This past Friday, Telerik hosted a new “Ask the Experts” webinar where a panel of Telerik experts, including Evangelists, Developer Support Specialists, and Telerik MVPs, answered your questions about the Q1 2010 release. It was a successful experiment, and many questions and answers were exchanged. A huge thanks to those of you that attended and brought questions, and of course, join me in thanking our Telerik MVP experts for their time.
The video recording of this event will be posted to Telerik TV soon, but in the mean time we are providing a complete recap of the major questions with their answers! We hope you enjoy this resource and join us for more “Ask the Experts” events in the future.
- Are there any limitations or issues in using any of the new Q1 2010 products in VS 2005 such as ASP.NET AJAX, Open Access or Telerik Reporting? OpenAccess ORM, Telerik Reporting, and the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX all work in VS 2005, VS 2008, and VS 2010. Obviously, some features that are specific to new versions of the framework, such as LINQ, will not be available in 2.0 projects, but otherwise, these are supported IDEs. More information can be found on the “System Requirements” page for each product.
- You said Telerik Q1 2010 supports the .NET 4.0 framework. Our project is still on 3.5 and we don’t plan to upgrade to 4.0 anytime soon. Can we still upgrade to Q1 2010? The Q1 2010 release did indeed add support for the .NET 4.0 framework but that does not mean that it exclusively targets 4.0. As with our previous releases we still provide support for the .NET 2.0 and .NET 3.5 frameworks. These are offered via different assemblies, which are located in your local installation folder (usually C:\Program Files\Telerik\RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX Q1 2010) under Bin (2.0) and Bin35 (3.5). If you are currently using .NET 3.5 and are looking to upgrade you will have no issues with installing and using the Q1 2010 release.
- Does the new CDN support SSL? The new CDN does indeed support SSL. When you are using a SLL connection the RadScriptManager and RadStyleSheetManager controls will fall back to Amazon's S3 service. In this case the following hosts are used: Scripts- https://telerik-aspnet-scripts.s3.amazonaws.com Skins - https://telerik-aspnet-skins.s3.amazonaws.com
- Can you share the future direction of your UI controls, particularly the AJAX and Silverlight controls. Any certain things you will focus on or add? Thanks. The future of our UI controls for both Silverlight is actually heavily influenced by you, our developer community. With the launch of PITS, we have provided a nice and easy way for users to submit requests for our controls and vote upon them. If you see a particular feature that you would like to be included either in an existing control or perhaps a brand new one, vote on it! Through these submissions you can directly influence the evolution of our RadControls and our other products.
ASP.NET AJAX/MVC Questions
- Any chance of seeing the Outlook Bar from Silverlight in the ASP.NET suite? As always, Telerik’s bases it plans on feedback from customers. If you’d like to see this tool in a future release, be sure to submit a Feature Request in the Telerik Public Issue Tracking System (and vote on other existing requests you want to see).
- Is there any plan to add more validation controls for ASP.NET? Looking at our release history you can see that we always try to add validation to our controls. If you have not tried the RadInputManager, you will discover that it is a very powerful control that makes it easy to apply basic validation to many textboxes on a page. We are also researching the option to add direct support for Data Annotations to the RadControls to make validation configuration easier. Don’t forget to log your request in PITS so that your votes for new validation controls can be heard!
- ASP/AJAX question: Is there a way to create a template for exporting RadGrids to Excel, PDF, etc? I've used the built-in export, but the format doesn't look like the Grid. I would like to be able to pass the RadGrid style/look to the different export options.
Although there is no exportation template for the RadGrid we do have quite a few events that you can hook into in order to get the exported RadGrid to look exactly the way you want. You might want to have an exact duplicate (in terms of style etc.) of the RadGrid you have on your page, or you might want something different - either scenario can be achieved by using these events. The following links should be able to provide details about specific exportations, and which events you can subscribe to:
Exportation Overview - http://www.telerik.com/help/aspnet-ajax/grdexport.html
ExcelML Exportation - http://www.telerik.com/help/aspnet-ajax/grid-excelml-export.html
PDF Exportation - http://www.telerik.com/help/aspnet-ajax/grid-pdf-export.html
There are also other formats which you can export to (see the Overview article) and each one has a specific documentation article discussing what you can do in order to achieve the style you are looking for.
- Are AJAX controls compatible with mobile browsers? Will there ever be a product line that focuses on mobile?
Currently our RadControls for ASP.NET Ajax only officially support the browsers found on our Browsers Support page: http://www.telerik.com/products/aspnet-ajax/resources/browser-support.aspx
Although it is not an Ajax product we can also note that the browser for Windows Phone 7 does seem to support most of our RadControls for Silverlight as some preliminary tests have shown: http://blogs.telerik.com/blogs/posts/10-03-18/mix10_is_in_history_windows_phone_7_is_here.aspx
- RadAjax Grid: I'm attempting to use a Count Aggregate on a Boolean field. I found on the forums an example - but how can I then use that same functionality - for a field that gets grouped? So, if the user Groups by a column named Flight, how can I get the group footer to count the Skins checkbox - broken out by flight?
When it comes to having a Count Aggregate being displayed in the footer of a grouped item there are two approaches you can take. The first would be to declaratively set the text and aggregate which appears in the footer. An example of this, along with further details on the functionality available for a group footer, can be found in this documentation article: http://www.telerik.com/help/aspnet-ajax/gridgroupfooters.html
Another way of manipulating what is displayed in the group footer is the code-behind approach in which you subscribe to the OnItemDataBound event and customize the footer this way. Although this article goes over the approach for a GridGroupHeaderItem you can actually substitute this for a GridGroupFooterItem and follow the same approach. http://www.telerik.com/help/aspnet-ajax/grdcustomizegridgroupheaderitem.html
As seen in the above article there is a lot of manipulation that can be done via this approach. If you are looking to do something outside of just a Count Aggregate the later approach is the recommended implementation.
- How about some more MVC webinars and examples? We will continue to expand our MVC resources in 2010. Make sure you don’t miss the recently posted videos to Telerik TV showing you how to work with the Telerik MVC Grid. You will learn how to setup an MVC project with the Telerik Extensions, how to configure data binding, and how to setup inline data editing.
- Can we use the Telerik themes as a basis for new themes in the new Visual Style Builder for WinForms? The Telerik themes have not yet been converted to the new theme repository format. We plan on updating them all for the Q2 release. You will then be able to use them as the basis for new themes.
- How similar can the SL GridView control behave like Excel? You can make the GridView perform similar to Excel, but keep in mind that a GridView is not designed to be a complete Spreadsheet replacement. There is a CurrentCellChanged event, in which you set e.NewCell.BeginEdit(). With this set, every time the cell changes, it instantly enters edit mode. If you subscribe to RowEditEnded, you either save changes or add new records based on EditOperationType. The end result is that every change you make to a row triggers a save in the database. That said, this is still not spreadsheet and you can’t do things like cell referencing, multi-cell selection (coming Q1 SP1), or formulas in the cells from the client-side.
- How can I fill the DataCarouselPanel in WPF with data from WCF services ? We have a help article for that addresses this scenario: http://www.telerik.com/help/wpf/carousel-data-binding.html
- Can you post the source for that MVVM sample? The source for the MVVM demo will be made available on Ross Wozniak’s blog. You can subscribe to his blog and catch the update by visiting the Telerik.com Blogs.
- Silverlight Question: Where can I find the template/code for textbox with search/magnifier icon shown on the Telerik Silverlight demo apps? Thanks. In this specific case, the code is part of the Telerik QSF, and only available as source if you have a subscription license. An easier solution is to use a tool like Silverlight Spy, which lets you dive into styles and XAML by “picking” elements on the screen. With this tool, you can quickly examine the Telerik QSF and see the template being applied to the TextBox.
- What is the best way to debug performance issues in Silverlight? I’m having a problem where my RadComboBoxes are taking a long time to expand (up to 5 seconds with only 48 items). I am not able to recreate the problem in a basic demo application. Starting with Silverlight 4, you can now use the Visual Studio 2010 profilers to profile Silverlight applications. You should be able to use these tools to get started analyzing your application’s performance. Details regarding VS2010 profiling are available on the MSDN Blogs.
- Will Telerik create a MVVM framework similar (but better) than Prism and Silverlight FX? Telerik is not currently looking to build another MVVM framework. There are great options available for free today, such as Prism, SilverlightFX, and MVVM Light. We also offer tools like RadCommandManager to make it easier to work with MVVM-like concepts.
OpenAccess ORM Questions
- I added a new model to OpenAccess and I see the article and video where you show me how to obtain data from database. How can I use the same model to update and insert data to database? Josh Holt will be posting an example shortly that shows insert/update/delete using OpenAccess in windows and web scenarios using the new context object. Follow his blog on the Telerik Blogs to learn more.
- When will OpenAccess support WCF RIA Services using POCO? OpenAccess ORM will offer support for WCF RIA Services in an upcoming release. As for POCO (Plain Old CLR Objects), we are evaluating the reasons why/when such support should be added. From our perspective developing Data Transporter Objects and Self-Tracking Entities will cover all the scenarios were POCOs would be used, with relatively small impact to performance, so you will see these first. If POCO support is important to your project, be sure to vote for the feature in PITS.
- Does the visual designer replace the wizard-based "reverse engineer" feature? The answer is yes, but it is a bit complicated at the moment. In Q1, we still don’t have a translation tool between the two formats (pre-Q1 OpenAccess and Q1 OpenAccess). Our advice is to use the new designer for new projects only until we provide support for upgrading complex projects based on previous versions of OpenAccess. In fact, by Q2, the designer will be a “roundtrip” editor (forward and reverse mapping), so you will have a way to alter the database as well.
- Can you add validation attributes? You will be able in the Q2 release. We are talking Data.Annotations attributes, of course.
- Are we basically throwing out the old way of OpenAccessing data? Do we still need to create scopes, and dispose of them...etc? The answer is a bit complex. We prefer to say that we are changing the designer experience and the API usage-pattern to better fit the .NET ORM world, where developers are familiar with tools like LinqToSQL and Entity Framework. The underlying OpenAccess “engine” remains the same and continues to provide the core support for features like data caching, object tracking, etc.
- Will there be a way to create a Domain Model from an existing OpenAccess project in the future? Definitely. We regard this as a “must” for the new OpenAccess designer, and we will be providing a tool to make this type of “migration” easy.
- So with the Data Context and with no scopes, are all transactions persisted instantly instead of batched till a commit? No you still must call context.SaveChanges() to persist changes to the database. The DataContext provides a more convenient way for working with the OpenAccess API, managing scopes for you internally.
- I saw you were able to get data from the database without using an ObjectScope. Is that replaced by the new Data Context? Yes, however, in the Q1 2010 release, only when doing reverse mapping. Forward mapping support for the new Data Context and designer will be added in an upcoming release.
- Will JustCode display the Fonts & Colors when printing? Currently, fonts and colors will not be printed. This is a limit of Visual Studio we are actively researching to work around. We will try to provide printing support for custom fonts and colors in an upcoming release.
- I just moved over from ReSharper. If I forget to include the using library statement or don’t know which library is needed for a type, will JustCode give me a hint to place the using statement in the class? Once you have typed the type name, put the cursor on the statement, hit Alt+Enter, and JustCode will present an option to add the missing reference. Review all JustCode keyboard shortcuts in the online docs.
- I noticed that there was only one Code Template in the JustCode menu for VB.Net. Is it possible to add more templates? Yes, it’s possible to create more templates, however VB templates cannot be context sensitive in the current version. We will continue to improve VB support for templates in an upcoming release.
- How changeable are the hotkeys for the JustCode menus? I’m programming on a MacBook without an end key (technically it's there, but its a 2 key combo) JustCode shortcuts can be completely changed from VS -> Tools -> Options –> Keyboard
- How do you configure JustCode Color Identifiers? VS -> Tools ->Options->Fonts and Colors. When JustCode is installed you will see entries in the list that start with “JustCode” for adjusting fonts and colors.
- Will there be a unit test runner built-in to JustCode? Yes! This is a feature we are working hard to provide in the Q2 2010 release.
- I have 3 reports I would like to add to a report book. Individually they have SqlDataSources with parameters which I pass through code. I want to add them all to a single report. How do I pass the parameters? Robert Shoemate will provide example code and a complete explanation for handling this scenario on his blog this week. Follow his blog on the Telerik.com Blogs to catch the updates. [UPDATE: The blog post has been posted.]