With the pending update of RadControls "Prometheus" for
ASP.NET quite a few customers have asked us whether it is safe to use
Prometheus controls in production when the suite has a Beta tag.
Before I answer the question, I’d like to add some background on what RadControls "Prometheus"
is. RadControls “Prometheus” is the next generation of our ASP.NET
product line. It’s built on top of ASP.NET AJAX and provides the
richest, most powerful and fastest toolset for delivering rich ASP.NET
applications. It has all of the benefits of the existing suite plus
incredible performance improvements, great integration between all
elements of the UI package and adds some amazing new components.
This begs the question - if it’s that good is it safe to use it for
production? The short answer is “yes” and we wholeheartedly recommend
to customers to use them. The Prometheus product line has a Beta tag
but the Beta has a different meaning. Re-engineering a rich suite like
RadControls for ASP.NET is not a trivial task and we knew it will take
us about a year. There was the issue that some things are quite
different in Prometheus compared to RadControls for ASP.NET (single
assembly, different naming convention, different client-side API and so
on). In order to highlight those two important things we decided to use
“Beta” to warn customers that things are a bit different and the suite
is not yet complete. We made a decision to stay in beta up to the point
where every ASP.NET control has a Prometheus counterpart and customers
feel convenient with the new toolset (all ASP.NET controls will have
Prometheus counterparts in March 2008).
So, not having a “beta” in our arsenal, how could we signify that
some elements of the components are not ready? We decided to name them
“Futures” (yeah, you know the concept from the AJAX Toolkit). Futures
do not have any release cycle – they are rolled out as soon as we have
something to ship for the community to review. A component that’s in
the Futures is essentially the traditional beta – it’s for review, but
not for production use. It becomes ready for prime time only when it
gets moved to the Beta release and starts following the tri-yearly
release cycles of the Telerik UI product lines.
Since day 1 (apart from a small bump with RadEditor Prometheus where
we put it in the beta distribution before it was ready for it), we have
developed Prometheus software to be production grade. In essence, all
components that go in the Beta build are the official products. Here’s
how the Prometheus lifecycle works:
If you are working on a new project you should not worry about using
controls that are part of the Beta package. Our recommendation is to
use those, over their ASP.NET counterparts as they offer quite a few
functional and performance improvements.
As Chief Innovation Officer at Progress, Vassil Terziev is responsible for identifying growth strategies and new market opportunities, as well as promoting internal innovation.