General inquiry on which Telerik product to use for a project

9 posts, 0 answers
  1. Amy
    Amy avatar
    26 posts
    Member since:
    Feb 2009

    Posted 01 Jul 2011 Link to this post

    I have used Telerik ASP.net AJAX and Reporting in the past.  I now have a project that seems to lend itself to WinForms, but my concern is that I would rather have it be a web application.  Here is what it needs to do: 
    1. integrate with a currently working classic asp web program  (not a problem as we already have a .net component doing this)
    2. have a bunch (25) of forms that the users will be filling out that will save the data to a database.  the forms are some yes/no questions, some fill in, and some drop down choices: pretty basic stuff just collecting data. 
    3. some users will only be viewing these forms and their data; need to have them open automatically in a pdf.
    4. in some cases, if the user answers a certain question with a Yes, we need to ask the user (probably with a popup box) if they want to do something, and we have to save that response to a separate database.
    5. would like to have some of the questions appear/disappear based on responses to other questions.
    6. need to be able to work offline and then update the database when they are connected at a later time

    I would prefer that they don't have a standalone application that has to be installed.  That is my concern with using the WinForms.  Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Amy
  2. Richard Slade
    Richard Slade avatar
    3000 posts
    Member since:
    May 2009

    Posted 05 Jul 2011 Link to this post

    Hello Amy,

    This all sounds perfectly do-able in a winforms application. Are there any specific questions you wish to ask. However, I'll try and offer some input to what you have added:

    "have a bunch (25) of forms that the users will be filling out that will save the data to a database.  the forms are some yes/no questions, some fill in, and some drop down choices: pretty basic stuff just collecting data. "
     The standard Telerik RadForm, RadTextBox, and other basic form controls will be suitable for this.

    "some users will only be viewing these forms and their data; need to have them open automatically in a pdf."
    You can use a ReportViewer to view PDF documents in a WinForms application

    "in some cases, if the user answers a certain question with a Yes, we need to ask the user (probably with a popup box) if they want to do something, and we have to save that response to a separate database."

    This will be much like an ASP.NET app, saving data to your data source based on a click event etc..

    "would like to have some of the questions appear/disappear based on responses to other questions."
    Again, much like ASP.NET, your events can drive which controls are visible

    "need to be able to work offline and then update the database when they are connected at a later time"

    Responses would need to be stored somewhere until they can be sent to your standard database, for example saving to a local textfile, xml file or similar.

    Hope that helps, but let me know if you need further information
    Richard
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  4. Amy
    Amy avatar
    26 posts
    Member since:
    Feb 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    I have a question on your comment above: ReportViewer to view PDF documents in a WinForms application

    Do you mean the Telerik reportviewer?  And if so, would that mean I would have to create a "report" to display the data that is already in the form?  I don't want to create these forms twice. 
  5. Richard Slade
    Richard Slade avatar
    3000 posts
    Member since:
    May 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    Hi Amy,

    Creating a report is different from creating a form to display the data using (for example) a RadGridView. You would need to create your report template using Telerik Reporting.

    The alternative is to export your RadGridView which you can do using the built in functionality of the RadGridView. The RadGridView can be exported to HTML, CSV, PDF, Excel, ExcelML or to Telerik Reporting for Printing. Please have a look at this help topic for detailed information.

    Hope this helps
    Richard
  6. Amy
    Amy avatar
    26 posts
    Member since:
    Feb 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    Thanks.  Here is the thing:  I realize RadGridView is very powerful, but it isn't good for the type of form I am trying to make.  I have a bunch of questions (some are yes/no, some will be dropdowns, and a few will be fill in), and the RadGridView won't work for asking questions.  I will have a limited set of users that will be answering the questions, filling in the form.  Then there is another larger set of users who will be simply viewing the data.  Ideally I would like the viewing to happen on a PDF, because it is more universal. 
  7. Richard Slade
    Richard Slade avatar
    3000 posts
    Member since:
    May 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    Hello Amy,

    It sounds as thuogh you wish to collect your data in a data entry form that you make yourself from the various RadControls on a form, and then display a summary of this data in a Telerik Report.

    Whilst every situation and client is different, what works for us is the following:

    1: A winform that has a RadGridView and a RadCommandBar
    2: The user may only use the RadGridView to sort, filter and look at a summary of the data
    3: The user may (via a context menu, or via clicking a button on the RadCommandBar) add a new record to the RadGridView
    4: On clicking the button, a new dialog form shows which allows the user to add data for a single record.
    5: The form is closed and the new record is added to the RadGridView
    6: The RadCommandBar also contains a button to export the data, or to show the data as a report in Telerik Reporting.

    This is what works for us, but your situation may be different.
    I hope this helps
    Richard
  8. Amy
    Amy avatar
    26 posts
    Member since:
    Feb 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    Richard,

    Thanks for trying to help, but this is not at all what I want to do.  This is not a situation of the person looking at the data all together.  They are simply answering a bunch of questions about a certain account that they have visited.  They will never look at the data all together.  Other people may, but never the 2 groups of main users.  They are only concerned about answering the questions, and then I am concerned with displaying the answers to those quesitons.  They are insurance loss control people, and are answering questions such as "Do you have a safety program?" and "What is the construction of the building?"  for each individual account.  We never want to display more than one account's information at one time.

    Maybe I am overthinking this and should look to classic ASP instead.

    Thanks, Amy
  9. Richard Slade
    Richard Slade avatar
    3000 posts
    Member since:
    May 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    Hi Amy,

    It's tricky to advise on exactly what's right for you. You have mentioned classic ASP. Does this mean that you are offering this via a website? If so, then you need to look at the Telerik Controls that cover the web, rather than here in WinForms.

    If you need a WinForms app, then you are in the right place. A form with the controls you need to collect the data, rather than a RadGridView should be what you need, and then it is very much your choice on how you dsiplay that data back to the user. E.g. In a grid, in a Telerik Report, in a WinForm the same as the Inout form but with the controls set to read only.

    Regards,
    Richard
  10. Amy
    Amy avatar
    26 posts
    Member since:
    Feb 2009

    Posted 04 Oct 2011 Link to this post

    You are right, I originally was going to do this as a Web app but thought there might be an advantage with using WinForms.  I guess in looking at it, there seem to be alot more controls to use in WinForms.  Are there any other advantages that you know of to using WinForms over a web app?
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