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Client-Side Dev with RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX

From looking at the documentation and what little server-side programming I've done with Telerik's suite, it looks like the controls work as well or better than the equivalent ASP.NET control from Microsoft (where an equivalent control even exists). I'm willing to imagine that, as a server-side control, their RadGrid may lack features that I like in some other company's Grid controls... but I'm not interested in doing a feature-by-feature comparison with every other suite because that would take something like forever.

What I am interested in, in an AJAX suite, is the suite's support for client-side development. I've spent a day or two now working with these controls. Several of the controls (the RadGrid, the RadTreeView, the listing controls) support binding to a Web service so I don't have to load data at the server. The controls all fire the client-side events that I'd be interested in catching (other developers might want to have more events fired during the formatting phases than I do). The event handlers are all passed parameters with the properties that I'd want to manage the control from client-side code.

I do have a complaint and I've got it with all AJAX-enabled controls that I've seen so far: Web service databinding is one-way. I'd love to have a grid control that not only used a Web service to fetch data from a Web service but also automatically returned data to a Web service when a user did an update. Instead, I have to write that code myself in the controls' event handlers.

Outside of the training PDF, I found that the documentation, while written in English, was obviously written by someone who's first language was a middle European language. Some controls I was interested in (e.g. RadXmlHttpPanel) had no documentation that I could find, other than an overview (even some sample code would have been nice). But I have to admit, I didn't check the forums -- I just followed the help links in the tools.

And the "Upgrade Wizard" I mentioned in an earlier blog? (see Digging into Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX.) While it would help me upgrade to a new version of the suite, it wouldn't help me with converting from the trial version to the "real" version. Fortunately, I only used the trial version on test projects so I'll just discard those projects. And, as I expected, when I installed the "real" version of the product, all the Telerik controls were added to my Toolbox (I also got lots of demo applications).

But, at this point, I've gone into enough detail about these controls. Time to move on to the next product.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 06/01/2010

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