Last week, I delivered a webinar on Kendo UI, which you can watch from Telerik TV. My goal was to bring folks up-to-speed on Kendo UI and to highlight the "what's new" in our latest release.
As with most webinars, a lot of questions asked. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of them here (along with my answers). This is what I was able to answer in the short timeframe that was allocated to my webinar. Please note that we've published a list of FAQs. Many of these questions were posed during the webinar as well.
Is there support for SQL Server?
All we require is an endpoint for the data (as XML or JSON). Expose that from SQL Server and you're all good!
If I plan to develop Windows 7 application, is there a way to link compact MS SQL database?
Should ASP.NET developers or ASP.NET websites replace ASP.NET Telerik controls for a performance gain? Particuraly the ones used for displaying data.
You should use what makes you happy. Seriously. Both solutions are great. The performance of ASP.NET MVC extensions (and AJAX) is awesome. Kendo UI perf is awesome too. Use what you know. Use what makes you happy.
Would you consider all the controls ready for production output or should they still be used in a test environment given that the controls are relatively new?
They are ready to go. We test them heavily. :)
Does Kendo UI work with IE7 and IE8? OR What browsers are supported for the various elements of Kendo UI (Web, DataViz, Mobile)? OR What happens when someone uses - for example - IE7 or IE8 with these controls? (Our company does not enforce browser upgrades.) OR How backwards-compatible is Kendo UI with older PCs like Windows XP and older browsers? OR Does Kendo UI support IE8 or higher?
Kendo UI Web and DataViz is designed to support all major browsers, including IE7+, Firefox 3+, Chrome, Safari 4+, and Opera 10+. Kendo UI Mobile supports WebKit-based browsers on iOS and Android.
For the Grid in Kendo UI Web, can I hide columns and still access its contents?
Yes. There are many ways to do this. You can persist to the DOM and hide through a visibility property. However, I'd be more inclined store in-memory. Or, even better, persist to local storage on the client-side.
Is it possible to change background images for the charts (in Kendo UI DataViz) and the Grid (in Kendo UI Web)?
Yes! Very easy to do via CSS styles. For charts in Kendo UI DataViz, see an example of this in-action here. For the Grid in Kendo UI Web, you could modify the k-grid or k-grid-content CSS classes with a background/background-image rule.
Do you have export functionality to Excel and/or PDF in the Kendo UI Grid?
No. However, you could customize the Grid quite easily to support this through the interface itself. Excel and/or PDF generation would be done separately.
Is export functionality available for the charts in Kendo UI DataViz?
At the moment, none. It's inline SVG or VML. Printing is fine. In Chrome, you can print to PDF for example.
It looks like you have a Mac. How do you develop on a PC for iOS?
Are these products packaged together or seperate?
Kendo UI is available as three products: Kendo UI Web, Kendo UI DataViz, and Kendo UI Mobile. We're working on plans around a complete package. (More on this soon!) Currently, Kendo UI Web and Kendo UI DataViz are available as a single download. Kendo UI Mobile isn't included because it's currently in Beta; you have to download it seperately. It's also worth noting that Kendo UI is available as an all-in-one set of files (i.e. kendo.all.min.js) or as a use-only-what-you-need set of files (i.e. kendo.datepicker.min.js).
Will Kendo UI Mobile have Windows Phone or Metro-style, Windows 8-like controls? OR What support does Kendo UI Mobile have for Windows Phone 7? OR Support for WP7 availability: near feature, or otherwise?
Currently, Kendo UI Mobile Beta does not support Windows Phone 7 due to a combination of missing features in Internet Explorer, such as support for touch events. If you're looking for Metro-style, Windows 8-like controls, we include the Metro theme in Kendo UI Web, which provides a look-and-feel that mimics that experience. It's pretty nice, in fact.
How about Kendo UI Mobile on Windows Mobile? I have a requirement to develop cross platforms of all phones? OR Will Kendo UI eventually support Windows Phone? Then we'll have a code once use everywhere for mobile!
We do not support Windows Mobile. In my opinion, supporting "all phones" would be fantastically difficult. With Kendo UI Mobile Beta, we decided to target the overwhelming majority of mobile browsers on the Web today; WebKit-based browsers in iOS and Android.
Will Kendo UI Mobile support augmented reality in the near future?
Currently, we do not have plans to support this. However, if you think it's something we should look into, please let us know!
With Kendo UI Mobile, is there an example of pulling data dynamically (via the Interwebs)?
At the moment, we don't have an example of this on our demo site. (We should provide one.) However, widgets like the ListView support databinding via the DataSource component, which supports binding and CRUD operations against remote data (XML/OData, JSON/JSON-P).
How well does Kendo UI mobile integrate with PhoneGap?
Very well! Check it out.
When is Kendo UI Mobile being released?
We haven't announced a release date yet. However, we are looking to have an update very soon. In the meantime, please refer to the Kendo UI Mobile roadmap.
When Kendo UI is expected to be released?
It is released. Kendo UI Web and DataViz are available now! Mobile is in Beta. Go nuts.
Could you please provide a link to updated docs? Thanks!
kendoui.com! Everything is available there.
Could you use Kendo UI for PHP as well as CMS products like WordPress?
Yes! Absolutely! We play very nicely in those kinds of environments.
What are the major advantages over jQuery UI?
I've documented the similarities and differences on the jQuery UI vs Kendo UI site.
Do you minify all of the JS and CSS?
Yes. I believe strongly in a faster web. Minification is one of many things we do to ensure you have the fastest experience possible with Kendo UI. We also employ a CDN and leverage CSS sprites to ensure this.
Any map controls planned in future?
No, not at the moment. There are wonderful map controls from Google, Bing, and others that are available today and worth checking out.
Are there any security-focused whitepapers or discussion groups relating to Kendo-based implementation?
Not to my knowledge. I mean, if you're referring to Kendo UI running on the client-side. I haven't seen one. That stated, we guard against common exploits and conduct testing internally.
Is the CSS minified per page, or per site (to allow sharing from cache)?
Is Kendo UI HTML5 only?
No. We support older browsers. However, we take advantage of HTML5 where we can. For example, the Upload widget is able to upload files out-of-band using the HTML5 File API with fallback for legacy browsers.
Is there support for IntelliSense in Visual Studio?
Not at the moment. There are a numerous IDEs and text editors used by web developers that support IntelliSense-like features. So, if this is something we plan to support, we'd have to target the right ones first. That stated, it's not the highest priority for us at the moment. This isn't because we don't think it's important (we do); rather, we're running at a million miles an hour trying to get features and fixes implemented.
Why would someone use this over your ASP.NET AJAX product?
I'm not advocating that you should. However, I would recommend that you use what makes you happy. If you're an ASP.NET developer who's productive with our ASP.NET extensions, please, please, please continue to use them. They're awesome. However, if you're a front-end web developer or you're building on PHP/Rails/etc. (for example), you should consider Kendo UI.
Where can we find documentation? Where do we find definitions of data-role, data-style types, etc? Where do we find API parameters and methods?
Everything you need can be found at demos.kendoui.com, including demos, API documentation, and more. For data-* attributes, I'd recommend reading HTML5 Custom Data Attributes (data-*) from HTML5 Doctor (great site, by the way).
What's the best text editor for Kendo UI? OR What's the best IDE for Kendo UI?
Whatever you like! We don't discriminate; we enjoy all the meats of our text editor stew. ;) Personally, I like Sublime Text. However, Visual Studio (with JustCode) is total awesomesauce.
Can you quickly talk about new features coming March 2012?
Sadly, I don't have enough time. However, you can read about what's coming for Kendo UI Web, Kendo UI DataViz, and Kendo UI Mobile online.
Obviously, I haven't answered every possible questions in this post. However, the good news is that we've got your back. Our Get Help page, for example, links everything-you-could-ever-want-in-terms-of-support related to Kendo UI. Check it out.
In addition to our awesome support and community forums, we're on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Drop us a line! Seriously. You want to be awesome with Kendo UI; we want you to be awesome with Kendo UI. It's win-win. :)
John Bristowe is a member of the Developer Relations team at Progress. He specialises in web and mobile app development.