Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC Unofficial FAQs (updated)

With the introduction of our brand new Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC, I know there are a lot of questions in the community about this new product. New products always generate questions, but when you factor in the CTP nature of this release and the fact that this is Telerik's first open source product, the questions abound. To help ensure you get answers to all of your burning questions, I've compiled some answers to the most common questions I'm seeing (or expect to see) in the community. The "unofficial FAQs." If you have a question not answered, be sure to add it to the comments and I'll update the post with an answer (if I can). Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC Unofficial FAQs Q: Why did Telerik build these extensions? ASP.NET MVC represents a very different way of building standards-based websites with .NET, and Telerik recognized that the current efforts to provide UI "components" for MVC were not fully embracing the principles of the platform. Telerik is providing a UI Extension framework for deploying reusable UI components in MVC views that is purpose built for the ASP.NET MVC platform- no postbacks, no Viewstate, no page life cycle. These new UI extensions will finally give MVC developers more productivity while creating views without sacrificing the concepts (like testability, clean HTML, SoC) that make MVC an important step forward for ASP.NET developers. Continue reading Telerik Extension Unofficial FAQs Q: Is Telerik transitioning to ASP.NET MVC? How does this affect the future of WebForms components? Definitely not! Just as Microsoft makes clear with the ASP.NET MVC framework, MVC is an option, not a replacement for ASP.NET WebForms. Telerik remains fully committed to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and has a great road map of planned features for those controls. We are offering the Extensions for MVC for those developers that have decided to use MVC and want a more productive way to create rich views with .NET. Q: Are the Telerik Extensions really open source? Yes! In fact, they're licensed with the same OSI-approved license that covers the ASP.NET MVC framework- the Microsoft Public License (MS-PL). This is one of the simplest open source licenses out there, and one of the most "open." You are free to use the Telerik Extensions in any open source or commercial product. Q: What if I want support? What do I do if my company doesn't allow open source software? Telerik will make a commercial license for the Telerik Extensions available with the official release. This license will include Telerik's "legendary" dedicated support and it will make it possible for you to use the Extensions in an environment where open source software is hard to get approved. Pricing and additional commercial license details are not available at this time. Q: What's so special about the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC? How are they different from other UI components for MVC? The Telerik Extensions are the first UI "components" natively built for MVC. These are not "ports" of WebForms controls. Many of the solutions for MVC you see available today are trying to cram the WebForms model (or some hybrid version of it) in to MVC. The Telerik Extensions are built from scratch to embrace ASP.NET MVC. The Extensions are designed to easily work with MVC controllers and they render lightweight, clean HTML. They also work with any ASP.NET MVC view engine! Q: What are these wrappers for jQueryUI? Why would I use them? For this CTP release, we did not have time to begin building custom UI rendering on top of our new UI Extension framework. To show-off the framework's power, though, we created wrappers for several jQueryUI components. These wrappers demonstrate how the server-side API works and give you a sense for how our "homegrown" components will work in the official release. The wrappers are also open source and you can use them to gain a native .NET approach for adding jQueryUI components to your MVC views. Q: Will the jQuery wrappers be updated in the future? Will you cover more controls? Not by Telerik. These wrappers are "proofs of concept" designed to show-off the framework. Their source will be published and we encourage the community to adopt and enhance the wrappers to make jQueryUI as accessible as possible to MVC developers. Future releases of the Telerik Extensions will feature new UI components not built on jQueryUI. Q: When will we see Telerik components built-on the Extensions framework? In our next release, you will begin to see new, homegrown components added to the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC. Our plans are to start with three components for the first release: Grid, Menu, and TabStrip. These UI components will more closely match the skins of the existing RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and will offer more rich functionality that Telerik customer's expect. Q: Wait! Telerik is building a TabStrip? I thought there was already a Tab component in the CTP?! True, but remember that the CTP components are simply previews of the framework's power. The components themselves are jQueryUI components, not custom designed Telerik UI Extensions. The CTP wrappers are not considered components in the official release of the Telerik Extensions. Custom-built Telerik UI Extensions not based on jQueryUI will be built for all MVC components, including TabStrip. Q: Will the Telerik components be based on ASP.NET AJAX? Will they use the same rendering as the WebForms controls? No on both accounts. The Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC will be built on jQuery, the popular JavaScript library supported (officially) by Microsoft. The new UI Extensions will have a brand new HTML rendering model that is a clean as possible and that exclusively leverages jQuery on the client. The skins will be crafted to look identical to the skins for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX (for consistency), but the renderings will be different. We are working hard to leave as much control as possible in the developer's hands over what gets rendered to the page. Q: Can I use the Telerik Extensions in multiple ASP.NET MVC View Engines? Absolutely! Since these UI Extensions are built from the ground-up to support ASP.NET MVC, they are fully desiged to work with any ASP.NET MVC View Engine. In fact, the downloads on include two sample projects showing the Telerik Extensions used in the Spark and NHaml MVC view engines, in addition to the default ASPX view engine. Q: Where can I download the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC? You can download the source, binaries, sample projects, and documentation from The complete source (and the source only) is also published on CodePlex. You can submit contributions through CodePlex if you want to help extend this open source project. Q: I don't see the MVC download in my account. How do I get it? If you do not see the download for the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC on your downloads page on, it means you have not yet accepted the "community license" for this download. Simply accept the license and the download link will be added to your list of available Telerik downloads. Q: Where can I offer my 2 cents on these new Extensions? There are official forums on dedicated to the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC. We are eager to hear your feedback and get your suggestions as we start the push towards the first official release of this product. Speak now or...speak later. But we'd prefer you speak-up early and often! Q: What's next for the Telerik Extensions for ASP.NET MVC? We are now turning our full attention to building the first three UI Extensions that will be part of the official release this fall. There will be at least one more preview release before the first version ships, and that will be your first chance to see some of the Telerik Extensions in action. Stay tuned to Telerik Watch and the Telerik Blogs for updates.


Baskin Tapkan said...

Thanks for the information, Todd. I will share this with the team.

Anonymous said...

Hi Todd, we are very eagerly awaiting the Telerik Extensions for MVC, especially the Grid. You note there will be another preview release before the first version ships. Since the first version is due in first week of November is there still going to be another preview release?

We want this grid ASAP and are refreshing this site almost daily looking for an update :)

Todd Anglin said...

@Anon- Unfortunately, I don't think we'll have time to separately package and ship a new preview before Q3. It's only a few weeks away, though, and I think you'll like what you see. There has been lots of progress made on Grid, TabStrip, Menu, and PanelBar.