Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Previewing Q2 2009 (update)

Summer is officially here, and besides bringing with it hot summer months, it also means its almost time for the Telerik Q2 2009 release. It's been about 3 months since the Q1 2009 release week, and we've got about a month to go before Q2 officially lands in July. As you may recall, Q1 2009 was one of the largest releases in Telerik history, with all 7 developer product lines getting simultaneous updates during the release week. The pace isn't letting-up for Q2, and this release is shaping-up to be even bigger than Q1.

To help you begin your preparation for the release, I want to draw your attention to some of the new things you'll find in Q2 and highlight some of my personal favorites.
RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX
The ASP.NET Q2 release is going to be big. It has been a long time since we introduced a new control to the ASP.NET AJAX suite, and in Q2, you're going to get 3 new controls!
  • RadListBox - After years of hoping for a control like this, our devs have tackled the problem and created a control comletely unique (but totally needed) by ASP.NET devs. The control enables easy drag-to-reorder, reorder with buttons, transfer item between listbox operations. Similar to what I described way back in 2006. You're going to like this one.
  • RadCaptcha - Trying to address the question, "If I'm building a website today, what controls do I always have to search for since Telerik does not provide them in my toolbox?," Telerik is introducing a basic CAPTCHA control in Q2. Version 1 will be relatively basic, but it will evovle with your feedback. At the very least, we'll all finally have a quality CAPTCHA in our Telerik toolboxes.
  • RadWebServicePanel RadXmlHttpPanel - A little more basic than the other controls, this panel will make it easy for you to update portions of your page using web services that do not execute the full ASP.NET page lifecycle. [Update: Control name changed from Road Map in beta release.]
The ASP.NET controls will also get a new installer in Q2 (goodbye full-screen installer), updated Visual Studio Extensions, and even more support for customizing skins in the Visual Style Builder. There will obviously be enhancements for all other controls, too, so like I said- big release.
RadControls for WinForms
The big focus for the WinForms controls in Q2 is improving core performance and a few new controls. To improve core performance, the most basic "RadObject" (the root of most visual elements in the WinForms suite) is being refactored, resulting in a number of benefits, not the least of which is substantial peformance gains. These improvements will benefit all.
In the new controls department, WinForms will get the final version of the overhauled RadDock (currently available as a beta), and signficant improvements/refactorings in RadScheduler, RadRibbonBar, RadToolStrip, and RadForm.
RadControls for Silverlight
Silverlight is becoming increasingly popular, so there is no shortage of new stuff in the Q2 release to satisfy the Silverlight demand. And with Silverlight 3 just around the corner, this will likely be the last release that only targets Silverlight 2- the next release will likely start targeting the SL3 platform and features.
There will be one new major control in Q2 for Silverlight: RadScheduler (currently available in beta). RadChart for Silverlight will get a pretty unqiue major improvement: 3D chart support. That's right. 3D chart support for Silverlight. Microsoft Expression Blend support will be improved in Q2, and, finally, the GridView will get some major improvements to support data editing and large data operations.
RadGridView for WPF
Since WPF and Silverlight share a common code base, it's only natural that controls that exist in the RadControls for Silverlight should have a counterpart in the RadControls for WPF. In Q2, we're making that story near complete with 5 new controls for WPF: Combobox, ContextMenu, Toolbar, Window, and the DragDrop Framework. It'll be easier than ever to write once, use twice.
The WPF controls will also be getting the same update to RadGridView that Silverlight will be seeing (remember, shared code base = sync'd evolution). RadChart will get some new features, too, like support for exploded pie charts and new skins. Really, other than the new controls, the RadControls for WPF and Silverlight will have "mirror" releases.
Telerik Reporting
While the Reporting Team is busy laying foundations for major improvements later this year, there are still some big improvements coming in Q2 2009. Most notable are support for a new data source that enables you to "push" database operations back to the database (and out of memory) to signficantly improve report performance, and improved support for binding charts in a report (removing the need for manual data binding). Also watch for some improvements to the wizards for working with tabular data (i.e. cross-tab reports).
Telerik OpenAccess ORM
Like the Reporting Team, the ORM Team is very busy building foundational improvements that are going to manifest in some major updates later this year. In the mean time, they have some great updates to ship in Q2 that will be very helpful if: A) you're developing with SQL Server 2000, or B) you're heavily using LINQ for your queries. Specifically, the Q2 ORM release will inroduce:
  • Support for SQL Server 2000 databases (support for SQL Server CE, VistaDB, DB2, SQLite, and Postgres will come later this year)
  • Improved LINQ support for features like grouping, joins, and dynamic (i.e. string-based) LINQ
  • Improved support for stored procedures in MySQL, Oracle, and Firebird
Telerik WebUI Test Studio
Telerik's newest developer tool, built in partnership with ArtOfTest, is also getting updates in Q2. One of the major things on the horizon for WebUI Test Studio is Silverlight support, but that support likely won't ship in Q2. Stay tuned for updates to the Q2 plans for WebUI Test Studio on the Telerik Blogs.
Add to all of this improved documentation, more new videos on Telerik TV, and new online demos, and this adds-up once again to be a record setting Telerik release. Hopefully there's something in there that will help make your life easier. Stay tuned for more details and more sneak previews of the Q2 bits in the coming days and weeks. July is a short few weeks away!


Gregory Wilmes said...

Big, bigger, biggest, Q2 :)

Can't wait for WPF/Silverlight releases.