The Q2 2011 Beta 2 release is upon our users and we've got quite a few improvements in the control suite. The highlight of the Q2 release will undoubtedly be the chart control and for Beta 2 we have added more features and polished the existing ones which make the chart look and work better than ever. A major feature, and the focus of this post, is the chart design-time gallery.
We extended the concept of the gauge gallery, now it applies to the gauge as well as the chart and who knows, maybe future controls will also benefit from it. The idea of the design-time gallery is still the same and it is to save the users from typing tedious XAML for the skeleton of a particular control. It does not do any magic e.g. read your mind. You will not get a fully functioning chart that is bound to your specific data source but will simply generate the basic XAML for a valid chart and then let you modify it as you see fit. This is very useful for quickly getting a working chart on your page which in turn makes prototyping your applications faster. If you have pages with many charts, your prototyping will be A LOT faster thanks to the gallery.
As usual, the gallery appears once you select a RadChart object either in the design surface or in the XAML editor. Notice the small green chart icon near the top right corner of the designer.
When you click it it will expand and show the available groups of charts. Every item in these groups can be clicked which will cause the chart that is currently selected to be populated with the settings contained in the gallery item.
Nothing too fancy, but like I said, this can significantly speed up the development of an application with many charts.
You can download the Beta 2 release from our website and if you happen to feel like it, drop a line or two in our forums so that we know if the gallery really does what it is supposed to do. :)