Following strategic planning activities which happened in the last couple of weeks, we are ready to unveil what’s cooking in the Kendo UI Labs, and what to expect from the second major release of our Kendo UI, UI for ASP.NET MVC, UI for JSP and UI for PHP products in 2015. Note that due to release alignment with the products from the Telerik DevCraft Collections, this release cycle will be a month shorter, and Q2 2015 is expected in the last week of June.
How a Roadmap Is Created
Let me first give you some insight how a Kendo UI roadmap is brought to life. Our product strategy, product management and engineering leads meet to discourse, prioritize and appoint for implementation new Kendo UI features, tools and functionality for the next major milestone, based on:
- Industry research and analysis
- Direct customer surveys and feedback (including our UserVoice portal)
- Forum posts and support requests
- Input from Telerik leadership
As validated above, your feedback is pivotal in defining the new functionality to be delivered, and thus we concentrate on the most valuable features for mobile web developers developers using Kendo UI tooling. When this data is thoroughly scrutinized, mapped and intersected, the roadmap comes together and goes public.
Now that you know this information, read on further below to see what’s coming in Q2 2015.
Give Me More Responsiveness! (All)
Q1 2015 was a great release for Kendo UI, packing a slew of features inspired by Responsive Web Design (RWD) patterns and making your mobile web apps automatically scale to various form factors. We also introduced a brand new Responsive Panel widget, allowing you to hide content behind a hamburger menu based on your application layout rules for smaller screens. You can see them in action here.
In Q2 we plan to expand this effort to our chart, editor and tabstrip widgets, including, but not limited to, the following responsive features:
- Rotate/fit chart axis labels or pie/donut chart labels, or scale their labels on restricted screens
- Overflow editor toolbar items into a hamburger/dropdown menu when the screen estate is small
- Provide scrollable option to the tabstrip, thus making it more flexible for usage in responsive scenarios
Additionally, we plan to optimize our online demos for viewing under any form factor. This means that you will be able to experience each of these responsive enhancements by default when you browse our demos on different devices and screens. Isn’t that cool?!
New Cross-Platform Mobile Theme (Core + Pro, Mobile Widgets only)
You wanted it, and we heard you! A major new addition in Q2 will be a new modern theme for our mobile widgets, bringing fresh and elegant look to apps built with them for all mobile OS platforms. This new theme will naturally be included in Telerik Platform hybrid mobile projects referencing Kendo UI mobile widgets, so that you can benefit from it there as well. Refer to its current layout wireframe below to get a taste of it, having in mind that it is going to be colorized when finalized, and will be designed with polished and optimized application layout in mind.
We also plan some improvements for the existing themes in terms of usability and customization.
Bootstrap Theme Converter Tool
Kendo UI features seamless integration with Twitter Bootstrap for building application layouts with RWD in mind, and also ships a Bootstrap-inspired theme which conforms to the default styles of the Bootstrap primitives. For the Q2 release we plan to extend the integration between both frameworks even further, by providing the option to import styles from any Bootstrap theme (standard or custom) and generate the pertinent css definitions for the Kendo UI widgets. In this way you will be able to make very easily Bootstrap components and Kendo UI widgets used within the same app perfectly ‘in sync’, in terms of visual appearance.
Section 508 compliance (All)
Web Accessibility has always been an important topic for us, and we integrated WAI-ARIA, WCAG 2.0 and (partial) Section 508 support almost from the beginning of Kendo UI’s existence as a framework. You can find detailed information about our accessibility support in the online docs.
Being in compliance with Section 508 regulations for web development is oftentimes an essential requirement for tooling used by government and federal organizations. We know this for a fact, and that’s why we’ll invest effort in making Kendo UI fully compliant with the Section 508 terms for our Q2’15 release. This will ensure we have you covered for building apps for the mobile web which meet completely the Section 508 standards.
Features for Existing Widgets (All)
There are some additional features for the grid, treelist and scrollable widgets in our pipeline, however I’ll won’t reveal them now but rather save them for you to discover later. To satisfy your curiosity, you will have to wait for the Q2 announcement and release notes.
More Scaffolding (MVC Server Wrappers)
Following the introduction of Visual Studio Scaffolding capabilities for the grid in Q1, we are now committed to expose scaffolding options for the chart and scheduler widgets as well. This will greatly reduce the time you spend to generate data plumbing code which connects your controller and respective view with the model you defined in your MVC projects. Better productivity with less manual coding.
.NET 5/MVC 6 and VS 2015 Official Support (MVC Server Wrappers)
Microsoft is steadily progressing towards the next major versions of the .NET and MVC frameworks, and Visual Studio 2015. There’ll probably be some news around this topic on the Microsoft Build conference, due in the very end of this month, and we remain dedicated to our commitment to provide official support for .NET 5, MVC 6 and VS 2015 shortly after its RTM announcement, expected within our Q2 timeframe (although nothing is confirmed from Microsoft yet).
For now you can try out our MVC 6 Beta for UI for ASP.NET MVC, available in your Telerik Account’s > *Product Name* Download Distribution > Other Setup Files group (NuGet package file), and share feedback about it via our official support channels. Note that we’ll have a booth on MS Build, which you can visit and speak directly with our staff. Don’t hesitate to meet and have a conversation with us there, if you are going to attend MS Build.
NuGet feed (MVC Server Wrappers)
In this release cycle we’ll finalize what we started in Q1 and will deliver on our promise, i.e. introducing a private NuGet feed for the commercial Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC product distribution (secured with your Telerik account user/password credentials). Thus you will be able to fetch the latest versions or updates of our UI for ASP.NET MVC product directly from this NuGet feed, without even visiting telerik.com. This is especially useful with .NET 5 and MVC 6, where NuGet package management plays a central place for referencing third party products in your projects.
Coupling that with our already available (since Q1) Kendo UI Core and Professional distributions via Bower, you’ll have a direct access to each of our products via these popular package managers.
Share Your Feedback
As a client-driven company, your feedback plays a key role in planning the development direction for Kendo UI. Therefore, I’m eager to hear your thoughts on our roadmap, voicing them in the comments section below.
If you have any suggestions or feature requests, head over to our Feedback portal and submit them where they can be deliberated and voted on by the community, and prioritized for future development. You can also share them in person by registering for TelerikNEXT, our premium conference for this year, due on May 3-5 2015 in Boston – we’ll be happy to meet you there!
About the Author
Stefan Rahnev (@StDiR) is Product Manager for Telerik Kendo UI living in Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been working for the company since 2005, when he started out as a regular support officer. His next steps at Telerik took him through the positions of Technical Support Director, co-team leader in one of the ASP.NET AJAX teams and unit manager for UI for ASP.NET AJAX and Kendo UI. Stefan’s main interests are web development, agile processes planning and management, client services and psychology.