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InfoQ Homepage News Phil Japikse on Telerik DevTools for .NET Q2 2013

Phil Japikse on Telerik DevTools for .NET Q2 2013

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Telerik has announced the roadmap for DevTools for .NET Q2 2013 which will ship with new controls and several feature improvements.

According to official sources, RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX will include TileList control, which enables you to build Windows 8 start menu style navigation. Telerik is also slated to introduce a new lightweight rendering for few components to leverage HTML5 and CCS3. On the other hand, the WPF and Silverlight controls will ship with enhanced features for PivotGrid, Spreadsheet and ChartView controls.

The Q2 2013 release will provide new functionalities such as data editing, aggregation support and components for Windows 8 platform in addition to new components such as Calendar for HTML and XAML, NumericBox for XAML, MultiSelect and Bulletgraphs/Sparklines for HTML. Moreover, Windows Forms suite will include enhanced features to deliver simplified project management apps as well as enhanced timeline visualizations to you end-users.

The reporting control set will include a new HTML5/JavaScript based web report viewer with support for all technologies such as MVC, Ajax and ASP.NET. Moreover, the reports will be served via Telerik’s own RESTful report service which enables users to access reports from anywhere or using any device with an HTML5 browser. Telerik is also planning to connect the reporting component to Excel, CSV files and to OData services.

The upcoming release of Q2 2013 will ship with new features such as new testing frameworks and templates for JustCode, JustDecompile, JustTrace and JustMock. While JustDecompile will include the ability to view decompiled code in tab, JustTrace will ship with a memory profiler analyzer.

With the rapid growth of Windows Phone 8 platform, Telerik is scheduled to add new productivity controls and features which not only cut down development time but also escalating costs.

In an interview to InfoQ, Phil Japikse, Senior Developer Evangelist, Telerik shared the main purpose behind the upcoming release and some of its core features.

InfoQ: Can you share with us the main reason behind the upcoming release of DevTools for .NET Q2 2013?

We have a long history of successfully adding value to .NET developers including our User Interface components for all .NET technologies (the RadControls Suites), productivity tools (the Just family of products), reporting (Telerik Reporting), and data access (Open Access). We also provide Testing tools (Test Studio), Project Management (TeamPulse), and a Content Management System (Sitefinity), Mobile (Icenium) and tools for HTML5 (Kendo UI).

All of the products in DevTools have three major releases a year, as well as Internal Builds and Service Packs. The Internal Builds and Service Packs allow us to release features when they are complete so our customers and subscription holders do not have to wait for the next "Q" release. This process allows for a regular cadence of delivering more than expected.

All of our major releases get a significant amount of coverage, including Webinar Week, blog posts, detailed release notes, press releases, and much more. Once we have completed all of these release efforts, it is time to focus on our next release major release, which at this time will be our 2013 Q2 release.

While we are certainly still supporting and discussing our older releases, it is important to let our customers know what is on the roadmap for each of our product suites, and the aforementioned blog post gives an overview of what features will be in the next major release.

InfoQ: What is the real benefit of TileList control?

Windows 8 (as well as Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8) are committed to the Tile based User Interface (formerly called “Metro”, now commonly referred as Modern Application Design). In order to deploy Modern Applications using XAML or JavaScript/HTML requires Windows 8 devices if an organization is using the out of the box tooling that comes with Visual Studio 2012.

For many companies, the migration to Windows 8 will be slow and deliberate. Due to this gradual adoption rate, applications are still being actively developed in ASP.NET, WPF/Silverlight, and Windows Forms. Our TileList controls enable developers to use Modern Application Design techniques non Windows 8 development platforms.

InfoQ: Is it possible to develop Ajax based applications for mobile/touch devices?

Absolutely! ASP.NET continues adding great support for mobile/touch devices, and we continue to build on the out of the box support to provide an even richer development and user experience. Our AJAX control toolkit has significant support for touch events in all of our controls, and we have provided two control themes called Metrotouch and BlackMetrotouch that are optimized for touch as well as continuing our rich support of the keyboard and mouse.

For more information, please see this excellent blog post by our Ajax Evangelist Jeff Fritz on using ASP.NET and the Ajax Controls for create a touch friendly mobile application.

InfoQ: What is the purpose of the new lightweight rendering for HTML5 and CCS3?

Lightweight rendering in our ASP.NET AJAX suite allows developers to deliver streamlined HTML5 and CSS3 applications optimized for the modern browser. This feature allows the web developer to maintain support for less modern browsers by leveraging classic rendering mechanisms. Using the HTML5 based lightweight rendering, applications have better performance since less HTML, CSS, and images are sent to the client.

To enable this feature, developers merely have to set a configuration parameter and the website will change from classic rendering to lightweight rendering for the modern browser.

InfoQ: Do you think XAML based controls are still relevant today based on Silverlight's uncertain future?

Absolutely. Microsoft has announced that it will continue to support Silverlight for the next decade, and there is still a significant amount of Silverlight code in production. WPF applications will run on Windows 8 in desktop mode just as well (if not better) than in previous versions of Windows, and is the client framework of choice to support multiple versions of Windows users.

XAML is now part of the operating system in Windows 8, and adds C++ as a supported development language that can use XAML in Windows 8. Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 development both rely on XAML.

Bottom line, Silverlight is merely a single use case for XAML. XAML is still a significant piece of the development puzzle and will be for a long time.

InfoQ: How fast will be Telerik's Windows 8 Q2 2013 components?

We offer two different control suites for Windows 8 – XAML and JavaScript/HTML. Both suites fully embrace the Windows 8 user experience, with very rich support for touch as well as the keyboard and mouse. Both controls suites have already proven their performance capabilities through many successful store application submissions, fully passing the stringent submission process.

The RadControls for Windows 8 HTML leverage the extremely successful Kendo UI. These controls start with an extremely well optimized and proven code base, and then optimized for the Windows 8 experience.

The RadControls for Windows 8 XAML are built completely from the ground up specifically for Windows 8. This allows the engineering team to maximize every aspect of the controls for Windows 8, including performance and user experience.

InfoQ: Can you elaborate on how UI building blocks will help developers to code twice faster?

A driving theme for us is to provide the tools that allow our customers to deliver more than expected. Our User Interface controls provide everything from basic controls to extremely complex controls (like grids and editors) that are the building blocks for great applications. By using RadControls in line of business applications, developers can focus on delivering extraordinary business value to their customers.

The UI Building Blocks for Windows Phone provide such functionality as error diagnostics, trial application reminders, rate application reminders, and other functionality found in professional applications. The UI Building Blocks enable developers to add core functionality into their applications rapidly and easily that would otherwise need to be written for each application. By providing these core functions, the developer can focus on providing business value into their applications and leave the plumbing to the UI Building Blocks.

InfoQ: Can you explain the features of the web report viewer tool?

We currently have report viewers for the most prominent technologies today, including WinForms, WPF, Silverlight and ASP.NET (which can also show reports in MVC and Azure projects). In addition to our ASP.NET viewer for web based technologies, we will be adding a fully HTML5 compliant viewer.

This will increase the Reporting reach to include native support for websites based on ASP.NET MVC, Ajax or traditional ASP.Net that can be consumed by any modern device that supports HTML5 (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, etc).

InfoQ: Can you share with us why reports will be served via Telerik's own RESTful report service?

Telerik Reporting is an embedded reporting engine and it needs a dedicated service between the report and the reporting engine in order to render the report. This is the reason why we will provide an internal RESTful report service, which will enable you to share and embed reports just about anywhere.

InfoQ: Is it possible for you to disclose the new testing frameworks to be introduced in Just Products?

The JustCode test runner has built in support for many unit testing frameworks, for both managed code and JavaScript. With the 2013 Q1 release, we introduced unit testing support for Windows 8 WinJS Applications leveraging QUnitMetro.

InfoQ: Does Telerik have any plans to release components for iOS and Android platforms?

While not native controls, Kendo UI Mobile helps developers make extremely compelling mobile applications for the iOS and Android platforms. Just like the earlier question about native Java controls, we are always looking for ways to assist developers to deliver more than expected. Please keep an eye on our public roadmaps for the latest information on all of our products.

InfoQ: Does Telerik released any tools for Java?

Kendo UI has recently released Java JSP server wrappers. Kendo UI enables web developers in any language to provide rich user interfaces in significantly less time than building them by hand or manually combining multiple client side frameworks. The adoption of Kendo UI has been phenomenal, and is a proven toolset for developers to provide additional value to their customers. We are always exploring ways to make developers, teams, and organizations more productive. We will continue to monitor development landscapes outside of .NET for opportunities to help our customers.

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