Before I continue I would like to mention that I deleted the previous version of this review which was much longer, and more eloquent but then I realized that it is not necessary at all. Simplified, the Telerik controls are a must for every serious asp.net developer.
Ok here we go:
I am fairly new to Telerik stuff and I am wondering where to start really. Nevertheless I am very pleasantly surprised by the overall look and performance.
Actually I have NOT been so pleasantly surprised for longer. I cannot resist mentioning that I love its ease of use and above all, easy of install.
Well, usually you use the standard installation (.MSI Setup) but, rather you can DL the libraries and simply add a reference to DLL’s . Voila! You are all set up to use RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX.
It can’t be simpler, right?
Another thing that pleases me greatly is that Telerik constantly offers internal builds. Meaning, they quickly address your problem and get it fixed in the next internal build. In that way, you don’t have to wait for another official release or Service Pack. None of the vendors (except Telerik of course) is addressing and fixing bugs on daily or weekly basis. In addition the Support always answers quickly and never makes you feel inadequate or stupid for asking the questions. Hmm I could say a lot more about the support staff, but I believe it’s unnecessary.
Another great discovery is that each control can have a different skin. Unlike the other vendors, Telerik made it possible. Oh yeah. Now you can have unlimited number of controls with different skins applied and have them all on the same page which is great? You don’t have to use themes anymore.
The feature that made me proud owner of these controls was the RadGrid’s VirtualItemCount Property. Omg, it makes the custom paging so easy.
Say that you have a datasource with e.g. 20 items and you set the VirtualItemCount to preferred number of items e.g. 1000. The RadGrid will show up these 20 items but will also indicate that there are 49 pages for the items that exceed the actual number.
Ok there is one more Telerik control I want to mention, the RadMonthYearPicker. You will not believe how much I missed this control. I had to hack the RadDatePicker or to use two dropdown lists to achieve the wanted effect. Usually I needed it for checkout forms when a client has to provide expiration date of his CC, or when one wants to generate a monthly report for certain month and year. Now you can get that having a single control named RadMonthYearPicker.
Hmm although I love the RadRotator I hope they will improve one little thing so I don’t have to explicitly set the width and height of the banners. Beside this flaw this rotator can be used in many different ways. It can serve as an Image gallery, Slideshow, News, Live Scores, Weather Forecast, Banner Rotator, etc. etc.
The last one i want to mention in this review is RadWindow control. Man this is something really extra. I couldn’t believe it’s possible. You can have as much as you want windows there. For instance i found that it’s pretty useful for generating reports but you don’t want to leave the current page.
Reading here and there I saw that a lot of developers complain about the produced code. If you compare the other vendors with Telerik you’ll see that produced HTML code counts much more lines and is more complicated than Telerik.
Ups, did I mention the upgrade process. If you install the controls using .msi installation it will add a new menu in the Visual Studio so all you have to do is to click the update menu item. Nothing easier, right? If you are referencing the DLLs directly you have to download the new libraries and put them in your Bin folder replacing the old ones.
For further information on buying RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX please refer their website http://www.telerik.com