Although many deem WebForms an old-school technology, it’s still the most productive way to build web applications. This is why we continue to add tons of new functionality to each release of Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX, to make sure you have everything you need to be productive, modern and competitive. Here are 4 things from the latest WebForms release I believe you’ll want to get into your projects ASAP.

Killer Feature #1: Mobile Grid

Telerik ASP.NET Grid gets a new mobile-optimized user experience and rendering. You can easily turn it on by setting RenderMode=”Mobile” or RenderMode=”Auto”. The “Mobile” option will force the mobile rendering suitable for smartphone, tablets and other touch enabled devices. The “Auto” mode will make the grid choose the appropriate render mode according to the used browser, Classic or Mobile.

Why would you want this in your apps right now?

  • Mobile-Optimized User-Experience: The design clearly targets the mobile user and facilitates his/her smooth experience with the control, e.g. every single feature, context menu or a simple button is designed for use on touch device regardless of the screen size.

    The following animation shows the user experience in more detail:

    Adaptive-Mobile-Grid


    You can find very detailed information for the mobile features (sorting, filtering, grouping, resizing, column visibility and reordering, inline editing and many other) of RadGrid under the Mobile Support > Mobile Rendering section of RadGrid’s documentation.
     
  • Enhanced Performance: The form elements used in edit mode are native HTML elements, which leverage the responsiveness and design provided by the Operating System. The use of native controls guarantees less scripts and CSS files send to the client.
     
  • Easy Styling: We replaced the old-school image sprites with the modern and easy for customization font icons. You can easily change the colors and the dimensions of the font icons using pure CSS, without the past requirement to create a new or customize some of the existing image sprites. This feature could greatly reduce the development time of your apps when you have requirements to customize the control’s appearance.

 Note: The classic desktop rendering of RadGrid does work on mobile devices. Even more it offers gesture interactions with the UI and a couple of “fat fingers” skins. But all of these nice features are redesigned for small screen and touch devices and raise the user experience to the next level in the new mobile render mode.

As you know, most other Telerik ASP.NET controls already feature mobile optimizations. You can check out their demos here.
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Killer Feature #2: Managing Documents Without Microsoft Word or Excel

As of the last release, we ship the Telerik Document Processing Library (DPL) at no additional cost with UI for ASP.NET AJAX. This means that with no additional effort you can enable users to create, load and modify documents in a variety of formats including: DOCX, RTF, TXT, HTML, PDF, XLSX, CSV, Tab-delimited.

With this release we are completing the integration between the ASP.NET controls and the DPL by adding support for it to RadGrid, RadEditor, RadTreeList and RadPivotGrid.

Why would you want this in your apps right now?

  • The three libraries enabled you to import and export files to and from some of the most commonly used formats without the presence of any third party software on the server and the client. The libraries are completely independent and you could save money by not paying for MS office and or other third party licenses.
  • You can not only import and export documents, but create your own PDF, DOCX and Excel files using the provided comprehensive API.
  • You can use the DPL libraries not only in your WebForms apps, but also in other .NET application such as ASP.NET MVC and WPF
  • You ensure that your users will be able to load the produced files, since they are created using the latest supported technologies for Office 2007+ and Office 2003 + Compatibility pack
     

Killer Feature #3: Lightweight Editor

Over the past year, we have implemented HTML5-based lightweight rendering in most of our controls. With this release we introduce the render mode for RadEditor too.

It reduces the amount of markup the control renders and makes it easier to customize.
All of this decreases the overall size and complexity of each skin, including custom ones.

The new rendering also enables the elastic capabilities of the editor, which is a nice feature especially when developing responsive web sites. When rendered in lightweight mode RadEditor will adapts its interface to the specified font size without deteriorating its user experience.

You can check the screenshot and table below it for more detailed information on the improvements:



Render Mode

Lightweight

Classic

Markup Size

56.43 KB

 60.07 KB

CSS Size

55.3 KB

86.8 KB

Image Sprite/ Font Icons Size *

72.5 KB

56.2 KB

* The Lightweight RenderMode of RadEditor uses font icons instead of image sprites for its tools' icons which have a much bigger size, but offer more benefits over the images that greatly facilitate the control’s customization.


All you need to do to turn on the new rendering is to set RenderMode="Lightweight", i.e.

<telerik:RadEditor ID="RadEditor1" runat="server" RenderMode="Lightweight"></telerik:RadEditor>

You can examine the lightweight editor in this demo.

Killer Feature #4: High-Performance with WebServices for RadScheduler

With the introduction of the UpdateMode property to the WebServiceSettings, only the updated appointments are being sent back and forth to the WebService, decreasing dramatically the amount of data being sent when creating, editing or deleting appointments.

We’ve also made huge performance improvements in the client rendering when dealing with large amounts of appointments, resulting in up to 10 times faster rendering across all browsers.

The optimizations cover all operations, such as initial load, navigating through views and time periods, adding, updating and deleting appointments, both in Server and WebService binding.

There’s More Too

Of course, there are hundreds more new and enhanced functionalities in the Q3 2014 release of UI for ASP.NET AJAX. For more details, check the What’s New product page or the Release Notes. Or, why not simply download the latest version and try the new stuff directly in Visual Studio? You can get the trial version from here.

DevCraft Release


About the Author

Rumen Jekov

Rumen Jekov (@Rumen_Jekov) started his career at Telerik’s ASP.NET team in 2004 as a support officer and passed through the position of a Team lead to become a Product Manager. He has answered more than 42,000 tickets helping customers solve their problems. At present, his top responsibilities are the Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX and MVC web suites. Off work, he enjoys traveling, watching movies and reading books.

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