Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Visual Studio 2008 not launching until 2008

Say what? After what seems like months and months of "it'll be here before the end of the year", there seems to be official confirmation that Visual Studio 2008 will not be launched until 2008. February 27th to be exact. In what's being called the "Global Launch Wave", Microsoft will launch Visual Studio 2008, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008 at the same time in February at what is sure to be an over the top party in Los Angeles (they had to use that PDC credit somehow). There are even widgets being supplied for your website and for Vista to help you keep track of the countdown.

Now, apparently I am very late in noticing this announcement since the news was originally published in early July. I think that I've seen Microsoft insiders still reference a late 2007 Visual Studio release since July, but clearly I must be crazy. That or they are referencing a potential November RTM release for MSDN and Technet subscribers (a la Vista). Either way, the date is very official and you can put off plans of working with retail VS 2008 'til at least February. Am I the only one who missed this?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sitefinity 3.1 beta released

Amidst all of the activity surrounding the Q2 release last week, the Sitefinity team managed to hit a new milestone by shipping the first public beta of Sitefinity 3.1. This beta previews many of the new features that that will be introduced in the 3.1 update. I can't believe that I haven't shared a list of these improvements with you on this blog yet, so without delay let me highlight some of the cool new things coming to Sitefinity:

  • New module: Forums
  • Categories and tags added to Blogs, News, and Generic Content (finally!)
  • New! Site search added
  • New page edit mode
  • Improved editors for Toolbox controls
  • Templates to help jumpstart new projects
  • Integrated ActiveDirectory support
There's a lot in this update, so if you're a Sitefinity developer you should definitely start checking things out with the beta. If you still haven't taken the time to kick the proverbial tires, now is a great time to start. Setup your own personal website in no time with Sitefinity Community Edition and discover how easy it is to work with this .NET CMS. It really is as easy as working with a "normal" .NET website- something you can't say about all .NET CMS products.

I'll be posting some pictures of the new Sitefinity features later this week, so stay tuned for more updates. Until then, give the beta a try and share your feedback/bug reports in the forums.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Survey says: most developers waiting for Silverlight 1.1

In a completely non-scientific straw poll conducted on Telerik Watch over the last two weeks, the overwhelming majority of respondents said they will be waiting for Silverlight 1.1 before doing any serious Silverlight development. This is in sync with my general belief and statements

that Silverlight 1.0 is more or less a "placeholder" release for Silverlight 1.1 in most developer's minds. Sure there are some big Microsoft partners releasing Silverlight 1.0-based applications, but the real goal of Silverlight 1.0 is to start generating the all important install base for the auto-updating Silverlight plug-in. The serious use of Silverlight on many sites is going to depend heavily on Microsoft's ability to quickly distribute their plug-in to a large percentage of Internet users.

I'm not suggesting that Silverlight 1.0 doesn't have any merit. If you look at the "large partners" implementing Silverlight applications this year you'll find a lot of interesting media-centric applications- MLB, WWE, HSN. And that's about all you'll find. Silverlight 1.0 is a great web-based video player, but a lot of business applications aren't looking for fancy video players. Instead, business developers are waiting for Silverlight 1.1 before they really place a lot of weight in this new platform.

But don't take my word for it. The survey says it all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Q2 2007 Released!

After months of waiting, the second major release of 2007 is official and available on This release is packed with new features, new controls, and loads of performance improvements. Many of the details of this release have been known for a while now, but let's just review some of the major items we shipped today:

  • New controls: RadScheduler, RadCalendar for WinForms
  • Major updates: RadEditor "Prometheus", RadGrid 5 for ASP.NET, RadChart for all products, RadGridView for WinForms
  • New "Prometheus" controls: RadCalendar, RadChart, RadEditor, RadInput, RadWindow
  • New Telerik Reporting with integrated wizard and parameters
  • New CAB Enabling kit for WinForms
  • Overhauled WinForms demos application (with new carousel navigation built on Telerik Presentation Framework)
  • Tons of new documentation for all product lines (online tomorrow)

And that doesn't include the work were doing on Sitefinity, which will see its second major release of the year next week. Clearly things are busy at Telerik as we work hard to bring you the tools you need to make your lives as developers easier. A lot of work has been done for this release- there are over 8 pages of release notes for "Prometheus" and 12 pages of release notes for WinForms alone- and we hope that you enjoy the improvements.

Get started with the controls right now by jumping over to your downloads page, and then visit the forums to let us know what you think. Now, on to Q3!

Monday, September 17, 2007

RadChart Q2 improvements

While we wait on the finishing touches to be applied to the Q2 2007 release, let's take a closer look at one of the controls that is getting some big improvements this cycle. I briefly mentioned some of the new features coming to RadChart a couple of months ago, but I did not spend much time elaborating on the improvements. RadChart has been one of Telerik's key focuses since late 2006 and it is being aggressively improved and upgrade in every release cycle. It is still not a full-fledge 3D charting solution, but the rich set of business charting features in the control is rapidly expanding.

But before I list the new major features, let me point out that the improvements being made to the Telerik charting engine are being shared across all Telerik product lines. That means improvements are seen in RadChart for ASP.NET, for WinForms, and in Telerik Reporting charts. The shared nature of the charting engine means that it is even easier for Telerik to improve your charting experience and make new features available wherever you need them. Expect the improvements to continue in Q3.

In Q2, the major new features you can expect to find in all Telerik products that display charts are:

  • New chart type: Spline Area (essentially Spline chart with fillable area)
  • New chart type: CandleStick (great for financial applications)
  • Support for empty value approximation
  • Scale breaks now supported
  • All labels now support multi-line mode (such as title, axis, legend, etc.)
  • Intelligent label support
    • One of my favorite new features. Intelligent labels are automatically positioned so that text does not overlap on the charts.
  • Marked zones
    • Another personal favorite. This feature is great for dashboard reporting as it allows you to easily color different ranges on the chart background.
  • Support for logarithmic y-axis values
As you can see, the Charting team has been very busy. You can play with all of these new features in the "Prometheus" Futures online demos today and get ready to use them in your applications tomorrow!

Tracking Q2 2007 release status made easy

Do you like being informed up-to-the-minute on what's going on at Telerik during release times? Do you anxiously refresh your Client.NET downloads page all day waiting for the new files to show up? If that's you, stop refreshing and subscribe to this new thread in the Telerik forums. Since some updates during release time don't merit a full blog posts, I decided to create a new way for you to get the information you need, when you need it. Join the "status thread" and I'll do my best to keep you in the loop and let you know what's happening at Telerik release HQ. And of course, as soon as the release is available, you'll know about it if you're subscribed to the thread.

Sign-up now and save your F5 key. If you have questions about the release, you can ask them there too and I'll do my best to answer (or find someone who can).

Preparing for new Q2 default skins (updated)

As many of you are probably aware, the default skins for all RadControls are changing in Q2. Zhivko Dimitrov from the Telerik UX team originally introduced the new default skins about a month ago, so you've already had a chance to see what's coming. In short, the new default skins aim to give the RadControls a refreshed look that out of the box is more modern and appealing. We're all very hopeful that you like the new default skins and that they will work well in many of your applications.

That said, if you built your application around the old default skins, you're going to need to take some extra steps when you upgrade to Q2 to preserve the look of your application.

The "old" default skins will be included in RadControl assemblies along with the new default skin. To accommodate this change, the old default skin has been renamed to "Default2006". If you want your controls to use the old default look instead of the updated look, you'll need to explicitly set the "Skin" property to "Default2006". You can easily apply this preference globally by modifying your web.config with a simple application setting. With that single change in the web.config, your application will continue to use the old default skin after you upgrade to Q2 2007.

There are a number of additional new skins coming with many of the controls in Q2, such as Vista and Outlook 2007 skins for RadGrid, so don't forget to check those out, too. Until then, add this "to do" to your upgrade checklist and stay tuned for more Q2 updates.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, I misspoke. The Default2006 skin will not be included in the control assemblies. To use the old default skin, you'll need to deploy the RadControls directory to your site with (at minimum) the Default2006 skins folders. To use the skin, you can still follow the advice in the post above. Sorry for the confusion.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Q2 game complete, Telerik Labs revealed

We have finally put enough people on the Telerik Q2 scale to raise the Q2 release! Thanks to everyone who contributed their weight to the game and helped us count down to the Q2 2007 release. Now that the game is over, you can jump over to the game page and browse through the highlights of Telerik's second major release for 2007. Have fun reviewing all of the new things that will be shipping early next week- the wait for the great new controls like RadScheduler and RadGrid 5 is almost over.

And as I promised, there is one "secret" that we finally revealed today: Telerik Labs. Built with Silverlight, Telerik Labs is where you can go to see previews of some our latest development efforts. This new location is going to become a permanent fixture in the Telerik universe, so expect to see frequent updates to that showcase early previews in the future. Labs is built entirely with Silverlight 1.1 (so you'll need the alpha plug-in) and it showcases some of Telerik's work in the yet-to-be-previewed RadControls for Silverlight 1.1. Hopefully you'll enjoy this new resource and have playing with the site.

So there you have it. Q2 in (and now out of) a box. Enjoy your weekend browsing some of the new demos and tune-in next for all of the release activity.

Learning Guide giveaway winners

The time has finally come to announce the winners of this week's Learning Guide giveaway. But before I announce the winners, let me take a moment to thank you for your great feedback on the Q2 release. We know you guys are very excited about RadGrid 5, RadEditor 8, and the new RadScheduler and we can't wait to get these products in your hands. The teams are working very hard as I speak type to put the finishing touches on the release and get everything prepared for next week's launch. The Q2 game will also be ending later today, so stay tuned for for some more interesting news.

But back to the topic at hand. To select the winners of this contest, I turned to the atmosphere. Well, the Random Integer Generator, that is, which derives its randomness from atmospheric noise. The generator produced two integers for me- between 1 and 27 (the total number of eligible comments)- and the comments in those two positions determine our winners. If someone posted multiple comments on the thread, only their first comment was counted towards the final entry list. So without further delay, let's see what the atmospheric noise did:

Congratulations Shaun Peet and "Stephen"! You are the winners of the Learning Guide giveaway. To collect your prize, simply email me (todd.anglin[at]telerik[dot]com) your mailing address and we'll send the Learning Guides to you right away. Thanks to everyone who played. If you didn't win this time, blame the atmosphere.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Telerik Reporting getting major updates, new features in Q2

While a lot has been said lately about the RadControls for ASP.NET and WinForms coming in Q2, little has been mentioned about the forth coming updates to Telerik Reporting. If you recall, Telerik Reporting was originally introduced to the world in the Q1 2007 release, so it is still a very young product. When version 1 released, the foundations for a great reporting product were established, but many tasks were still much harder to do than necessary. Our developers recognized these problems and have been working hard to make version 1.5 in Q2 a big step forward. And when you look at the list of features they're delivering, I think you'll agree they have succeeded:

  • New integrated expression builder
  • New filters with helpful presets (like 'show top X clients by sales')
  • Support for conditional formatting
  • Built-in support for report parameters (finally!)
  • New integrated "New Report" wizard
Those features on their own would be huge (I'm especially happy to have parameter support and a report wizard), but the developers have gone a step further. In addition to all of these new major features (and obvious bug/performance improvements), they are also shipping two report converters in Q2!

With Telerik Reporting 1.5, you'll be able to automatically convert existing Active Reports and Crystal Reports to Telerik Reports directly from the "New Report" wizard in Visual Studio. And even though you'll need the latest version of those two report formats to use the converters when this ships, it is definitely a good sign of things to come.

If you looked at Reporting at Q1 and were turned-off by some of the missing features, definitely take some time to look again in Q2. The Reporting team is doing a great job of establishing Telerik Reporting as a first class reporting product and I can't wait to see what they'll manage to deliver in version 2. For now, start counting down the days- Telerik Reporting 1.5 ships early next week with the rest of the RadControls.

Q2 release almost revealed!

How have you enjoyed the Q2 game so far? Thousands of you have already contributed your weight (or some of your weight...sorry Lino) to the game and we are getting very close to completely raising the Q2 release. If you have not already contributed your part to this releases' game, help everyone out and jump on the scale right now. With about 500 more players, all will be revealed and the details of Q2 will displayed for your viewing pleasure. Also, if you have not taken a moment to scroll over some of the names and countries involved in the game, you should. Seeing people from all corners of the globe come together for the Telerik release is fun to watch.

Oh...and one more thing. There actually is something new and exciting that will be revealed for the first time once the Q2 release has been unlocked. I know I had previously said there were no secrets that would be revealed in Q2- and there still are no control secrets- but there is something very cool that we've kept quiet for a while now that will go live as soon as the game ends. So hurry up!

Monday, September 10, 2007

RadControls Learning Guide give away

Do you want a nice printed copy of the RadControls for ASP.NET Learning Guide? In the run up to Q2, which is now only about a week away from general availability, I've decided to give away two copies of the Learning Guide (a $40 value) to two lucky blog readers. All you have to do to play is leave a comment on this blog post saying what you're most looking forward to in the Q2 release. Since I don't have the ability to see your email address when you add comments, and since I don't want to subject commenters to unnecessary spam exposure, simply include your name in your post and I'll run a follow-up post this Friday, September 14th announcing the two winners and how to collect the prize.

And that's it! Just a fun little giveaway contest to help you pass the time while you wait for the Q2 release. You must add your comment by midnight CST (GMT -6) on Thursday to be considered in the random selection and you only need to enter once (multiple entires will not be counted in the drawing). Have fun and let us know what you're looking forward to in Q2!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Q2 is "coming up" (updated)

It's that time again. Another major release is just 3 short weeks away, due to hit the streets September 17th, 2007. Unlike Q1, we don't necessarily have any "secrets" to share with about this release, but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun counting down the days. A new game launched today that enables you (the Telerik Community) to help real-in the new release. As with the Q1 game, the more people that help add their "weight" to the game, the faster the Q2 details will be revealed. Once enough people add their weight, the Q2 details will be hoisted up and freely available for everyone to browse.

So do your part and add your weight to the game right now. I'm not really sure why there are two weight choices, but I'd suggest everyone choose 200 pounds so that we can reveal the hidden details faster.

One last detail about the Q2 game. Take a moment after you add your weight to right-click on the puzzle area. Is that Silverlight powering this Q's game? I think the days of Flash at Telerik are quickly coming to an end...

UPDATE: While we wait on the Q2 release details to come up, visit the official Q2 game forum thread to share your thoughts about the Q2 2007 release with other community members.

WinForms Q2 2007 beta released

Today is a busy day for announcements. Hot on the heals of the official release of RadControls for Silverlight 1.0, Telerik is pleased to present the beta of the RadControls for WinForms Q2 2007. Out almost 3 weeks ahead of the official September 17th release, this beta should allow plenty of time for you to submit your feedback and suggestions for improvement.

As was the case with the WinForms SP2 release a couple of months ago, Q2 2007 will focus mainly on improving the performance of the RadControls. Since their introduction, performance has been the number one issue with WinForms developers and thus our number one priority. Our devs have worked hard on improving that situation and I think you'll be very pleased with what you find in Q2.

Even though performance was the main focus of Q2, there are some new controls for you to play with. RadChart for WinForms received a major update in this release and a brand new control- RadCalendar- has been added to the suite. RadCalendar delivers the same rich "WPF-like" visuals that you've come to expect from Telerik's WinForm controls and an API that is similar to the ASP.NET version. If you're using the rigid standard WinForms calendar control, you definitely need to check out RadCalendar for WinForms.

Help us make Q2 a great release by downloading the beta today and letting us know what you think.

RadControls for Silverlight 1.0 released

Mere hours after the official unveiling of Silverlight 1.0 from Microsoft, Telerik has released the official version of its community supported RadControls for Silverlight 1.0. This release makes Telerik the first component vendor to deliver official support for the freshman Silverlight 1.0 release and highlights our commitment to this new framework.

As we've discussed before, the Silverlight 1.0 controls from Telerik address the lack of basic controls in 1.0, adding buttons, media controls, labels, and the infamous spinning cube to the mix. These controls are free for all RadControl subscription holders and will be supported primarily through the forums (read the license agreement: "no dedicated support is offered for this product"). Telerik's work on the Silverlight 1.1 framework will be much more extensive and will be licensed separately from existing products. Watch for some early previews of the 1.1 controls later this year. I've already seen some of the controls in action and they are looking very good!

If you are a RadControls subscription holder and today's Silverlight release inspired you to create, jump over to, download your free Siliverlight 1.0 controls, and get started.

Silverlight 1.0 released, 1.1 alpha refreshed

Brad Abrams must have had some fresh milk in his refrigerator when he predicted on August 25th that Silverlight 1.0 would be released before the milk in our frigs expired. Either way, three days later than I predicted, we finally have an official Silverlight 1.0 release. The release itself does not contain many surprises, but Microsoft did make some interesting revelations today.

First, Silverlight 1.1 alpha has been refreshed and new alpha bits are now available. Yes, that's right. Alpha bits. Microsoft is still tight lipped about when Silverlight 1.1 will ship, but with references to many more "refreshes" this year I expect we're starting to look in to 2008. Hopefully you didn't plan on doing an .NET development with Silverlight this year.

Second, Microsoft announced a formal partnership with Novell (see where this is going) and a project called Moonlight that will bring Silverlight to Linux. Based on Mono, Moonlight will enable JavaScript and .NET Silverlight development on Linux, further enabling the Silverlight plug-in to gain universal distribution. How long did it take Flash to support Linux? Along these lines, Microsoft will also develop the Silverlight Media Codecs for Linux so the media experience is the same on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

So there you have it. After months of waiting and small refreshes, 1.0 has finally shipped. Download the new bits, check out some early adopters, and then back to the waiting game for 1.1.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New blog: Code Campground

It is with great excitement that I bring you news about a new blog I started today. Dubbed the "Code Campground" (explanation in the welcome post on the blog), this blog resides in the "official" ASP.NET blog space. It is a great honor to blog in the same web space as major influencers like Scott Guthrie and Bertrand Le Roy, and I am going to work hard to bring great original content to this new .NET resource. Unlike this blog that focuses primarily on Telerik related news, Code Campground will focus more generally on .NET, brining you original how-to's, articles, tutorials, and commentary on .NET news.

Faithful readers of Telerik Watch do not lose heart. I will not abandon this space for my new digs on weblogs. Quite the opposite. I will continue to try to deliver 3 to 5 posts per week in this space and deliver a more manageable 5 to 6 posts per month at Code Campground. The content of these two blogs- while related- is distinct and I have plenty to deliver in both spaces.

For now, check out the Code Campground welcome post and add the blog to your RSS readers. New content will start flowing there later this week. Special thanks to Joe Stagner for giving me this new platform.