It’s an interesting question that I got from a customer at a conference recently. He was wondering why we entered the Windows Forms space when we were a few years late compared to the other vendors and WPF was knocking on the door. 

There were a couple of reasons – we have a passion at Telerik to bring controls to Microsoft developers on whatever platform they are developing on. Also at the time we wanted to take the challenge to create desktop UI components where there was no market for WPF. WPF technology was changing from release to release which lead us to believe that that WPF will not pick up as quickly as everyone originally thought. We also thought it’s wise to invest our energy in a technology that can make an immediate impact and affect the developer experience.

The state of the technology, though, was not the major reason why we didn’t venture into WPF at the time. We are not deterred by the challenge of working with immature technologies and our Silverlight UI controls are a good testament to that. What drove us to explore the WinForms space was that we had an idea how to deliver something unique to the market. WinForms is not a dying technology and it will continue to be the choice for business applications for some time ahead. WPF does not offer an immediate benefit for this type of apps except for eye-candy. That’s the sweet spot we saw – to marry the “eye-candy” with a solid and proven technology. 

Sure we were late. True, we didn’t get everything right the first time. But we’ve walked a long way from then and today customers do get an amazing set of controls that delivers unmatched capabilities – composition of UI elements, zooming, scaling, rotations, incredible styling that controls both appearance and behavior… And you get that as part of a unified framework which delivers a great productivity gain. In a way, RadControls for WinForms serves as something in-between traditional WinForms apps and WPF technology – you can enjoy much richer presentation without having to learn a new technology. Learning new technologies is a pain and we wanted to deliver more without forcing people to change the way they think about their apps (at least until we release our WPF product line later this year:).

We also wanted to prove that rich presentation and solid performance can go hand in hand if your product is well-engineered. Today, we are just a step away from our vision to deliver the best performing toolset for Windows Forms UI development with the most advanced graphics capabilities. If you think it’s just hype, I encourage you to download the Beta of Q1 2008 (coming out in a few days) and experiment.

So, now that we’ve almost reached the milestone, you’re probably wondering what’s going to happen to our WinForms product line – I can, without hesitation, say: a lot of good things. We will be adding many new controls and will continue our quest to deliver to the market the most solid WinForms UI package. Those who give us a chance will not be disappointed.

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About the Author

Vassil Terziev

As Chief Innovation Officer at Progress, Vassil Terziev is responsible for identifying growth strategies and new market opportunities, as well as promoting internal innovation.

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