It’s not every day you get to talk about the newest RTM release of Visual Studio, but once in a blue moon (OK, every two years or so ;)) you are lucky enough to be able to say “it’s finally here” to the latest iteration of the .NET developer’s favorite IDE. Much like your birthdays as a kid where you awoke with much glee and excitement to find some of your most requested toys (Power Rangers Megazoid anyone?) many of us arrive to our offices (or for those of you working from home, roll out of bed :D) and start the download of Microsoft’s latest IDE to see what improvements have been made since the RC and see if we can replace it with our VS 2010 instance
Shiny Menu Item
After you’ve installed Telerik’s ASP.NET AJAX controls and you open up your fresh instance of Visual Studio you’ll see that you have this awesome Telerik menu item:
As you can see I have a few other products installed as well, but our focus here is on ASP.NET AJAX. Let’s get straight to it and select “Create New Telerik Project”. Selecting this item brings us to the same dialogue as you access when you go to File > New Project, however now we’re looking specifically at a Telerik RadControls Web Application template. Select this template and give your project a name, then click “OK”. This will start our VSX, shorthand for Visual Studio Extensions, project wizard.
This wizard steps us through some of the most common things you will have to do in order to set up a project using the Telerik controls. So, we can select what version to use. We want to have VS 2012 support so we need to take use of version 2012.2.815 since it is currently the best version that has been thoroughly tested against the Visual Studio 2012 RTM. You can access this by logging in to your account and accessing the "Browse All Product Files". Under the VS 2012 group you'll see the 2012.2.815 version. In the above screenshot I happen to take use of an older version that works within Visual Studio 2012 as well.
We can also select if we want to utilize any of the skins offered by Telerik.Web.UI.Skins.
The next wizard screen just has us enabling certain features that we offer, such as our Content Delivery Network (CDN) which we offer free of charge, as well as including the RadSpell dictionary and RadCaptcha audio files. We can also set up the project to use RadUpload and RadCompression.
For the third screen we just have some general settings for web applications. Max Request length in kilobytes and such.
The last screen just asks if you want to utilize Telerik’s ORM product, OpenAccess ORM, to create a Model that your project can utilize. For the sake of this blog post I’m selecting no, but feel free to give OpenAccess a shot if you haven’t already!
That’s really all there is to it. The VSX now will go through and add the references to Telerik.Web.UI and Telerik.Web.UI.Skins. It will also include the RadCaptcha and RadSpell files if we requested it. The best thing of all is that it also updates the web.config for us! The only items that we modify within the web.config relate to Telerik, and we have just added a few lines and sections here and there. This means we aren’t adding anything that could mess with your application.
Additionally if you check out Default.aspx you can see that we’ve added a few quick RadControls (most notably the RadScriptManager) to make the start of your application even better.
What if you already have an ASP.NET project from VS 2010 that you converted to VS 2012 and now want also upgrade your Telerik version? No problem! The Visual Studio Extensions are here to help you out. Just right click on your project (or go to the same Telerik Menu) and select “Upgrade Wizard” from the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX menu item:
Another wizard appears that lets you select which project needs updating and what version it should be upgraded to. You can utilize the download button here to grab the latest and greatest from our servers, or you can browse to a directory where you have a newer version of Telerik.Web.UI.dll. If you have multiple versions installed they should already be listed in the dropdown.
The screens that follow mainly deal with backup information such as are you creating a backup (highly recommended by the way!) and are you replacing any files related to RadSpell or RadCaptcha. Once you hit finish your project should be upgraded to the latest and greatest Telerik ASP.NET AJAX controls!
What about the controls themselves? Well for all of the applicable controls we still have integration with Visual Studio with SmartTags and control-specific wizards.
Take the Telerik Grid for example. If we drag the control (notice how we have all of our controls listed in the Toolbox ) over to our design surface and click on the SmartTag we see the following:
Nothing like getting filtering, paging, sorting, and other common Grid functionality handled by just selecting a checkbox!
We can of course also select the Grid design wizard by just clicking “OpenEditor” and work with that to set up our RadGrid without even breaking a sweat.
Looks awesome, doesn’t it? We all have a secret, or in some cases public, love for codeless approaches to development! :) There are of course other controls that have similar SmartTags and Wizards like the Grid has, but you get idea – it’s pretty great :D
Windows the 8th and ASP.NET vNext
So what about Win8, Metro, and all the new touch-enabled devices? Well, we’ve added quite a lot of functionality and features to our controls to work with these scenarios as well.
First off, we have the MetroTouch skin which was released with the Q2 2012 release of our ASP.NET AJAX controls. This skin is specifically designed to not only have the Metro look and feel, but also work better on touch-enabled devices. It’s pretty simple how it works actually, it makes the elements and touch areas larger than our other skins to account for the “fatter” input format of a finger as opposed to a mouse click. We have also spruced up the overall style to not only include the more rectangular approach, but also threw in rounded corners for all of the elements as well. This is going to make all of your ASP.NE AJAX web applications not only look like a Win8 application, it will also give your users an extremely smooth interaction experience. For more information about the MetroTouch skin you can refer to this blog post
Additionally you’ll be happy to know that the latest version of the Telerik ASP.NET AJAX controls work very well with many of the new features found in ASP.NET 4.5. Chances are that if you are looking at a new feature and wondering whether or not our controls work with them, the answer is most likely yes. Take WebAPI as an example, without any tweaking you can easily take advantage of this new ASP.NET feature without any issues at all! There is a blog post series out there consisting of the first part which deals with one-way binding, and here we have the second part which goes in to details regarding CRUD operations.
Go On, Explore
These are just some quick examples of how the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX integrate in to the Visual Studio 2012 RTM. Whether you are creating a brand new project, or upgrading a project to a newer version of the Telerik controls, rest assured that our Visual Studio Extensions are here to help. Telerik always integrates well with your favorite IDE and Visual Studio 2012 is no exception. In fact, with the way the wizards are evolving I would even go as far as to say that it’s better than it has ever been!
I highly encourage you to install Microsoft’s latest IDE and follow it up with an installation of the Telerik RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX – there’s no way you can go wrong! :)