Friday, January 05, 2007

predicting Q1 2007

Now that a couple of weeks have passed since the Q4 release and the dust has begun to settle, it's time to start looking ahead to the next r.a.d.controls release: Q1 2007. Well, technically the next release will be Q4 SP1 (due later this month), but we'll look past the service packs for now. Telerik has not yet released any official details about what we'll be seeing in Q1, so this is pure (although "highly" educated) speculation based on what didn't make it into Q4 and hints telerik has dropped in the telerik.com forums. Here's what I think we'll see in Q1:

  • r.a.d.input 2.0 This was supposed to make it into the Q4 release, but it got pulled in deference to some big advances in chart, grid, and calendar. There is tons of demand for an improved input control and I can't see this update not making it into the Q1 release.
  • r.a.d.window 2.0 Telerik is planning a major update to window that will introduce many new features and will greatly extend window's server- and client-side APIs. This update should make it much easier to use window in a variety of unique situations.
  • r.a.d.dock 2.0 As far back as October of last year, telerik has been working on a complete rewrite of the dock product. Expect a huge update to dock that makes the product easier to work with and introduces full integration with ajax.
  • telerik Reporting Beta 1 If everything continues at its current pace, we can expect to see the first beta for Telerik Reporting in the Q1 time frame with the final product release to follow sometime in 2007.

And here are a few additional predictions for things we're likely to see in 2007:

  • r.a.d.chart 3.5 In Q4 telerik really brought chart up a few levels by introducing a very helpful WYSIWYG design-time wizard. I look for telerik to build on this momentum delivering smarter label positioning, a refined wizard, and maybe even some 3D charts.
  • r.a.d.ajax 2.0 Much has changed since telerik originally introduced callback ajax, including the introduction of a complete Microsoft AJAX framework that will be built-in to the next version of ASP.NET. The official release of Microsoft AJAX will be out sometime this month and telerik will provide full compatibility with all r.a.d.controls in a mid-release service pack. It will be interesting, though, to see how telerik responds to the final release of Microsoft AJAX and how this extension to the .NET framework influences the ajax product.
  • r.a.d.editor 8.0 I know, I know. We just saw editor 7.0 in Q4. Expect even bigger changes for editor in 2007 as telerik re-works this product to make it more modular and flexible. Much of the editor architecture will have to be redone to eliminate the need for the RadControls folder in editor 8.0, but the end result should be an easier to deploy component that is flexible enough to be used in complex Word-like settings and in simple lightweight data entry settings.

As more official details become available I'll update my predictions so that you know what to look forward to in March. There are still tons of great new features in Q4 that we can explore while we wait for Q1, but it's fun to peer into the future.