I’ve been building websites since the only way to write them was over telnet with the vi editor on a big UNIX machine.  I am very familiar with writing lots of HTML, and adding CSS and JavaScript to make things work in the browser window.  Over the last few years, I grew tired of building and maintaining my personal collection of JavaScript enhanced widgets for use in ASP.Net.  I checked out a collection of third-party ASP.NET controls from Telerik, and I was hooked.  I stopped maintaining my widgets that I had groomed and kept first on a USB key and later on SkyDrive and embraced the controls I was presented.  I instantly became more productive, and in the rest of this post, I will explain why and introduce you to the 30 minute ASP.Net productivity challenge.

In-House Development was Painful

In-House Development -- it can be painfulWhen I was maintaining my personal collection of widgets, I kept them secure, safe, and private.  I would spend late nights working on adding functionality, making them look better, and adding general coolness to them.  I remember that I had a type-ahead search textbox that would lookup data from a JavaScript array and give you a choice of options in a DIV below the textbox.  I spent hours building this functionality for Internet Explorer, only to find that it didn’t work properly in Firefox.  My current employer was only using Internet Explorer 6, so this wasn’t a problem that my widget couldn’t support Firefox.

When I saw the Telerik ASP.Net controls, I found the ASP.NET ComboBox and later the SearchBox controls that did the exact same thing as what I wrote.  They have MANY more features than my simple control, like data binding and server-side events.  To top it all, they even worked with Firefox…  I was at first intimidated by finding something so well built, such an elegant solution to my problem that I refused to accept it.  However, after talking to my wife, I understood that I was spending hours each night tuning my controls and NOT with my family… this was time that my employer didn’t know about, and wasn’t compensating me for!  It became clear to me that using the Telerik controls was not only a time and money saving proposition for me, but also my family.

I “outsourced” the management of my web application’s controls to Telerik.  By letting the Telerik team manage the controls, I could spend quality time with my family and deliver higher quality applications at the office.

Productivity Realized

If you're tools look like this... you need professional help!After a week or two of getting used to using the Telerik ASP.Net controls, I found that I was able to build my assigned web application faster.   I felt like I was no longer using stone-age tools, and that I have something that was modern and futuristic at my disposal. I stopped worrying about the little details of how the screens would look and how to make the controls feel great.  I trusted that the Telerik designers had given me great looking themes for my application, and I was right.  My customers were thrilled with the results because we delivered our application early and it looked great.

The ASP.NET Productivity Challenge

After I joined Telerik, we set forth to a goal to provide some concrete information about just how productive our controls will make a developer.  We set forth a “coding race” to see just how much of a website can be written in 30 minutes with both the default ASP.Net controls and the Telerik AJAX controls.  The “race course” would be the Telerik Web Mail sample app.  I was not familiar with the source code to this sample app, and I wrote two versions of it: one with the Microsoft ASP.Net controls and jQuery and another version using the Telerik AJAX controls.

We compiled the results of this race into a whitepaper that you can check out to see just how our AJAX controls fared.  I was pleased with the results, and I think you will be too.  There are some clear examples of how you can be more productive with our controls, and I hope you download our ASP.NET productivity whitepaper today!

About the Author

Jeffrey T. Fritz

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


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