I previously promised some screenshots of the new features, and I still plan to deliver those soon. Travel to DevReach in Bulgaria and VSIP in Redmond is making it difficult to get everything online as fast as I'd like, but the Sitefinity tasks are high on my list. Until then, download your own copy and let us know what you think of the upgrade!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Silverlight 1.1 Short Cut published, win a copy

This is a very exciting news item that I have been eager to share. After weeks of writing and rounds of editing, Telerik has just published a new O'Reilly Short Cut covering all the ins and outs of Silverlight 1.1 Alpha. This short 76 page book was written by yours truly along with a lot of help from the brains that make up the Telerik Silverlight Team. It is a great primer for anyone looking to get up to speed on Silverlight and the tools that are available to work with it. We've worked very hard to produce a resource that is easy to read and full of helpful information, and we've involved some of the brightest minds in Silverlight- Jesse Liberty and Adam Kinney- to make sure everything is accurate. The short cut is available as a downloadable PDF from O'Reilly's site for $9.99. To help celebrate its release, though, I'll be giving away two copies next week. To win, simply leave a comment on this post telling us the reason you're most looking forward to Silverlight 1.1. Will it enable you to build new types of applications? Is there something you've always wanted to do that Silverlight will finally enable? Tell us and win. Standard rules apply to the contest (only one post will be entered per person, blah, blah). All entries must be made by midnight (GMT +6) next Thursday (October 11) to be eligible in the drawing. Enjoy the new resource and good luck!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Q2 2007 SP1 coming next week

As with all major releases, there are always a few features that don't make the release date or have bugs that need to be quickly addressed. Handling that for the recent Q2 2007 release is the first service pack due to hit the streets late next week. This service pack will address bugs and issues reported since September 19th and will add a few new features to some of the RadControl components. Among the controls getting the most improvement in the upcoming service pack is RadEditor "Prometheus". We know there has been a fair amount of confusion surrounding this beta product and some of its missing/broken features, but hopefully SP1 will start to fix that problem.

Meanwhile, some exciting initiatives are underway at Telerik that should make the bug reporting and status tracking process easier for you to follow. This program is still being developed, so the details are thin at this point, but expect some updates in a few months. When it is complete, it should be much easier for subscription holders to track the status of the bugs/issues/enhancement requests they submit to Telerik.

Until then, stay tuned to this blog and watch for an announcement next week regarding SP1.

DevReach 2007 recap

This has been a light blogging week for me, largely because I'm still in Sofia trying to recover from the nightly DevReach 2007 parties. But while the parties were good, the conference was great. In its second annual appearance in the capital city of Bulgaria, DevReach 2007 brought in an amazing array of great speakers to educate .NET developers in eastern Europe. I joined big names in the .NET world like Richard Campbell, Carl Franklin, Stephen Forte, and Tim Huckaby to put on over 40 sessions in two days. Hundreds of developers attended the conference helping make it a big success and solidifying the stature of DevReach as a major international .NET conference.

Slides, demo code, and pictures from the event should be available online in the next week or so. Check the event site for updates and links to the downloads. There will also be a DVD produced that has all of the DevReach sessions (video and audio), slides, and code coming soon. I'll provide more details on that when they're available.

All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time and talks about doing this again next year are already underway. If you missed the fun in 2007, start clearing your calendar in 2008 because this is an event you don't want to miss!