First, thanks A LOT for taking the time to share your thoughts, feedback, and concerns, and thanks for being a loyal Telerik customer. We know big changes like this are bound to create a lot of questions, and we're going to be working hard to answer them and continue to earn your trust.
I want to be sure I don't miss any of your questions, so let me respond to each (paraphrased):
Q: Is Telerik shifting from Visual Studio to a new IDE?
No. Telerik remains fully committed to the Visual Studio developer, and we are aggressively building Visual Studio integrations that enable developers to use all Telerik tools and services (including the new Telerik Platform) without leaving VS. Today you can find VS integrations for services like Telerik AppBuilder and most of the Telerik UI tools (among many integrations we offer). Through 2014, you'll see us continue to enrich and extend our integrated VS story.
Meanwhile, as Telerik expands to serve developers beyond .NET, we want to ensure our tools and services are equally accessible to these audiences. That is why you see us also investing in alternate IDEs and IDE integrations. We're also building-out complete command line APIs to unlock virtually any integration scenario. Our goal is to make it easy to integrate Telerik in to any developer workflow, regardless of IDE.
Q: Is the Telerik Platform ready for "real" development?
Much of this first Telerik Platform release has been about bringing together a number of Telerik products that have all previously been "islands" of functionality. Said to say, while this is the first "Telerik Platform" release, the core products that make up the Platform already have solid time on the market, meaning they're not your typical v1 products. The Telerik Platform is robust and ready for "real" development, and is already being used by many of our customers around the globe.
Q: Is this YAP (yet another platform)? Isn't this just like Silverlight, HTML5, and the rest?
We actually think the Telerik Platform is quite different than these other examples. We are not introducing a new proprietary way to do your development. Instead, we're embracing the key ways your development is already done (like WPF for desktop, HTML5 for the web, and perhaps PhoneGap for mobile) and giving you a complete Platform with the tools and services you need to be productive regardless
of approach or screen. In a sense, it's the first Platform NOT designed to lock you in to a specific approach. We're putting the power of choice back in the hands of the developer.
Q: How do we deal with our existing code and assets?
Good question! Of course, the short answer is, it depends. :) More specifically, it depends on the kind of development you're doing with the Telerik Platform.
Remember, we're not prescribing a new way to build your apps. We're giving you the integrated tools and services you need to build better apps more productively. SO, let's say you're building a ASP.NET MVC web app. What does the Telerik Platform give you? You can use Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC (Kendo UI) to build a powerful application UI, Telerik Backend Services to expose data to your app (if you want it), Telerik Analytics to add powerful application analytics to your project, and all of your existing .NET project assets/code.
The more of the Telerik Platform you use, the more benefits we can unlock. But you can easily pick and choose just the pieces you need and integrate them with your existing code and workflows.
Q: You need more roles in the Telerik Platform.
This is great feedback. These are definitely scenarios we've discussed (different views of the Platform for different people), and with your feedback we'll focus on lighting-up the roles and Platform workflows that are most important to you, our customers.
Q: How do we deal with Telerik as a single point of failure?
We know it's a big deal whenever someone uses our products to power their business, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Whether it's our UI tools or our new cloud services, we know many people stake their own reputations on Telerik.
To that end, SLAs are available for the new Platform cloud services, and we'll soon deliver complete support for Virtual Private Cloud and On Premise Telerik Platform deployments (letting you take Telerik completely out of the run-time equation if you prefer). We hope these options make the Telerik Platform a reliable and usable solution for many scenarios.
Q: How many projects do we get per account?
Other than the free Telerik Platform Starter edition, you get unlimited
projects per account. With the Starter edition, you get 2 projects per service (so, 2 for AppBuilder, 2 for Backend Services, etc).
Q: How do we maintain control over our IP? What if we need more control over our source?
No problem. While Telerik does offer convenient cloud source control for Telerik AppBuilder projects (specifically), you can easily opt to use your own source control and maintain complete control over your code at all times. For things like Telerik Analytics and Telerik Backend Services, if complete control over the data in these systems is essential, our On Premise and Virtual Private Cloud deployments are going to be the right choice.
Q: Does Kendo UI come with the Telerik Platform? How about other UI widgets?
Kendo UI Mobile is now included for free in all Telerik Platform subscriptions (including the free Starter edition)! Kendo UI Web and DataViz are available in Telerik Platform Business, and the Kendo UI server wrappers (now "Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC" or "Telerik UI for PHP") are available in the top-end Telerik Platform subscription.
A few products, including Kendo UI, are available in both DevCraft and Telerik Platform purchases. For the most part, though, DevCraft includes Telerik's rich collection of .NET development tools for desktop and web apps, while the Telerik Platform includes our tools for mobile (including the new native UI widgets) and modern web development. We know this is still a bit confusing, and we hope to further streamline these options in 2014.
If you're a developer looking to have everything Telerik offers today for desktop, web, and mobile development, a Telerik DevCraft purchase + Telerik Platform subscription is the right choice. Contact our sales team (email@example.com) and we'll be happy to help further figure-out what's best for you.
Above all, because we're embracing modularity, all of Telerik's tools and services are still available a la carte. So if you just want Telerik AppBuilder or you just want Kendo UI, you can still buy just what you need.
Q: We can't use the Platform today because of pending 2014 features.
We'd love to know which missing features or bug fixes are blocking your adoption! Clearly, we know we've got lots of work to do, and we're still moving at full speed to enhance all of the products you depend on from Telerik. Literally hundreds of engineers are working everyday to make the Telerik Platform better.
Just to set some expectations, we'll deliver major new features in our cloud services every 6 to 8 weeks, and we'll continue to update our UI tools with major releases roughly 16 weeks apart.
Q: Which versions of Visual Studio do you support?
For the most part, our Visual Studio integrations work in VS 2010, 2012, and 2013. There are a few different VS extensions available from Telerik today, so some of the requirements may differ, but our current commitment for the Telerik Platform is to support these major versions.
Hopefully some of this helps! I'm sure it doesn't clear-up all of the questions, and we'll work hard over the days and weeks ahead to continue to dive in to the Telerik Platform and unpack all of the things you can do with it.
Ultimately, the most important take away is that the Telerik Platform is designed to blend in
to your existing workflows and development. We don't want to displace everything you love. We just want to make the hard parts of software development easier.