Muhammad Akhtar Shiekh is the man with the plan. His employer, Imanami Corporation, is a leading provider of group management solutions and a Microsoft Gold Partner. A senior software engineer experienced in creating innovative software solutions, Shiekh’s team was tasked with updating “Imanami Webdir”, a software application that enables automatic delegation of important group and directory management functions to end users, while still leaving supervisory controls in place for IT staff. It offers an accurate, cost-effective means for managing group administrative tasks, increasing overall productivity, producing tangible ROI and added value for customers.
RadControls is helping Imanami’s GroupID Self-Service to excel
of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers football team call themselves “Cheeseheads”. Rockstars
have devoted followers called “groupies”. And in high school, they run amok –
the “in crowd”, “jocks”, “nerds”, and “cool kids”. Groups – collections of
individuals with common goals, mutual interests, and shared values, and
frequent interactions – are a significant part of our everyday lives. We
self-classify as being a part of particular groups all the time: we’re a
Cheesehead, a math geek, a foodie, a Trekkie. Our self-identification as part
of a group enables us to interact with other like-minded individuals,
fulfilling a primal need to be socially included.
are also an essential part of our professional lives. We often find ourselves
assigned to teams, taskforces, or workgroups, dynamic entities that play a
critical role in reaching strategic business goals and objectives. They offer
rewarding experiences for employees and deliver added value to the enterprise. However,
while groups are fundamental and necessary within the workplace, managing them
can be both costly and time-consuming.
research and analysis firm, Osterman Research, found that 81 percent of
organizations lack effective processes for group management. This means four of
every five enterprises rely on IT personnel to manually administer group
functions, such as adding or removing users. On average, manual group
administration tasks cost IT personnel six hours per week for every 1,000
employees…yet 42 percent of users remain in the wrong distribution lists or
security groups. Accurately and efficiently managing day-to-day group
administrative operations is daunting challenge, but it’s one that now has a
Finding A Support
Muhammad Akhtar Shiekh is the man
with the plan. His employer, Imanami Corporation, is a leading provider of
group management solutions and a Microsoft Gold Partner. A senior
software engineer experienced in creating innovative software solutions, Shiekh’s
team was tasked with updating “Imanami Webdir”, a software application that
enables automatic delegation of important group and
directory management functions to end users, while still leaving supervisory
controls in place for IT staff. It offers an accurate, cost-effective
means for managing group administrative tasks, increasing overall productivity,
producing tangible ROI and added value for customers.
application, written entirely using HTML controls, was a success, however, the
company wanted to develop a newer version offering greater functionality and a
richer, more responsive UI. Achieving this robust performance and
feature-rich UI dictated the team’s transition from HTML controls to ASP.NET
controls. And those new controls would need to meet a set of very exacting
requirements laid out by Shiekh and his developers.
functionality we needed was fairly broad – grids with drag-and-drop
functionality, template-based ComboBox and Menu controls, AJAX and modal dialog
window support, and client-side APIs,” he recalls. “We found that the built-in
ASP.NET controls couldn’t fulfill our requirements and we needed a third-party
controls suite to do the job. So we started searching for a commercial toolkit
that met our needs.”
into out-of-the-box toolkits led Shiekh’s team to Telerik’s RadControls for
ASP.NET AJAX. The comprehensive suite appeared to have everything the team
needed in a single, compact solution that didn’t require a burdensome amount of
were very surprised to see that Telerik’s controls could help us accomplish all
of our project’s tasks with a minimum of coding,” says Shiekh. “Our first
impression was that Telerik’s tools were especially designed for projects just
Telerik’s RadControls integrated into their environment, the team was ready to move
the project forward into the development stage.
Grouping Up and
grids high on their list, Shiekh’s team focused in on RadGrid, relying heavily
on its grouping, column reordering, drag and drop, multi-row selection,
checkbox column, and the master / detail features offered by GridView.
great thing is that it only took an hour maximum for us to get to where we
wanted to be,” he says. “It was only a matter of enabling and disabling the
properties to implement the features the product needed to have.”
components yielded similar results – the team found that RadComboBox made
building template-based dropdowns swift and effortless. The team needed to
display hierarchal trees with checkboxes within the combobox, a task developers
projected would require a whole week to complete. Shiekh’s team was happy to be
made it very easy,” says Shiekh. “I created an combo box with treeview in it.
The initial estimate for this task was one week but with the Telerik template-based
combobox, it was done within two days.”
team deployed a variety of other RadControls, as well, with positive results:
- RadToolBar – Using template-based toolbar buttons, developers created custom button layouts
and dropdown buttons for list displays of menu items, and separate images for enabled / disabled states.
maximize performance, the team wanted to load just parent nodes initially;
child nodes would be delay-loaded from AJAX only when users clicked on those
parent nodes. RadTreeView had the built-in support for this functionality,
as well as for caching of child nodes, eliminating the need for extra
calls in the future. RadTreeView enabled developers to implement this
high-performance functionality with only minimal coding effort.
was used to show modal dialog displaying ASPX page contents. Used in
conjunction with RadWindowManager, the control helped the team manage
multiple RadWindows and share common properties among all. Sustaining windows
during the postback, resizing, and access to parent window objects were
also key features for Shiekh’s team.
of the most critical requirements set forth by the team was the need for
client-side APIs. Telerik’s RadControls expose their client-side API to manage
the control state at the client end, and any modifications can be persisted
when requests are returned to the server. This proved essential to the team’s
developers when they wanted to perform more complex tasks such as enabling
/ disabling RadToolBar buttons based on RadGrid’s rows selection. RadTreeView
client side APIs provided client-side node click events and the list of
treeview items. It enabled developers to locate checked nodes, append their
titles and display them as combobox selected text.
implemented this functionality very easily using RadGrid and RadToolBar client
side APIs. The client-side APIs saved us lots of development effort and
elements within the controls,” recalls Shiekh. “Telerik’s object-oriented API
provided great support for managing the controls at the client-side. It
definitely saved us weeks of labor.”
Breaking Away from
development wrapped up, Shiekh’s team was ready for the new version of its
application to make its debut. Rechristened as “GroupID
Self-Service”, it was launched in September, 2009. Well-received in the market, GroupID
Self-Service has become a staple of the company’s product portfolio since its
“Imanami’s philosophy is software should solve a company's
business problems and be light on the enterprise,” says Shiekh. “If the ROI
can’t be easily achieved or measured, it’s not an effective solution.
Therefore, creating products meeting both of these goals is a central
underpinning of our design and business strategy.”
Using Telerik’s RadControls enabled
Shiekh’s team to meet both of these requirements. GroupID Self-Service gives
end-users an intuitive, hassle-free method for managing their group
memberships, ensuring a higher level of accuracy, yet IT personnel can still easily
control critical processes and workflows. Resulting productivity improvements
that generate measurable ROI have helped GroupID Self-Service to become a
standout, making it a clear leader in the crowded marketplace.
The product’s performance surpassed
the team’s expectations during stress testing, handily besting targeted benchmarks
such as being able to access and display one million records within a few
seconds. Imanami’s clients too, are pleased with the application, praising its
crisp, clean layout and high-powered performance. It’s a win-win situation that
Shiekh attributes in part to Telerik’s RadControls.
“Telerik’s controls truly saved us a
lot of development effort. We delivered a high-quality product to our customers
in a minimum of time, and these controls made a major part of that,” he says.
“The online demos and help documents were very helpful in understanding the
controls and getting started. We got all the features we were looking for and
implemented the design just as we had imagined it. We’re now planning on using
Telerik’s controls in our desktop applications and we fully agree with that
they meet their promise of delivering more than expected. We’d 100 percent
recommend them to other developers.”