Happy August everyone! I hope you enjoyed your Summer (or Winter, if that's your current season) as much as I did, and I hope you’re buckling down for an exciting second half of 2013. To help you gear up for the coming months, I thought you might like a Q3 2013 roadmap update!
Our Q2 2013 release was a great success, and if you’re an existing customer, I hope you’ve taken the time to upgrade and start using features like our new Kendo UI Web and DataViz widgets, the brand new Scheduler, the new Universal theme for Kendo UI Mobile or the Kendo UI Bootstrapper. If you’re .NET developer, I hope you’ve had a chance to check out our new ASP.NET MVC server wrappers for Kendo UI Mobile. Finally, if you’re not yet a Kendo UI customer, but want to be, what are you waiting for? Anyone buying Kendo UI today will get full access to the Q3 Beta in October and automatic upgrades for the Q3 2013 and Q1 2014 releases!
After wrapping up a great Q2 2013 release, it’s time to take a look at some of what we’ve been working on these last several weeks, and what you can expect later this year from our Q3 2013 release.
Before I dive into the details of the Q3 roadmap, I thought it might be helpful to set the stage with a little background on how we arrive at our roadmap, in the first place. I like to re-share this information with each roadmap post, so you’re welcome to skip ahead if this isn’t your first rodeo, and you’ve read this section before.
UserVoice is our public forum for customer feedback, of course, but the data contained therein is only one piece of a much larger puzzle to fit together when it comes time to plan for a release. When planning a release, we gather all of your feedback from UserVoice, as well as relevant data from these sources:
With all of this data in hand (and there is a lot of it!) the team gathers to prioritize all relevant requests, create a roadmap for the next few quarters, and establish themes for the current release. Themes categorize much of our focus, while also clearly defining the value we plan to deliver to you, our customers, in a given release. Though each release of Kendo UI is full of new features and fixes in our Web, DataViz or Mobile suites, we feel that it’s important to focus our release planning around a broad theme that represents the “big rocks” of value we want to provide. Many of these themes align to a single suite, while others affect the framework as a whole. Here’s a bit more about our Q3 theme, and a sneak preview of some of what’s coming later this year.
Building sites and apps for “the web” doesn’t mean what it used to. Even a few short years ago, building for the web was an exercise in targeting a lowest-common-denominator browser or monitor size. Today’s web is different, and the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected TVs has rendered past approaches moot. In their place, the practice of “Responsive Web Design” (RWD) has emerged. In stark contrast to past approaches, RWD is about being device agnostic, and building flexible apps–with flexible UI–that look like they were tailor-made for all devices.
When building apps with Kendo UI, you need widgets that support a responsive approach, as well as “intelligent” widgets that are smart enough to subtly transform when rendered on tablets, phones and other mobile devices. To that end, our Q3 release is structured around features that can help you deliver “responsive UI for modern apps.” Let’s take a look at some of the “big rocks” in this release, as they relate to this theme:
As you know, we delivered a Beta of the Kendo UI Scheduler with our Q2 2013 release. Since then, the team has been hard at work with the singular goal of getting that Beta tag off the Scheduler, pronto. I’m happy to report that we’ll be upgrading the Scheduler to “RTM” with our Q2 2013 Service Pack, slated to ship on September 18th. But that’s not all! We’re also planning to continue working on the Scheduler post-SP and add some great V2 features for the Q3 release.
Some of the most popular UserVoice requests we’ve ever gotten for Kendo UI center around the idea of building some more “responsive smarts” into our widgets. As many of you know, while Kendo UI Web widgets look great on the Desktop and even on tablets, many of our widgets don’t have the built-in intelligence to function as they should in a “responsive” context, meaning at multiple breakpoints or on a wide array of devices. What’s more, Kendo UI widgets haven’t historically provided a “resizing API” that would allow developers to take manual control of how widgets behave when in constrained containers.
With our Q3 release, we aim to change all of that. Right now, we’re in the midst of a major effort to make all Kendo UI Web and DataViz widgets responsive, meaning that, as much as possible, they will seamlessly adapt to a variety of screen sizes and devices. In addition, we’ll be shipping a “resizing API” that will give you manual control of widget resizing when you need it.
Kendo UI DataViz has added a lot of cool functionality over the last few years, but I’m especially excited about what we have planned for Q3. In our next release, we’re going to add mapping and spatial data visualization widgets to Kendo UI DataViz. We’ll include a wrapper widget for map tiling services (like Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc.), support for the geoJSON data format and support for overlays and other shapes. What’s more, in keeping with our release theme, all map widgets will be designed to be “responsive,” from the start.
Apple announced their controversial iOS 7 mobile OS earlier this year, and we’ve been following along with each Beta with the intention of getting iOS 7 support into Kendo UI Mobile as soon as we could manage. Today, I’m happy to announce that iOS 7 support will be available via an internal build to all Kendo UI Mobile, Complete and Wrappers customers on September 10th, the date that Apple is expected to announce the release of iOS 7 as well as one or more iPhone refreshes. Stay tuned to the blog for more details on September 10th!
The items above are some of our “big rocks” for Q3, but there’s a lot more we’re working on. In addition to the items noted above, you can expect that we’ll deliver a number of other requested widgets, features and enhancements in our next release including a few new Kendo UI Web widgets, and even more Chart types for Kendo UI DataViz. For more information about additional features we plan to deliver, head on over to the Roadmap page on KendoUI.com.
The Kendo UI roadmap is a living document. Even though we’re focusing our efforts around the themes I shared here today, we’re always looking to deliver maximum value to our customers with each release. With that in mind, you should consider the public roadmap published at KendoUI.com to be a living document, as well. There’s always a chance that other key and requested features will find their way into our Q3 release, so keep an eye on that space over the coming months.
And as always, we want your feedback! If you’re interested in weighing in on the roadmap moving forward, head on over to our public UserVoice forum to view, comment and vote on ideas, or even add your own. We watch this forum regularly, so don’t hesitate to let us know what you’d like to see in a future release!
Brandon Satrom (@BrandonSatrom) is General Manager for Telerik Developer Tools and Platform. A longtime developer, Brandon is passionate about the web, mobile and is an aspiring maker and electronics enthusiast. Brandon has spoken at national, international and online events, and he loves hanging out with and learning from passionate designers and developers. He is the author of two books, the latest being "Building Polyfills" from O'Reilly. Brandon lives in Austin, TX with his wife, Sarah, and three sons, Benjamin, Jack and Matthew. He can be found on Twitter as @brandonsatrom.