Telerik Expands Portfolio with Team Development Tools

Development tools provider Telerik Inc. is continuing its expansion beyond Windows and .NET components, merging with its partner ArtOfTest, Inc. and establishing a new business division with Imaginet Resources Corp., a specialist in Agile project management.

The company announced the creation of Automated Testing and Team Productivity divisions, both focused on developing solutions that meet the needs of small to medium-sized dev shops.

"We wanted to identify the key hurdles and obstacles that we ourselves experienced in software development internally," said Telerik co-CEO Svetozar Georgiev. "We believe that there is a very good chance that there are a lot of companies out there, which are small to medium sized that would benefit from such tools, because the supply of tools is biased towards the enterprise segment."

The company is now structured around four tools divisions: Developer Productivity, Team Productivity, Automated Testing and Web Content Management. The Developer Productivity Tools group is releasing RadControls for Silverlight 4 and WPF 4 in conjunction with the Microsoft launch of its rich Internet app platform and Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 this week. The component suites support the new platform, and Microsoft's design studio tooling Expression Blend 4, which is still in beta. A new VS2008/2010 add-in for unit testing called JustMock was released last week in beta, with a commercial version expected in July.

The first tooling from the Team Productivity group is TeamPulse, which was built in Silverlight 4. TeamPulse is an agile project management platform that integrates with Microsoft Team Foundation Server. It provides visual tools to capture app requirements based on user stories and scheduling for iterations and sprints. After project management, agile teams can sync TeamPulse with Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2008/2010.

"It is a planning sandbox for TFS," said Todd Anglin, a Microsoft MVP and Telerik’s chief evangelist. "The reason we went this route is that TFS is outstanding as a construction management tool that helps develop shops build software, but it is a little too rigid for the nebulous early stages of planning and so you need a sandbox to work through those things."

TeamPulse does not require TFS; it will work with any persistence store, including SQL Server, according to Anglin. It is available in beta this week; the commercial release is expected in July.

Telerik is also releasing a Quality Assurance edition of WebUI Test Studio, an automated testing framework that is also available as a Visual Studio plug-in for developers. The company has offered WebUI Test Studio, which supports AJAX, Silverlight and ASP.NET MVC testing, in partnership with ArtOfTest since 2008. The new standalone QA edition of the automated test framework--there is no requirement for Visual Studio--is designed to support functional and UI testing by non-technical users.

It also integrates with TFS 2010/2008 and source code, which makes it easier for QAs and developers to collaborate during the testing and development process, explained Anglin. "So the QAs can very easily interact with--check-out, create, check-in, edit, modify--all of the automated tests they are working with in the same TFS repository that the developers on the other side of the shop are using to write the code for the application," he said.

With both the QA and developer frameworks, you can record a test once and run it against multiple browsers. The tool supports Internet Explorer, FireFox and Safari; Chrome is on the roadmap. You can also change the layout of an application without breaking tests, according to Telerik. The automated testing frameworks offer native support of Telerik's RadControls.

"We have identified markets with a lot of synergies with what we do today," Georgiev said, "which address the same companies, the same people, but we are not just talking to developers from now on, we will be talking to developers' colleagues as well."

Licensing and pricing is designed to attract small to mid-size dev shops but the tooling is scalable for large enterprises, he said.

The Automated Testing Tools division remains in Austin, TX, where ArtOfTest, which merged with Telerik in December is located. The Team Productivity Tools division is based in Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

The company has expanded its portfolio aggressively in recent years. Telerik acquired Vanetek of Germany and its OpenAccess ORM product in December 2008.

About the Author

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

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