Whew! What a whirlwind webinar we had for Q2 2013 AJAX! In just a short hour, I showed samples of our new TileList control and improvements to our most popular controls. If you were not able to attend the webinar, the content was recorded and all content is available for you to download:
The Q2 2013 release was primarily focused on delivering more performance and improved features for our most popular controls: the grid, chart, and pivotgrid. All of the features that were added came from our Feedback Portal. This is a place where our trusted customers and influencers can comment on our controls and provide input on what should be included in future releases. We take your comments and suggestions there very seriously, and you will see the impact of your recent comments there in the next release due in the autumn.
I’m not a fan of showing slides to demonstrate code, so I jumped right into Visual Studio to show sample code and the results of that code. My apologies to those of you that had problems with the dark theme in my editor, I will use the white theme next time.
With this release, we introduced the TileList control with a beta label. This control allows you to easily build a dashboard-like experience on the web that looks and feels like a Windows 8 start screen. The tiles can be customized with two different sizes, content, badges, and titles. There is also peek content that can be configured to appear occasionally with custom animations. Check out the AJAX demos site for more samples about the TileList.
With this release, we introduced the Candlestick chart type. I showed a sample chart that I was able to build from the most recent two weeks of Microsoft stock positions. These values were fetched from a SQL Compact database and painted with a simple function that added the data points to a Candlestick series. With very little code, and a few format strings, I showed the attached chart.
I also showed how the x-axis on the candlestick chart was not interpreting the date properly, and that we now have a proper date axis implementation available. I loaded a scatterplot and showed how you can turn on the date axis implementation.
Our amazing grid now supports the ability to submit batch edits to the contents of the grid. In my demo, I showed you how there is an indicator presented when an edit is completed in a cell. Batch Editing supports entire row and cell only edit mode.
I showed the new grouping and hierarchy improvements now available in the grid. We have “expand all” and “collapse all” buttons that can be automatically added, and they can be controlled client-side with a simple set of APIs.
The final improvement I demonstrated was in the PDF export capabilities of the Grid. We can now customize this output with headers, footers, and other templates.
I loaded a RadPivotGrid with data from the AdventureWorks2012 sample database and showed the new Export to Excel feature. This simple command (grid.ExportToExcel()) gives a clean, easy to read Excel sheet that can be customized with templates, formatting, and other code just before the ExportToExcel command is issued.
We introduced lightweight rendering to more of our controls in this release including: FormDecorator, Dock, Tooltip, Window, and Calendar. I showed how to turn on and turn off this feature for the FormDecorator and the changes in HTML rendering that it delivers to the browser while still producing a great looking user-interface.
Throughout the presentation, you had a number of questions for the AJAX team and me. We did our best to answer you during the webinar, and I will summarize those questions with answers here.
Q: Why is the TileList marked as “beta”? What features is it missing?
Q: Does the TileList support touch?
A: Yes! All of our controls support touch. The TileList also has settings that allow you to control the selection and click events both server-side and client-side. As we complete this control, what other features would you like to see in the TileList?
Q: Are there other data sources supported by the new batch editing in the Grid?
A: Yes! All of our data sources that we normally support with the AJAX grid are fully enabled with batch editing.
Q: Does PDF export support other languages like Arabic?
A: Yes, we have taken steps to ensure that PDF our PDF export supports a multitude of languages and cultures.
Q: What versions of Excel does the PivotGrid Excel Export feature support?
A: Our Excel export feature supports versions going back to and including 2003.
Q: Lightweight rending looks great! Can it be set for all controls, or can it detect browsers and automatically send the lighter markup? Can lightweight rendering be the default for all controls?
A: We are adding lightweight rendering to more controls in each release. There are configuration options available in web.config to force a lightweight rendering setting for all controls, or for all controls of a given type. More information can be found in this blog post from my colleague Marin. We currently default to sending the “classic” rendering of our controls so that we don’t inadvertently break any of your code that depends on a specific set of markup.
Q: What is the minimum version of .Net to use lightweight rendering?
A: All of our controls require .Net 3.5 and this feature is not dependent on a later version of the framework. It should work fine in Visual Studio 2008 with .Net 3.5
Q: What happens in older browsers if lightweight markup is sent?
A: The eye-candy that you expect from Telerik controls will not be present: rounder corners and cool gradients among others. Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 really require the classic markup.
Thank you very much for participating in our announcement webinar for the Q2 release. We have some exciting new features on the roadmap for our Q3 release, and I encourage you to visit our Feedback Portal to vote on features now. We are still planning the contents of this release, and YOUR VOTE could help us decide how to build the next version of the AJAX controls.
Jeffrey T. Fritz is a Microsoft MVP in ASP.Net and an ASPInsider with more than a decade of experience writing and delivering large scale multi-tenant web applications. After building applications with ASP, ASP.NET and now ASP.NET MVC, he is crazy about building web sites for all sizes on any device. You can read more from Jeffrey on his personal blog or on Twitter at @csharpfritz. Google Profile CodeProject
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