One of the newest members to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX family, Telerik’s ASP.NET AJAX Organizational Chart control is still green and growing. In its first release we equipped it with the most crucial tools it needed to be successful in the outside world. In Q1 2012 RadOrgChart leveled up and added two other important tools to its belt:
When data-bound to simple hierarchical data the user can reorder nodes (people) in the hierarchy by being guided by nice visual clues depicting the availability and the result of the current drop operation.
In this binding mode RadOrgChart displays groups of items as individual nodes. This means that there are two ways of reorganizing the structure:
Again the helpful visual clues are there guiding the user through the whole experience.
The functionality is enabled by setting the RadOrgChart.EnableDragAndDrop property to true. After a Node/GroupItem is dropped RadOrgChart postbacks and throws the server-side NodeDrop/GroupItemDrop event where the logic for updating the underlying data source is implemented by the developer. A subsequent call to the DataBind() method rebinds the control to the changed data. It is a good idea to wrap the control in a RadAjaxPanel to avoid the flicker caused by the postback.
Imagine an organizational structure where some of the departments are really big and sometimes on a single level. This has two unpleasant side-effects when displayed in a vertical hierarchical structure as the one provided by RadOrgChart:
One way RadOrgChart alleviates the first problem in group-enabled binding mode is the ‘column count’ functionality, which basically says to a given (or all) groups to display their items in columns. In this way the content of the groups flows vertically instead of horizontally. Still this does not resolve the problem with many groups on a single level.
Here is an example of such a chart (ColumnsCount is set globally to 3):
Another way for improving the user experience is the new tool RadOrgChart now has: expanding and collapsing. The developer could initially collapse some of the Nodes so that the first thing the user sees is a simple looking organizational structure. If they want more details they could expand the collapsed nodes and see further. [Demo]
The feature is enabled by setting the RadOrgChart.EnableCollapsing property to true. Nodes/Groups are collapsed by setting their Collapsed properties to true.
This wraps up the major progress RadOrgChart has made for the last couple of months. Since it has been trained really well by our dev team since its inception, RadOrgChart plans to improve itself even more in the future. The Q2 2012 release will bring not only improvements and fixes to the table and also new features such as:
As a conclusion I would like to note once again that RadOrgChart is still a maturing control. There are many ideas we have and would like to implement one day, however, for us it is more important to hear yours. Please share your feedback with us and what you would like to see in the next levels of RadOrgChart either in the comments below, in our forums or via our support system.
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