Developing software today involves a myriad of choices, and none of them are without some drawback. There is no silver bullet solution that fits all use cases, and every decision must be made carefully. Quite often I am asked “What tool should we use to build our application?” I don’t think that’s the right question, at least not initially.


In The Beginning…

In the beginning...

Well, not that beginning, but in early days of developing non-mainframe based applications, the development ecosystem was a lot less complicated. There were just a few development choices, pretty much a single type of computer that we developed for, and for corporate line of business applications, hardware typically mandated by the internal support team. Even for companies developing commercial software, there were relatively few PC models and fewer resolutions. The two biggest issues that we faced was deployment and versioning issues, also known as the “DLL-Hell” problem. Occasionally, a vendor would release an updated monitor capable of higher resolution, and we would scramble to make sure our application could adjust and look decent enough on different resolutions. Sound familiar? This was our first experience trying to make our applications have a Responsive UI. Sure, there were some hurdles that had to be dealt with, but that was nothing compared to what was coming next…

Bring on the Web

internet explorerThe early days of internet applications brought on a revolution of change for developers. Deployment issues mostly went away, but a host of new problems were introduced. Browsers handled markup differently, each of the vendors were adding their own custom features to gain market share, and we quickly learned that the simply dragging and dropping controls onto a canvas for the user interfaces just didn’t work. As code to detect browser capabilities became crucial to make the applications merely work, cyclomatic complexity significantly increased. To sum it up, we had to make a choice - write applications that targeted the lowest common denominator (and resulted in very vanilla user experience), or write for a specific browser and force users to download and use the browser we chose. Neither option was ideal for the user or the developer, but there weren’t that many choices. Users didn’t have a choice to use internal line of business applications, and external applications were still mostly brochure ware. The browser issues eventually settled down significantly with the browser manufacturers playing nicely together, and frameworks like jQuery helping minimize the effect of browser and DOM differences. But if you thought the age of the browser was disruptive, it didn’t compare to the onslaught of the mobile era.

Mobile Changed Everything

Mobile changed everythingOnce the browsers settled down and became easier to manage, there was a new change that turned everything upside down.  Mobile devices (initially phones and then tablets as well) hit the consumer market and took off like wild fire.  Soon mobile browsers became a significant portion of the user base for our internet based apps.  The outcry from users accessing sites from their mobile devices that were designed for desktop browsers was loud and strong.  Companies scrambled to find a solution, and many took the route of creating another site specifically for mobile (such as “”).  By re-routing devices using a mobile browser to the “m” site, the user experience (for most) was improved because they were brought automatically to a dedicated site customized for the mobile experience.

One size does not fit all

The number of devices keeps growing with more and more sizes, resolutions, and capabilities.  Users are demanding better and faster apps as well as more appealing user interfaces.  Companies are fighting for attention in a market that has an extremely poor signal to noise ratio.  There is no a silver bullet that will solve all of you problems.

With the multitude of devices, form factors, and capabilities, developers are constantly asking “What’s the best tool?”.  While this seems like the right question, it really isn’t.  

Ask the right questions

ask the right questionsThe first thing every developer should do is ask the right questions.  It’s not a question of technology choice – at least not at first.  A major trap for developers is latching onto a tool like it’s a hammer and then assuming everything is a nail.  The best craftsmen have a set of tools, and know to apply the right tool to the right job. What is the purpose of your application?  What is the audience?  How will your users get your app?  How will they get updates?

Of course, those few questions aren’t nearly the extent of the discernment that needs to be completed before a technology platform is selected and development started.  At the end of that process, you must choose the correct tool for the job.  Mobile or Desktop?  Native, Hybrid, or Web? The best applications fit the needs of the users as well as the needs of the company sponsoring the application. 

Now What?

You’ve done your due diligence, asked the right questions, studied the market, and you are ready to build your application. Regardless of your approach or choice of tooling, Telerik can help you get there faster and more cost effectively.  With an incredible selection of User Interface controls spanning Web, Hybrid, and Native development, we have a set of tools for you.

Telerik UI for Web Apps

telerik ui for web appsWeb aps provide the most reach - any device that can connect to the internet can utilize your app.  Telerik has a long history of providing User Interface controls and productivity tools for Web Developers, and we have expanded our tools well beyond .NET to include Java and PHP as well as anything platform that supports HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript!

ASP.NET ajaxUI for ASP.NET WebForms

If you are a .NET WebForms developer, Telerik UI for ASP.NET Ajax has over 70 controls to help you build an amazing website significantly faster. In addition to increased speed of development using our ready for production controls, the UI for ASP.NET Ajax provides many benefits, including light-weight rendering, touch and mobile support, and seamless UX across browsers, plus much more. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


ASP.NET MVC developers can leverage Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC to build a seamless UX across devices and browsers.  Featuring over 50 UI widgets with server and client side APIs, a responsive UI, and ready for touch, UI for ASP.NET MVC can greatly enhance your ASP.NET MVC application capabilities and significantly decrease your development time.  To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:

Telerik Kendo UI

html5Kendo UI Web

Build fast HTML5 web apps quickly with Telerik Kendo UI Web, which has everything you need to build super-fast web apps with pure JavaScript and HTML5. Built in MVVM support, ready for touch, and fast performance are just a few of the features. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:

kendo ui datavizKendo UI DataViz

Going beyond the UI widgets contained in Kendo UI Web, Telerik Kendo UI DataViz has everything you need to build amazing visualizations using pure JavaScript and HTML. Charts, dashboards, and gauges are just a few of the great features built into the suite. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


Developers who use PHP can easily work with Telerik UI for PHP via familiar server side programming. With over 40 UI widgets, rich views and models with MVVM support built right in, and a responsive UI, it’s a complete web development framework. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


Java server side programmers can use the Java JSP framework to seamlessly configure and work with Telerik UI for JSP. Supplying responsive design, MVVM support, over 40 UI widgets, and much more, it’s everything you need to make your Java web applications come alive. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:

Telerik UI for Native Apps

telerik ui for native appsNative applications offer the richest possible experience for user.  Full access to the device hardware, off line capabilities, and the full power of the processor and memory capabilities.  Whether the target device is a PC or a mobile device, native development fills a vital part of the application ecosystem, and just like with developing web applications, Telerik is right there by your side. Each suite is built from the ground up in the target platform for the highest quality and the highest performance.  Not ported and shimmed, but 100% native development.

windows phoneMobile

Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 developers can enjoy the Telerik UI for Windows Phone contains over 50 UI components as well as design templates, application building blocks, image editing capabilities, and integration with Telerik Back End Services. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:

windows 8Windows 8

Windows 8 developers can enjoy industry leading controls in the Telerik UI for Windows 8 suites.  Whether developing for XAML/C# or HTML/JS, the UI for Windows 8 controls are built natively from the ground up to maximize performance and virtualization capabilities.  Perfect additions to Enterprise and consumer app, the controls are store ready, designed for touch, and come with Telerik Offline Data Storage, the most advanced for Windows 8.   To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


iOS developers can enjoy additional UI interactions not addressed by Apple’s default UI library in Telerik UI for iOS. All controls are constructed using Objective-C, completely compatible with native app objects, and include animations, and easy to use API, and more. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


Android developers can use Telerik UI for Android to fill gaps in the default UI library.  All constructed using Java and completely compatible with native app objects,  they contain responsive controls that adapt to the wide variety of android devices as well as a familiar and easy to use API.  To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


Windows is still the most popular operating system, ranging from Windows XP to Windows 8.  WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), WinForms, and Silverlight can provide rich and powerful applications for users of Windows (and Windows 8 Desktop mode). Telerik has been helping Windows developers for over 11 years, and is still very committed to developing .NET applications for Windows.


Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is the goto framework for building Windows applications.  And with Telerik UI for WPF, your applications will shine.  With the most complete suite of UI controls, MVVM support built in,  touch support, a wide array of themes, plus much more, it’s a must have for your development toolbox. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


Silverlight is still supported by Microsoft, and there isn’t any reason to re-write your Silverlight apps when they still fit your needs. With Telerik UI for Silverlight, you can create engaging, interactive user experiences for the Web and Desktop.  With over 65 controls, MVVM support, touch ready themes, and much more, your Silverlight development can be a breeze. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


There are still many WinForms apps in production, and with Telerik UI for WinForms you can keep making those apps even better.  With over 60 controls, touch support, productivity tools, and extreme performance, it’s easy to make your apps shine! To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:

Telerik UI for Hybrid Apps

Telerik UI for Hybrid AppsCreating Hybrid apps is a great way to bridge the reach of web and the richness of native.  Deployed to the respective devices through the app stores, hybrid apps allow for off line execution, access all of the hardware of the mobile device in addition to accessing the internet and cloud storage.  The same code base is deployed to all devices, saving significant development and deployment time. On top of all that, use HTML5 and JavaScript to do all of the development.  No need to learn a host of languages or development environments, just use what you already know.

kendo ui mobileKendo UI Mobile

Mobile developers can leverage Telerik Kendo UI Mobile to create iOS, Android and Windows Phone hybrid apps that not only look amazing, but can also automatically adjust to follow the recommended UI guidelines for each platform.  Providing a complete Mobile Application Framework, Kendo UI Mobile is ready for the app stores, provides optional automatic layout, and many more features. To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:

ui for phonegapUI for PhoneGap

PhoneGap developers can leverage Telerik UI for PhoneGap to generate native-like apps with HTML and JavaScript.  The easiest way to create PhoneGap apps and powered by Kendo UI Mobile,  UI for PhoneGap gets you up to speed quickly .  To see these and all of the additional features and to try them for yourself, click here:


Regardless of the platform, Telerik is there to help you Develop Experiences.  Mobile, Desktop, Web, Native, or Hybrid, we have UI tools that can help you make your apps come alive.  Built by developers for developers.  Give them a spin today.  All with free, fully functional trials.

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About the Author

Phil Japikse

is an international speaker, a Microsoft MVP, ASPInsider, INETA Community Champion, MCSD, CSM/ CSP, and a passionate member of the developer community. Phil has been working with .Net since the first betas, developing software for over 20 years, and heavily involved in the agile community since 2005. Phil also hosts the Hallway Conversations podcast ( and serves as the Lead Director for the Cincinnati .Net User’s Group ( You can follow Phil on twitter via, or read his personal blog at



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