Q2 2013 release is now available for download and we are happy to have added quite a lot of value to our existing Windows 8/XAML offering. You can find a detailed overview of what’s new in this blog post, I’ll just mention some of the notable goodies here -- two brand-new controls RadCalendar and RadNumericBox, new Data Storage Layer, significant improvements to our RadDataGrid control like data editing, grouping / filtering UI, etc.
However, today I would like to talk about one of the less obvious enhancements that we managed to add to one of our flagship controls RadChart for Windows 8/XAML -- namely the new design-time gallery feature.
Some of you that have used our charting components for the other XAML platforms (Silverlight, WPF, and Windows Phone) are probably familiar with the concept and would be happy to hear that we have now incorporated the same visual tooling and productivity boost to our Windows 8/XAML control as well.
So what does the design-time gallery do and why would you possibly need it?
RadChart for Windows 8/XAML is one of our mature and established controls and sometimes new users find its learning curve a bit steep and intimidating due to the sheer amount of features and customization options provided by the control out-of-the-box. While we have done our best to facilitate the process with our extensive control documentation, let’s say you just need a quick hands-on experience or you need to do some quick and dirty prototyping just to see how your application is shaping up. The main idea of the design-time gallery is to save you from typing tedious XAML for the skeleton of the chart control. It does not do any magic tricks, neither does it perform any heuristics, nor is it a full-blown chart wizard with screens and screens of options to choose from. Generally you will not get a chart that is tailored to your specific scenario and bound to your specific data source but it will simply generate the basic XAML for a valid chart so you can familiarize yourself with the various visual elements that constitute a Cartesian, Polar, or Pie chart, and then let you modify it as you see fit. If you have pages with many charts, your prototyping will be A LOT faster thanks to the gallery.
We have shot a short video for you to see the chart design-time gallery in action:
Drop us a line in the comments section or in the public forums if you would like to see the gallery concept expanded or if you just happen to like it as is. Hope you find this useful for your future charting endeavors! :)