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!