Thursday, July 31, 2008

Telerik Watch Minute: WPF Futures, Code Stock, Telerik Evangelism

video
Hope you enjoy the latest installment of Telerik Watch Minute. For now, the format will probably bounce between "news" updates (like today's edition) and short "micro-screencasts" (like the last TWM) that show you how specific features of Telerik controls work. If one format emerges as being more popular than the other, I'll try to give it more weight in the future. Otherwise, enjoy today's TWM update and keep the feedback coming! Link from video: www.codestock.org

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Create a custom Telerik skin, Win an Xbox 360 (update)

Telerik has kicked-off a new contest aimed to encourage developers (and designers) to submit their custom skins for Telerik's RadControls. The contest, which runs through September 1st, is officially dubbed the Telerik "Skin Exchange Program." All you have to do to enter is submit your custom skin on the Telerik website for any of Telerik's RadControls. Your skin will then be tested and made available to the general Telerik community for use in projects around the world. At the end of the contest, three winners will be randomly selected to receive the Xbox 360 and RadControls subscription prizes.

Easy enough? If you need help creating a custom skin, check out my optimization article on skinning that includes a custom skin I built for RadTabStrip. Now fire-up Photoshop and start skinning!

Submit your custom skin now
Download community submitted skins

UPDATE: I have a correction to make, pointed-out by loyal reader and all-around fact checker Gregory. The winners on the Skin Competition will be selected by community vote- not randomly. Also, you can continue to submit skins after September 1st (the Skin Exchange is here to stay), but if you want a shot at winning the prizes, you must get your skin uploaded by the deadline.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RadControls for WPF Futures available for download

Was our Q2 2008 release of RadControls for WPF not enough for you? Do you want to look in to the future to see what's coming later this year in the WPF space from Telerik? You do? Good. The RadControls for WPF Futures build is for you and it is loaded with some cool features and new controls that will become official in a few months. Included in the WPF Futures build are:

  • RadChart for WPF - our new 2D/3D charting solution for WPF (check out my preview video)
  • Gauges for WPF - our first official entry in the gauges space
  • RadScheduler for WPF - want a scheduler UI on the desktop?
All of the controls previewed in this build are obviously in early preview stage- thus the "Futures" build- so expect release quality to be significantly higher. Still, the early work is very impressive. Download the Futures build now (login required) to play with the new controls and then share your feedback in the forums. Do you like where we're headed with WPF?

NOTE: You can also play with a live demo of the Futures build [warning FF users: XBAP link]

Reminder: RadGrid Webinar today - last chance to sign-up

Looking for some cheap, live, instructor-lead training on RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX? Then don't miss today's RadWebinar on RadGrid! The webinar will start in a couple of hours (9:00 AM PST), so you've still got plenty of time to sign-up and tell your boss that you're attending some training this morning. The outline for today's session includes the following topics:

  • How to connect to a database and a business object data source
  • Displaying the data from the data source using three different methods:automatic column generation, declaratively by using the property builder, and programmatically
  • Using hierarchical grids to display master-detail data
  • Data maintenance (including creating edit templates)
  • Exporting data from the grid
  • Specialized Grid Column editors
  • How to find and manipulate grid column contents programmatically
  • Questions and Answers
What more needs to be said? Sign-up now if you're interested and stay tuned for some exciting announcments related to RadWebinars in the coming weeks.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Do you love Telerik? We may have a job for you

That's right. Telerik is looking for a very elect group of people to bolster the evangelism ranks. As many of you probably know, Telerik is growing in leaps and bounds these days and we're no longer "just" an ASP.NET UI component vendor. With our latest Q2 2008 release, we officially offer 6 distinct products- RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX, WinForms, WPF, Silverlight, Telerik Reporting, and Sitefinity CMS- and even more are on the horizon. And while I love to cover as many products as I can, there is no question that Telerik needs more energized evangelists that share our passion for making developer's lives simpler to help spread the Telerik word.

What are the responsibilities of an evangelist? In part:

  • Blogging and speaking at various .NET events
  • Building demo apps with Telerik's tools and bleeding edge MS technologies
  • Working with customers and product teams to improve Telerik's tools
  • Analyzing new technologies and tools and educating developers on their use
If you think you've got the chops, the energy, and the know-how that it takes to be an evangelist at Telerik, I want to hear from you. All you have to do if you're interested is send me an email with:
  • Your stats (name, current/past employers)
  • Your credentials (blog(s), speaking experience, portfolio)
  • Your location (where are you based)
We're especially interested in finding people passionate about WPF, Silverlight, and WinForms, so be sure to mention your interests, too. The format is flexible, so feel free to send your info in "traditional" resume format or just compiled in an email- the content is what matters here. Send all of your info to todd.anglin [at] telerik.com with the subject "Telerik Evangelist." I look forward to hearing from some of you soon!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Telerik Watch Minute: RadGrid client-side data binding

video
So it seems this new Telerik Watch Minute format is popular. Thanks to everyone who shared their feedback after "episode 1." Today I bring you the second "Minute", which incorporates some of your feedback (primarily addressing length- this is two whole minute vs. one) and focuses on new client-side data binding features in RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX. The key thing I show-off in this clip is how much of a savings you get in terms of HTTP request and response size when you use web services and RadGrid client-side data binding vs. traditional ASP.NET AJAX operations. Since the ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel approach to Ajax executes the full page lifecycle on every request, all of your Ajax operations are littered with extra payload (like viewstate!). When you use web services instead (combined with the new Q2 2008 RadGrid features), your HTTP requests and responses are sweet, compact serialized JSON. Enjoy the second TWM and watch for many more to come. I'm still trying to figure out how often to publish these, but for now expect them at least weekly. What do you think? How often would you like to see TWM updates? P.S. You can grab the demo code used in this TWM from my follow-up ALT.NET talk post. The code is in a 7zip archive (sorry! FTP problems). I'll be posting a Zip version as soon as I can.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Q2 2008 now live!

The big release is finally here! Our teams have worked extremely hard to bring you another (mostly on-time) release packed with new features and controls, and now it's time for you to download it. Q2 2008 is a unique release because it welcomes two new product lines to the RadControls family- RadControls for WPF and RadControls for Silverlight- and we're very excited to be the first major UI component vendor to deliver UI component suites for all major Microsoft UI platforms- ASP.NET, WinForms, Silverlight, and WPF. It's just another step in our quest to become your one-stop-shop provider for all of your UI component and .NET tools.


Not much else needs to said. You can catch my earlier coverage of the Q2 release for some perspective of what's new today. The only new detail to mention: the Default2006 skin in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX will not be retired in Q2. Many of you asked us to save it from being removed from the built-in skins and we listened. Otherwise, enjoy the release notes and the new bits!

RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX Release Notes
RadControls for WinForms Release Notes
RadControls for WPF Release Notes
Telerik Reporting Release Notes

New Telerik TV Episode: SimNet

In our continuing effort to bring you more "real world" examples of Telerik's controls, I am happy to announce the 3rd episode of Telerik TV. In this episode, Carl Franklin sits down with Torger Wuellner from Triad Interactive to show-off their SimNet application. SimNet is a cool online tool that enables developers to learn in a virtual Microsoft Office or Microsoft Vista environment with nothing more than a web browser and Flash. Surrounding the obviously unique (and did I mention cool?) e-learning tools are Telerik's UI components, providing the nuts and bolts for much of the site's core UIs. Check-out the new episode now and let us know what you think.

On a programming side note, you may notice that we've killed the BitTorrent links for each episode. We didn't feel enough people were using these links to justify maintaining them, and in exchange we're going to be introducing a number of new formats for each episode, including an audio only MP3 version for those unable to watch the video at work. We hope you enjoy the new formats and the new episode. Keep sending us your feedback and don't forget to let us know if you've got an app that you think should be featured on Telerik TV!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Q2 2008 delayed, due tomorrow

Well, there's nothing like eating crow after your first video update. I've been on the line with the teams in Bulgaria all morning and it appears the new Q2 2008 release will not be live until tomorrow. And while a one day delay is nothing compared to the delays some software projects have suffered, we hate to miss announced release targets. As it turns out, there was a last minute problem that our rigorous QA unearthed in the RadControls for WinForms and that is the cause for the delay. All other products- including the new controls for WPF and Silverlight- are ready to go and there is no question that everything will be live on the site tomorrow morning (US time). I apologize to those of you eagerly expecting the release today! While you wait, get a head-start on understanding the new features the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX by checking-out the already live Q2 2008 online demos.

Introducing Telerik Watch Minute

video
So there you have it. A new video series that will be running on Telerik Watch with the goal of bringing you the latest news from Telerik on a (at least) weekly basis. Telerik Watch Minute will be as concise as possible, usually no longer than 1 or 2 minutes, so it will be easy to catch on your lunch break or whenever you do your Internet video watching (which is never during work hours...right...). Most weeks I'll do my best to point you to any new and important things happening around Telerik while also calling your attention to great new tips, tricks, and demos that I think show-off cool features of the RadControls.
This format is not set in stone, though. If you'd prefer a different format, let me know in the comments. If you'd prefer not to see my ugly face on the blog on a weekly basis, let me know that too and we can adjust the frequency of these videos. At the end of the day, this is just another small part of Telerik's expanding effort to bring you quality video content to supplement our already vast written content and we're very eager to get some feedback!
Finally, I apologize in advance for the poor production quality of these first few installments. If this is a resource that some of you enjoy, you can fully expect quality to improve over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Survey Says: You can't stop buying computers

Several weeks ago, I polled the readers of this blog and asked them to answer this question: How many computers do you own? After collecting responses for a couple of weeks, the super-scientific, accurate to 1/100 of one percent poll results have been analyzed and the results are very interesting. While we discover that a fair amount of you- about 47%- are content to only keep one or two computers around, it appears that once you buy that third PC (or Mac) you can't stop. Exactly 50% of respondents own more than three computers while a mere 3% managed to stop at three sharp.

So what does this say about the readers (who largely represent the .NET developer crowd in general) of this blog? Do we need a lot of computers or do we simply have a hard time getting rid of old computers after the new one arrives (or is built, as the case may be)? I'm betting it may be a little of both. Personally, I've got 4 computers that are actively used in the house (if you count my wife's Vista-running iMac), but I could probably squeak by with one less. I can't imagine only one computer in the house, though. My hat is off to the 9% of you that have found digital simplicity and can manage on a single machine.

Now's your chance to defend your digital lifestyle. Let us know in the comments why you need all those computers you've got (or even better, those computers you haven't got) and then vote in the new survey about video learning.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Update: Q2 2008 coming Wednesday

Release weeks are always exciting times. As new products are wrapped-up with bows and put under the proverbial Client.net Christmas Tree, customers eagerly await their arrival with regular, enthusiastic requests for updates on release timing. So for all of you preparing your "Is the release ready yet?" forum posts, just keep your browsers locked-in here for the most up-to-date and accurate information about Telerik's big Q2 2008 release.

To that end, I can officially confirm that this year's Q2 release will be live on the Telerik website Wednesday, July 23rd (for those of you wondering, that is this Wednesday). That means the release will be right on time and in your Client.net accounts for download in less than 48 hours. If you're looking for something to do 'til then, sound-off in the comments and let me know what you're most looking forward to in this release. Otherwise, Wednesday is the day and Telerik Watch is the place for all your release news.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Follow-up: Telerik in an ALT.NET World (update)

It's a little past midnight here in the "Amateur Sports Capital of the World" (Indianapolis for the uninformed), and several hours ago this was the scene for my talk to the Indy ALT.NET user group. The ALT.NET user group is still very young (this was their 3rd meeting), but it's already got a great active base of members. The meeting was lively with good audience interaction, and- despite a few "predictable" demo glitches- the talk went very well. Thanks again to everyone that came out tonight and for proving that ALT.NET developers really aren't that mean.

As promised in my announcement of this trip to Indy, my talk tonight focused on showing you how you can leverage many open source .NET tools (like NHiberante, LinqToNHibernate, NAnt, NUnit, NHibernateDataSource, and Dynamic LINQ) in conjunction with the latest features in RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX (like client-side data binding , web service integration, and LINQ support) to build a demo app with an architecture much more fit for "real world" use. The result is a demo with a powerful data architecture that helps you see how to build a "better" practice (I'm not the person you should look to for "best" practice anything) application with Telerik's tools.

Since my demo code uses features coming in next week's Q2 2008 release, I can't make it available for download yet- sorry! In the mean time, you can grab the slides from tonight's session below, and as soon as the Q2 2008 release is public, I'll publish the code here for you to download, too. I hope you enjoy the resources. Watch for a "re-play" of this session at my future conference appearances and maybe even a webcast version. Anyone interested?

Telerik in an ALT.NET World downloads
Slides
Code

[NOTE(s): To use the demo code, you'll also need a copy of the HelpDeskBeta2 database, available on the Telerik website when you download the "original" Help Desk application, and the latest Telerik Q2 2008 Telerik.Web.UI assembly (put it in the bin for the two websites - omitted to keep download size small). Finally, I apologize for the 7zip archive. For whatever reason, FTP'ing a Zip kept failing, so this is the best I can do for now. I'll try to make a zip available ASAP.]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

RadChart for WPF CTP sneak peek video

One of the new products that Telerik will be releasing next week during the big Q2 2008 release activities is our brand new charting product for WPF. Officially dubbed RadChart for WPF, our latest entry in the charting field is really stepping-up what Telerik has done in the past with charts. The new charting engine is going to deliver unprecedented 3D and 2D charting capabilities in a characteristically easy to learn and use Telerik component package. Everything from directional light sources to animated charts to gauges will be part of the new data visualization package, so we think you're really going to enjoy the new tools.

Now, what's being released next week during Q2 won't be version one. Instead, it will be a CTP that's designed to give you an early preview of our work in this arena. The final release will likely coincide with our Q3 release later this year. And while we wait for that date, Telerik will be actively listening to your feedback and striving to build the most useful charting tools you need.

And don't forget Silverlight! Remember, we build our WPF and Silverlight controls on the same code base. That means you'll eventually see RadChart for Silverlight, too, and when you do the API will be nearly identical to RadChart for WPF (though some of the more advanced 3D features may not be available in Silverlight, for obvious reasons). That means code you write for RadChart for WPF will be reusable in all of your Silverlight applications and vice versa. That should impress your boss and make your life a lot easier when management comes asking for a web version of your cool WPF application.

Download the RadChart for WPF CTP next week and start letting us know what you think! Until then, check out this quick sneak peek video I've created to give you a glimpse of the features we'll be packing-in to next week's CTP.

video

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Q2 2008 comming next week

We've been building-up to this release for a while now- well, about 3 months, really- and it's time to prepare for the big event. The 2nd major Telerik release for 2008 will ship next week, and with it will come exciting new improvements, controls, and suites! Q2 2008 will not only bring many new features to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and WinForms, but it will also officially introduce two new RadControl suites: RadControls for WPF and RadControls for Silverlight (though the Silverlight release will be "beta" until the plug-in is finalized). With so much in this release, it's easy to miss some of the important details. So while you wait for the big day, I've prepared a list of essential posts (both from this blog and the Telerik.com blogs) that you can read to get all the details you need to prepare for Q2:

RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX

RadControls for WinForms & Telerik Reporting
RadControls for WPF & Silverlight
Enjoy the posts and keep your RSS readers (or your browsers, for those not in to the "reader thing") locked-in here for the latest updates as Q2 draws near!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Join me in Indianapolis for ALT.NET Telerik session

Do you live and work in the Indianapolis area? If so, come on out to the next Indy ALT.NET meeting this week where I'll be the guest speaker. The meeting will be held this Thursday, July 17th and it will start around 6 PM (local time) with food and drink and socializing starting around 5:15. You can find all of the details on the Indy ALT.NET website.

For my part, I'll be doing a new talk titled "Telerik Tools in an ALT.NET World," which will highlight more advanced features of the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX running in what could be considered a "real world-ish" demo application. "Real world" because it will be a multi-tier, NHibernate-powered, TDD built, DDD inspired application- not some simple one-tier demo app. In the talk I'll show you how you can use the RadControls with open source tools like NHibernate and NUnit to build powerful, scalable applications, and I'll show you how you can use many of the new features in the RadControls to improve the performance of your web apps.

It should be a fun talk with lots of new stuff- I'll even be doing some LINQ to NHibernate- so come on out if you're in the area. If you're not, I'll make the slides and code available here shortly after my talk. See you on Thursday!

Another Telerik Reporting RadWebinar scheduled

Back by popular demand, Falafel has decided to offer another repeat of the Telerik Reporting RadWebinar. The third production of this webinar will be held on Tuesday, July 22nd at the "normal" time and place- 9:30 AM PST on GoToWebinar. I've already well covered the details of the Telerik Reporting RadWebinar in previous posts, so I won't rehash them here. If you're interested in some relatively cheap ($99) live Telerik Reporting training, sign-up for this new session now and enjoy the training expertise from Falafel. Also, don't forget to sign-up for the RadGrid training going down on July 29th- seats are going fast!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

RadControls for WPF Beta 2 available for download

This highlight comes a little late, but I don't want anyone interested in what Telerik is doing for WPF to miss this. Last week Telerik released the second beta of our RadControls for WPF. This beta is the last public preview before the first official v1 release in Q2 2008, so it's your last chance to give us input on how you'd like the controls to be tweaked before their APIs become "set in stone" (or at least much harder to change).

One of the highlights of the beta 2 release is the first introduction to Telerik's highly coupled Silverlight and WPF development approach. There are 5 new controls in beta 2, and all of the controls are ported versions of controls that we have built for Silverlight. The benefit of this approach for you as a developer is that you get complete code reusability between your RadControls for WPF and RadControls for Silverlight development. If you build your app with Telerik's tools for Silverlight and then want to build a WPF version of the app, all of your UI coding work is done. Cool.

The new controls in this release are RadTreeView, RadPanelBar, RadSlider, RadNumericUpDown, and RadProgressBar. By the time we ship v1 in a few weeks, there will be even more new controls in the WPF suite and more enhanced features in the existing controls, RadGridView, RadCarousel, and RadCalendar. And shortly after v1 in Q2 2008, we'll ship a Futures release for the RadControls for WPF that will feature our early work on RadScheduler for WPF. Exciting times.

For now, enjoy the beta bits and get ready for the official release during Telerik's big Q2 2008 release week.

IE Users: Try the RadControls for Beta 2 online demo (XBAP)
Fifefox users beware- XBAP links usually crash the Fox for me.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Q2 2008 Futures release now live

Want to be among the first to play with the changes coming to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX in Q2 2008? If so, you need to download the just released "Futures" build for the ASP.NET AJAX controls (read my old post for clarification of the "Futures" term- we'll probably revert to the term "Beta" next year...maybe). This release showcases everything that will be happening in Q2 2008, including the first preview of the revived RadRotator control. Among the things coming to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX in Q2 are:

  • New, built from scratch, RadRotator- a new beginning for an old control
  • New sorting, filtering, and client-side events in RadCombobox
  • Huge improvements in RadGrid
    • New client-side data binding
    • Tons of new client-side objects, methods
    • Many important bug fixes
  • Important new features in RadScheduler
    • Improved client-side loading time (claimed 30% faster)
    • New Exchange data provider!
  • Two-thumb sliders now supported in RadSlider
  • New common skin for all controls: Gray
    • Like new Telerik skin, just gray - see post pic for RadGrid example
You can see all of the new features running right now in the Futures live demos. The only new control in this release is the re-built RadRotator, and in the Futures build it is still an acknowledged weak control. There is a huge focus on that control in the run-up to the official Q2 release and you can expect it to be much improved by the end of July (and even more so in SP1).

Other gotchas in this release:
  • There are some breaking changes in RadUpload. The changed features are minor and relate only to localization, but if you use RadUpload localization you'll want to take note.
  • Two embedded skins are being retired in Q2: Default2006 and Mac. The Telerik skin has also be updated, so be prepared to check for design consistency if you use those skins. The old skins will remain available as extra downloads for use as external skins if you need them.
Hopefully you enjoy the features in this release. Q2 has been a very short dev cycle for Telerik as we continue to transition to our tri-annual (3 releases per year) release calendar, but I think we've managed to do a lot. Enjoy the "beta" bits and watch for the final release in a couple weeks.

RadWebinar on RadGrid, July 29th

One of the most popular UI components Telerik makes is RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX. Thousands of developers around the globe use this component every day to bring rich, standards-based grid functionality to their applications, and that creates a lot of interest in resources for learning how to maximize the Grid's power. And if all the documentation, on-demand videos, KB articles, Code Library examples, Telerik Trainer tutorials, and online demos aren't enough, we're giving you one more option. On July 29th, Falafel will host the first RadWebinar covering RadGrid!

Officially titled "Developing with Telerik RadGrid," this live training session will follow the format used for the first two Telerik Reporting RadWebinars. The session will start at 9:30 AM (PST) and last for a couple of hours with dedicated time at the end to answer your questions. The price is still a very affordable (for live training) $99 and the registration is open now. If you're interested in attending this training, I suggest you sign-up early since the popularity of RadGrid is likely to cause this session to fill-up fast. I hope you enjoy the new resource- stay tuned for more RadWebinars in the coming weeks.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Telerik Watch gets a facelift

When you returned from your long holiday weekend (those of you in the US), you may have noticed that your favorite blog (eh..hem) looks a little different. After 375 posts and more than 18 months of solid blogging, Telerik Watch has finally received a much need facelift! The new look is not only more consistent with Telerik's current branding (you've seen our new booth, haven't you?) and "cooler" looking than the old slightly-modified Blogger template, but it is also more functional. With the new template, I will be able to easily draw your attention to featured content on Telerik Watch and the Telerik.com Blogs via my new sidebar "Featured Posts". I've also added direct links to the Telerik Road Maps so you can always check-in with our official Road Maps to see what's coming in our future releases. Finally, the UI of the blog has also been updated for easier reading, with larger post titles, high contrast content text, and a clearly defined post footer area.

I hope you enjoy the new look and find that it improves your experience on the Telerik Watch blog. Content is still king, of course, so I won't waste more posts on the this UX revision. Enjoy the changes and thanks for being loyal readers of this blog!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Silverlight Control Builder Contest 08, Win Telerik's Tools

Are you building custom controls for Silverlight 2? Are you looking for a way to win all of Telerik's tools for free? If you responded with at least one yes, you probably want to check out the brand new Silverlight Control Builder Contest 2008. If you responded yes to both questions, you definitely want to check out the Contest. All you have to do to enter is submit your best custom Silverlight control by August 11th and then hope the judges rank your control in the top 3. If that happens, you'll win some great prizes including Telerik's RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX, RadControls for WinForms, Telerik Reporting, and RadControls for Silverlight. There are some rules, of course, (such as, you can only make one submission) so make sure you understand them before you enter. Otherwise, get creative and good luck!

Microsoft releases (big) ASP.NET AJAX road map

Microsoft has just published a new, huge road map for ASP.NET AJAX. I know?! After all of this time being fed bits and pieces from many different sources to stitch together ASP.NET AJAX, it turns out there is actually a road map for these features and tools. Or, at least there is now. The published road map is loaded (clocks-in at 13 pages) with interesting ideas and proposals for ASP.NET AJAX v-Next and beyond, so I highly encourage you to take a minute to review it if you're an ASP.NET developer. If you're short on time, though, I've done the reading for you and here are some highlights:

  • MS is going to bring some order to the release schedule of ASP.NET AJAX, it's tools, and it's controls by moving towards more "normal" CTP, Beta, RC release events
  • MS is going to add many features to its client-side scripting libraries, further imitating the features of libraries like jQuery. CSS DOM selectors, Chainable DOM generation, and CSS-based event targeting are all proposed enhancements.
  • MS is going to add "flexible" drag & drop and animation frameworks to the client libraries (a la jQuery, YUI, etc.)
  • MS is going to build client-side data source controls (!) to enable complete client-side data operations. The controls will have corresponding server controls for easy setup.
  • MS is going to invest heavily in the Ajax Control Toolkit with plans to add more complex controls in to the suite. Proposed controls include (quoted from road map):
    • Grid: a client-side, templated grid control with client-side sorting, paging, and editing
    • Treeview: a client-side, tempalted and web-service aware tree with a full client-side object model
    • Upload: an upload control that works outside of full postbacks with progress monitoring
    • Rich Text Editor: a simple, cross-browser and extensible rich text editor
    • Chart: simple and extensible charting, possibly based on Silverlight
  • MS is going to ensure ASPNET AJAX compatibiliy with ASPNET MVC and other non-Microsoft Ajax frameworks/client-side libraries
  • MS is going to deliver a number of improved JavaScript dev tools, including improved IntelliSense and new JavaScript Build Tools (to aggreage, minify, etc. JS code at build time).
This obviously isn't everything from the 13-page road map, but rather a Reader's Digest version. On the surface, Microsoft's goals look ambitious, but they certainly sound like they'll benefit the ASP.NET developer community if met. And while most of the plans in the new road map represent v-Next ambitions, Microsoft isn't aiming to deliver everything covered ASP.NET AJAX v-Next. The following chart summarizes Microsoft's high-level release goals.


You can see that the client-side UI controls are "last" on the list right now, and everything is at least "likely" to make v-Next. As a component vendor, I find it interesting that Microsoft is choosing to wade-in more heavily to what has traditionally be a 3rd party supplied UI market. While 3rd parties like Telerik will leverage their agility and close relationship with customers to always build richer, higher performance, and more complete UI controls than Microsoft, you can never ignore a move like this that creates a "free option" from the creator of the framework. Time will tell if this is a good move for Microsoft or not.

In the mean time, what do you think? Should Microsoft try to deliver more advanced controls like client-side Grids and Treeviews or should they leave that to 3rd parties? Also, what do you think of Microsoft's ambitious plans for ASP.NET AJAX? Sound-off in the comments and don't forget to give Microsoft some feedback, too!

Read the ASP.NET AJAX Road Map now

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Q2 2008 road maps updated for WinForms, Reporting

As you are probably aware, we are quickly approaching Telerik's second major release for the year. Scheduled to drop in late July, Q2 2008 is mere weeks away, and as the release draws near, it's time to start looking at the goods we've been working on for the last 3 months. To get get things started, we've just updated the public road maps for the RadControls for WinForms and Telerik Reporting. While a little later than we normally like to publish these details, the road maps do shed some interesting light on what you can expect to find in the Q2 release for these two products. Here are the highlights:

RadControls for WinForms

  • New! Multi-column RadComboboxes
  • New! RadApplicationMenu for RadRibbonBar
  • RadGridView: Support for multi-column headers
  • RadGridView: Improved Export To Excel (performance improvements)
  • RadMenu: Refactored for huge performance improvements
  • RadCarousel: Incredible new Visual Studio designer
  • RadCarousel: Support for auto-looping items
Telerik Reporting
  • New! Cross tab report support
  • New! Bar code report items
  • New! Checkbox report items
  • New! Telerik Reporting Project Upgrade Wizard
  • Improved Ajax integration in WebViewer
  • Improve Crystal Reports conversion engine
Clearly, we've been busy! To see all the details, visit the Telerik Reporting and RadControls for WinForms road maps and then watch for the release soon. We'll be updating the ASP.NET road map later this week, so stay tuned for a primer on what you can expect to find in ASP.NET's Q2 release.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Reminder: 2nd RadWebinar on Telerik Reporting today

It's not too late to sign-up for the 2nd RadWebinar on Telerik Reporting! If you attended the first showing of this content, this is nothing new, so you probably don't need to attend again. Everyone else interested in Telerik Reporting definitely should. The course is taught by Fafafel, relative experts on the Telerik tools, and it includes complete PDF courseware as part of the $99 class fee. Class gets started at 9:30 AM PST today, so sign-up now!

Watch for the announcement of a new RadWebinar later this week.