Friday, February 22, 2008

Q1 2008 RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX features revealed

Following-up quickly on yesterday's announcement that the RadControls "Prometheus" will become RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX in Q1, I have a handful of juicy details from the Q1 2008 ASP.NET road map to share with you today. As promised, there are some very cool new features coming in the Q1 2008 release and I'm very excited to get to share some of them with you today.

Among the controls getting lots of attention in Q1 is RadGrid (for ASP.NET AJAX). Our developers have been churning out new features for the Grid at an incredible pace and I am certain many of you are going to like what you see. Some of the cooler features coming to RadGrid in Q1 are:

  • Calculated Columns: This cool new feature will make it very easy to add a column to your Grid that automatically displays calculated column values. For instance, a Grid with "Price" and "Qty" columns could have a CalculatedColumn that automatically displays the extend "Price * Qty" without requiring any custom coding. You simply define the DataFields and the Expression and the Grid does the rest. CalculatedColumns can also be sorted, grouped, and filtered just like any other BoundColumn!
  • Footer Aggregates: This is one I know you've been wanting for a while. The Grid will now support automatic footer aggregates that will provide summary values for all rows in a column. All you do is set the Aggregate type in the column definition (such as "Sum"), and the Grid will automatically do the math and display the value. And, by the way, CalculatedColumns support Aggregate definitions, too!
  • Group Footers: Have you ever wanted to display footer values that were specific to each Group in a Grid and not the entire Grid as a whole? GroupFooters are your solution. They work just like you'd expect and they support the new FooterAggregates feature (in other words, they support aggregates per group).
  • Detail Templates: Do you want more control over your DetailTableView formatting in RadGrid? With the new Detail Templates, you have complete control. If you define a new "NestedViewTemplate" in RadGrid, you have access to the detail table data and complete freedom to render the data however you like.
  • CardView: Similar to Detail Templates, CardView will give you complete control over the way data is rendered in RadGrid. Essentially, it gives you the rendering flexibility of a Repeater with the same great Grid support for filtering, sorting, grouping, etc.
  • Pop-up Edit: Looking for even more ways to customize your Grid's data editing behavior? With the new pop-up edit mode, you can set one property and automatically use a built-in pop-up mechanism to display a floating "window" your users can use to edit data.
And that, crazy as it sounds, is just scratching the surface of what's coming to RadGrid in Q1! There are more great features being worked on that you're going to love and a lot of work being done on the performance side of the equation with incredible early test results. But we'll save some of these Grid details for later; there are other controls getting updates in Q1!

One of the other controls getting big updates is RadScheduler. It will get a new, flexible advanced edit form that can be easily customized to handle whatever scheduling data you need to manage. It will also get a new Timeline View that makes it easy to see all events for multiple resources over a given time period.

RadEditor, which has already seen significant performance improvements in the transition to ASP.NET AJAX, will get a couple of new dialogs. One will make it very easy for end users to manage styles in the Editor- similar to VS 2008's new style management interfaces. The other dialog will bring the long awaited image editing capabilities to Editor. The full scope of features for the image editor is still under wraps, but rest assured it's coming in Q1.

As far as new controls go, the recently previewed Skinnable Form Controls will be introduced officially in Q1 2008. These "utility" controls make it very easy to stylize all of your form elements (like buttons, checkboxes, and radiobuttons) to match the beautiful skins of the RadControls. When the new controls ship in Q1, they will come with all 13 common skins for the RadControls and support custom skins that you create.

I know this is a longer than normal post, but clearly there is a lot of exciting work being done on the ASP.NET controls for Q1. Hopefully this little taste of what's to come has got you excited for the future; I know I can't wait to start working with some of these improved controls. For a few more details of what's coming, don't forget to check out the ASP.NET Road Map and then come back here for increasing Q1 coverage as April draws near.


Shaun Peet said...

Cool beans Todd. Any chance you can provide a little more info about how that CardView is going to work? Will it be defined like a repeater's ItemTemplate?

Anonymous said...

Card View is something that makes me curious. The flexibility as a repeater it states, does this mean that i can use the grid with multiple items per row and not only on item per row like a tablelayout?

Todd Anglin said...


You raise a good question. No, CardView won't flexible to the point you can have multiple data items per row (in other words, multi-column rendering). The Grid must still support its sorting and grouping operations and unfortunately the layout you've mentioned doesn't easily support those scenarios.

That said, the CardView will allow you to do anything you want with the rendering on a single data item per row. I'll blog more on how the feature works in the coming weeks. Thanks for asking for clarification.


Anonymous said...

Will the popup be part of the page or will it reference an external page? Ideally, I would love it to bring up a modal div on the same page!