Infragistics Updates Controls

Infragistics releases new tools for WPF, ASP.NET and Silverlight.

Leading component maker Infragistics Inc. announced a trio of new products to bring its tools in line with the latest foundational technologies from Microsoft.

Included in the release were new controls, modules and components for the company's NetAdvantage for WPF, ASP.NET and Silverlight family of products.

Infragistics is refreshing NetAdvantage 2007 for ASP.NET to tap the Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit extensions (previously code-named "Atlas"), which the company says yields better performance and improved productivity. The company says it's retiring its proprietary AJAX framework in favor of the Microsoft implementation, which will also be present in the upcoming .NET Framework 3.5.

"Our original AJAX framework that we used for the Web components is now about seven years old," says Andrew Flick, Infragistics product manager for rich client. "We've put our own proprietary library aside and built directly on top of Microsoft's, now that it's available."

Improved Performance
When NetAdvantage for ASP.NET 2008 Volume 1 (8.1) ships, expected in the first half of next year, it will include the new Aikido Web UI Framework. Aikido sits between the NetAdvantage for ASP.NET controls and the underlying Microsoft AJAX infrastructure, providing a common platform for Infragistics' ASP.NET components, Flick says.

Those components include four new modules that are available as a community technology preview (CTP): A Web dialog window that replicates the functionality of a traditional Windows Forms dialog box, a film-strip style image viewer control, a Web-splitter control for enabling multi-paned Web application interfaces and a high-performance Web-data grid with integrated AJAX functionality.

The company says developers can expect to see improved performance from the new controls. Mark Driver, vice president of research at Gartner Inc., says the Aikido Framework does more than boost performance, it caters to the needs of corporate development teams.

"One of their long-term competitive offerings to the enterprise is not just to the individual developer," Driver says. "They try to differentiate themselves to the corporate dev team, which is creating code that's consistent across components. [With Aikido], you get shared code, which then gives you shared functionality, which then gives you a smaller footprint for the components."

WPF and Silverlight
Infragistics is also providing new controls for its NetAdvantage for WPF and NetAdvantage for Silverlight products. A pair of pre-release controls for NetAdvantage for WPF 2007 are the Office 2007 Ribbon and Chart controls, expected to be part of NetAdvantage for WPF 2007 Volume 2 (version 7.2) when it ships in the first quarter of 2008, according to the company.

6,000 pages of OOXML Specs
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The Image Viewer Web control features an animated, filmstrip-style UI.

The WPF-enabled Ribbon control provides developers with the context-sensitive functionality of the Microsoft Fluent UI used in Office 2007, including, says Flick, "the quick-access toolbar, application menu, gallery, contextual tabs and user customization. All the pieces that are in Microsoft Office, developers can now leverage and use to build their own Ribbon for their own specific needs."

The new WPF Charting control provides polished 2-D and 3-D chart designs, complete with lighting and animation effects, according to the company. The controls support drill down, says Flick, making them useful for dashboards and other visualization scenarios.

The Ribbon control is available now for download as a CTP, while the Charting control is a full beta release.

Finally, Infragistics is releasing a prototype of its new Gauge control for NetAdvantage for Silverlight 2007. The control is designed to work with Silverlight version 1.1 and provides advanced data visualization for Web-capable Silverlight applications.

"Developers will actually get to play with it by the end of the year," says Flick. "Right now it's at the earliest stages, it's not ready to be a CTP yet."

Infragistics has no timetable for releasing a shipping version of its Gauge control, citing Microsoft's open schedule for shipping the final version of Silverlight 1.1.

The various controls are available for download from the Infragistics Web site at

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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