Monday, July 30, 2007

Silverlight 1.0 RC released, Telerik beatboxed

In case you've forgotten, Silverlight 1.0 still hasn't officially been released. With most of the attention these days is on Silverlight 1.1 (which still doesn't have an anticipated launch date...but that's another issue), it's easy to forget that Silverlight has yet to release a production version. That said, after Friday's release of the Silverlight 1.0 release candidate, we're getting a lot closer.

The first release candidate finally delivers a feature complete version of Silverlight 1.0 to the community. The Silverlight Team claims they've fixed thousands of bugs in the framework and improved general performance two to three times. To do that, though, they had to break backwards compatibility (again), so if you've done anything with Silverlight you'll probably need to update your code to work with the new release. The Team "promises" that this will be the last time a backwards breaking change is introduced- we'll see.

To show-off the new Silverlight plug-in, Microsoft Technical Evangelist Steve Marx has created a simple beatboxing application using nothing but Silverlight 1.0, ASP.NET AJAX, and ASP.NET Futures. The application is fun to play with and is good example of what can be done with simple Silverlight 1.0 code. And while I can't provide a direct link, look for the "Telerik in Rhythm" saved beat on the site to hear what Telerik sounds like in beatboxing!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Visual Studio 2008 beta 2 released

In what is surely the last step before Visual Studio 2008 (no longer VS "Orcas") gets official, Scott Guthrie announced the release of Visual Studio 2008 beta 2 yesterday. In addition to the IDE update, Scott also announced the release of .NET 3.5 beta 2 and a beta version of VS 2008 Express. Both of these updates bring a lot of new features to the table- from a WPF designer in Visual Studio to a new ListItem data control in ASP.NET- so they're definitely worth downloading and taking for a spin if you've been using beta 1. Plus, the new release also ships with a "Go Live" license, which means you can "officially" use VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 to build and release production applications.

I have been using VS 2008 beta 1 full time for months, and I think this IDE is a major step above VS 2005. If nothing else, the new Split View and integrated unit testing features (now not exclusive to VSTS) make it worth the upgrade. And as I've chronicled in the past, the RadControls already work very well in the new VS.

Based on the the timing of this release, I expect we may see the official VS 2008 ship as early as September (which, for those that are watching, is right around the Telerik Q2 release). Expect Telerik to fully support VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 when they ship. For now, download the free bits and have fun with the new IDE.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

RadControls in the real world: ActiveFocus 2007

While seeing Telerik's RadControls in simple demos is helpful for learning, people often want to see a "real world" example to see how well the controls really perform. Enter ActiveFocus 2007 by Falafel Software. ActiveFocus is a web-based project management application built with many of the RadControls for ASP.NET. The application was first demoed at TechEd 2007 and its speed and performance blew people away.

The Falafel Software team uses RadAjax (among many other controls) to build a modern project management tool that delivers response speeds that rival desktop applications. The team worked hard to optimize the application's ViewState and Ajax messages and the result is a blazingly fast application. But you don't have to take my word for it. There is a free online demo that can you easily access to see for yourself how snappy this application is.

So if you're the eternal skeptic that needs to see "real" demos with the RadControls to believe they can be used in high performance applications, jump over to the ActiveFocus demo and have some fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

RadControls for SharePoint 2007

What's that you say? Telerik doesn't have RadControls for MOSS anymore? Well, technically you are correct. We do not have a separate product line just for MOSS 2007 like we used to for MOSS 2003, but that does not mean we do not have controls for MOSS 2007. Quite the opposite. We have one of the most robust and feature rich set of controls for SharePoint 2007 since all of the RadControls for ASP.NET work flawlessly in SharePoint.

This week we are launching a number of new resources specifically targeted at MOSS 2007 (or WSS 3, for that matter) developers that want to use the RadControls. These SharePoint resources are unmatched by any other component vendors (so far) and we're sure they'll help you make your SharePoint projects much easier. Here's what's now available online:

In addition to these resources, I am also working on building out a live MOSS 2007 web site that features all of the RadControls running in SharePoint. So far we've got a simple demo online that shows RadMenu and RadRotator running in MOSS, but in the next couple of weeks we'll add demos for the rest of the RadControls (and improve the overall look and feel of the demo site, obviously).

We hope you enjoy these new resources and find them helpful if you're working on a SharePoint 2007 project.

Friday, July 20, 2007

RadControls for Silverlight beta released

It has been about a month since the RadControls for Silverlight 1.0 CTP was made available and now the first public beta has been released. The beta does not introduce any new controls to the Silverlight 1.0 offering, but some new details have been published. The Silverlight 1.0 controls will be distributed for free and will be made generally available when Microsoft officially ships Silverlight 1.0. The controls will only be supported through the forums, though, and all future Silverlight development will be done on the 1.1 controls (with the exception of minor improvements and bug fixes, of course).

Telerik's Silverlight 1.1 controls will be much more robust and full featured thanks to .NET integration in the framework, so these controls will not be distributed freely. Licensing details are not yet public, but we have announced that all valid RadControls for ASP.NET subscription holders will get a Silverlight 1.1 license for free. Expect the first RadControls for Silverlight 1.1 to ship in September.

So if you need controls right away to work on Silverlight 1.0 projects, be sure to download your free beta today. If you're just curious and want to see what we've done for Silverlight 1.0, check out the new online demos, complete with our new Silverlight media player control.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Official ASP.NET site redesign now live

You may have seen this coming when the new ASP.NET forums were introduced a few months ago, but now the word is official. Microsoft's official ASP.NET community website is getting a face lift and a live preview is now online. The new ASP.NET site format closely matches the style that was introduced in the forums, adopting the busier portal style website over the more design oriented approach. The new homepage has more of an MSDN feel to it, featuring recent blog posts from prominent Microsoft bloggers and latest news front and center. For better or worse, the new format definitely packs more information into less space.

So what do you think? Is the redesign a step in the right direction for the official ASP.NET community website? The design looks a little dated to me, but that's definitely just one opinion. Check it out and let the ASP.NET web team know what you think.

Monday, July 16, 2007

RadControls on the iPhone (updated)

This is one series that you don't want to miss if you're building applications that might be accessed by the 1,000,000+ iPhone users out there. Even if you're "above" the iPhone mania that is pervasive on the Internet and in the press, you must face the reality that this new device will introduce many "average users" to the fact that you can browse the web with a cell phone mobile internet media communications device. Join me as I look at all of the RadControls on the iPhone and pass judgment on those that work, those that kinda work, and those that you should avoid if you want to keep your "overwhelmingly happy" iPhone users...overwhelmingly happy.

And yes, I bought and iPhone and love it.

Read 'RadControls on iPhone: Part 1'

Read 'RadControls on iPhone: Part 2'

Read 'RadControls on iPhone: Part 3'

Sitefinity SP2 released

If this one slipped by you, don't feel bad. It has only been a couple of weeks since Sitefinity saw its first pack. The team is busy improving the product, though, and SP2 did hit the streets last week. The second service pack is not nearly as big as the first, mostly delivering bug fixes and minor improvements across the system. If you've had any trouble with Sitefinity since SP1, you should probably check out the full release notes and then download the latest release.

Larger updates are still planned for this year that will bring many new features to Sitefinity. Watch for version 3.5 this Fall to be the next major update.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Converter updated: new batch mode added

It has been a while since the Telerik Code Converter received an update worth mentioning, but this update is big! Until now, you have been forced copy and paste your code into the Converter's textbox to perform your (effortless) conversions. While that's handy, sometimes you have many files that need conversion and it would be a long process to do all of the updates via copy and paste. You now have a better option.

Available immediately, the Code Converter now sports a "batch mode" that enables you to upload multiple files and convert them all with one click. The batch mode even supports zip archives, which means you can upload a zipped project and the converter will automatically find and convert all C# and VB files. But wait, there's more. The Converter will also analyze your code for potential conversion problems (code that is known to convert poorly or not at all) and create a report that helps you quickly tweak the auto converted code.

After you code has been converted, it is zipped up so you can easily download it and review the results. For obvious size and security reasons, only C# and VB files will be extracted from your uploaded zip archives- everything else will be ignored. That means you'll need to merge your converted code back into your projects if they contained extra resources (like images, ASPX pages, assemblies, etc.). Hopefully that's an understandable limit.

And as far as security is concerned, you need to use your best judgment. You will be uploading files to our servers that are temporarily saved for the conversion process, but as soon as you click the "Done" button at the end of process, all traces of your files are removed from the server. If you forget to click the "Done" button, we will purge all temporary files on a regular basis- we have no desire to keep your code on our servers. Nonetheless, don't use the batch converter for code that is too sensitive for this process. Use the normal "in memory only" converter for that code.

The Converter has received a few extra updates, too, so you should notice that it handles all code conversions better than before (for example, #region now converts and "Handles" keywords in VB are removed in VB to C# conversions).

So what are you waiting for, visit the Code Converter now and check out all the new features!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

in case you missed it: part II

A lot has been published on the Telerik blogs since the last installment of this update, so there is plenty of good reading waiting for you on , In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the last few weeks:

If you still are not subscribed to the blogs, subscribe to the feed now. This will be your last reminder for a while. At least until the next installment of this series...

RadControls for WinForms SP2 released, Grid main focus

Although the second service pack for WinForms Q1 2007 is a couple of weeks late, it is now readily available for download from your accounts packed full of improvements. As I mentioned previously, this service pack was delayed primarily to ensure that a robust round of QA drove out as many bugs and performance issues as possible. And it looks as if the extra time has paid off.

RadGridView received most of the major updates in this update, including a 30% performance increase over previous versions. In addition to performance optimizations and over 18 important bug fixes, RadGridView received a number of new helpful properties, including:

  • GridViewDataColumn.IsSorted - indicates if column is sorted
  • GridViewDataColumn.IsGrouped - indicates if column is grouped
  • GridViewTemplate.AutoExpandGroups - automatically expands Grid groups
  • GridViewTemplate.ShowColumnHeaders - easily hide/show column headers
RadTreeView and RadChart also received major performance enhancements in this update. If you haven't noticed by now, improving the performance of the WinForms controls is a major focus of current development efforts. The performance of the controls is not bad by any standard, but we know it's not the level of excellence you expect from Telerik. We expect that this service pack and additional efforts in the Q2 release will fix this situation.

For now, check out the full release notes and enjoy the latest WinForms updates.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Prometheus" Futures released, RadScheduler now available

The first "Prometheus" Futures release hit the Web today and with it the first public preview of the long awaited RadScheduler control. While the release came a couple days later than originally planned, the payoff should make the wait worth it. In this first Futures release, two upcoming "Prometheus" controls are featured: RadScheduler and RadChart. And while we've talked a lot about RadScheduler lately, RadChart likely has some nice "surprises" (such as Smart Labels, Scale Breaks, and Marked Zones).

If you're just itching to play with RadScheduler and can't wait to install the Futures download, check out all of the new RadScheduler online demos now. For everyone else, download the Futures release and expect frequent updates in the coming weeks.

Monday, July 02, 2007

RadScheduler preview available tomorrow

We've heard your cries in the forums. We've poured over your suggestions. And now we're finally ready to ship the first preview of Telerik's latest ASP.NET control, RadScheduler. If you've been following the development of RadScheduler, then you already know that it is bringing some much needed simplicity and flexibility to the world of ASP.NET scheduling components. It's a single control that can be easily dropped on any ASP.NET Ajax-enable page (remember: RadScheduler is part of "Prometheus") and bound to a variety of data sources.

The release that will be made available tomorrow, July 3rd, will be the first of many "preview" releases for RadScheduler and "Prometheus". You will start to see several preview builds of "Prometheus" controls each month as we try to further help you prepare for and begin to test our ASP.NET AJAX based controls. We hope that this additional layer of transparency during our development cycle helps you easily make the transition to ASP.NET 3.5 (which is nothing like the transition from ASP.NET 1.x to 2.0) and helps you get ready for what's coming next.

That said, these are "preview" releases and there will be bugs and unfinished features. These releases are not designed to be used in production environments; they're strictly intended for testing and feedback purposes. We hope that you'll enjoy them, though, starting with RadScheduler tomorrow.

UPDATE: The RadScheduler preview is now available.