Telerik's .NET Tools Suite Bundles Updated RadControls, ORM and UI Test Framework

The company's Q2 2009 release updates all seven of its product lines.

Telerik’s Premium Collection for .NET, released last week, updates all seven of its product lines including the data access tool and Web UI testing framework that mark the company’s new strategy to diversify beyond UI components for the Microsoft platform.

The Q2 2009 release includes updated RadControls for Silverlight, ASP.NET AJAX, Windows Presentation Foundation and WinForms; the OpenAccess object relational mapping tool, Reporting and a new WebAii Testing Framework.

"Now we help developers cover their presentation development, their data access and their testing at least as far as UI is concerned, enabling them to focus the majority of their time on what actually creates value for their business and that is their domain logic code right there in the middle," said Todd Anglin, a Microsoft MVP and Telerik’s chief evanglist.

"We are continuing to push in these new directions to make sure that we cover more of the development lifecycle for a developer, more parts of the application and that’s the story that we are really trying to continue to build on as we launch new products here is Q2 2009."

Among the highlights in the new suite, RadControls for Silverlight adds a 3D Charting engine (the API is the same as Telerik’s WPF 3D charting control) and an Outlook-style calendar control called RadScheduler to the suite of more than 30 Silverlight 2 controls. The components are slated to be updated for Silverlight 3, released July 10, later this month. Telerik is running a contest for Silverlight projects built using RadControls – the submission deadline is September 14, 2009.

The Silverlight and WPF controls share the same codebase and use identical APIs, which allows developers to reuse them in both platforms "as long as the rest of the app you are building isn’t using some obscure part of the .NET framework that is not available in Silverlight, " observed Anglin. Seven WPF controls based on existing Silverlight components were added to the Q2 RadControls for WPF suite, now 20 controls are comparable between the two platforms.

A new Visual Style Builder for ASP.NET.AJAX is a point-and-quick CSS customization tool that provides access to skins hosted on Telerik’s Web site. The skins are cross-browser compatible, according to Anglin, and developers can modify them without time consuming CSS coding.

The WebAii Testing Framework for RadControls is a free version of the enterprise-level WebUI Test Studio by ArtofTest that provides automated integration testing of ASP.NET Web sites. The WebAii framework ships with RadControl test wrappers for Silverlight and ASP.NET AJAX. It also offers LINQ support.

The key difference between the two test products, according to Anglin, is that the new WebAii is the API coding layer to give developers the ability to write automated integration tests against Silverlight and ASP.NET Web sites. "This is a very time consuming process that a lot of .NET developers still do manually," he said. The higher end product, WebUI Test Studio, includes a VS designer so that you can visually click through your application and record the test and then save it and execute it. With both of these frameworks, you can create a test once and run it against multiple browsers, explained Anglin.

Telerik acquired Vanatec of Germany, and its OpenAccess ORM product in October 2008. "It has a number of the features that Entity Framework, for instance, will see in the next version, " said Anglin. "So it is definitely a mature product." Among several new features, the company is introducing more LINQ functionality in the Q2 release. A new sample app is based on Microsoft’s 101 LINQ samples.

Telerik Premium Collection for .NET, which includes seven products, is available now for $1,299 per developer seat. It supports VS2005/.NET 3.0 and VS2008/.NET 3.5. The products are also sold separately.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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