All editing features and interfaces, which Kendo UI provides out-of-the-box, work with "linear" data items, no matter if editing on multiple items is performed separately
Even if you have Grid hierarchy, editing in the master and child Grids is independent.
In short, yes, you will probably need a ViewModel. There is one exception - if you use a popup edit template for the Grid, you will be able to display the "parent" data in the Grid, and edit both "parent" and "children" data in the popup edit template.
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