Given the history of the Kendo UI product for its years of existence, its explosive proliferation over time and constantly aggressive release schedule, you may recently started asking yourself, "what else can this product do for me? How it can further simplify my life as a developer of web and mobile applications for different form factors?"
The answer is provided with our Kendo UI Q1 2015 installment. In addition to its existing great features, we are introducing responsive improvements across the board, helping you build responsive apps for the mobile web with minimal to no effort. Read on to learn more about this and everything else packed in the Kendo UI Q1 2015 release.
Some Stats Beforehand
In keeping with tradition, I'm providing you with some important numbers that indicate the activity and achievements of the Kendo UI team for this release:
- 32 enhancements made for Kendo UI Professional suite
- 45 issues closed for Kendo UI Professional suite
- 2 new widgets in Kendo UI Core suite
- 9 enhancements made for Kendo UI Core suite
- 13 issues closed for Kendo UI Core suite
And without further delay, I am giving you the main highlights in this major Kendo UI
Responsiveness (Core + Professional + Server Wrappers)
The headline of this release is responsiveness, how we embrace the concepts of Responsive Web Design (RWD) and transform them into tangible responsive enhancements, becoming part of our Kendo UI framework and widgets.
By definition, RWD is the way to develop mobile web applications tailored for various form factors, by providing the necessary degree of scaling and auto-adjustments for different screen sizes and optimal user experience. Historically, Kendo UI suite has always been on the front line for adopting responsive design patterns that enable fluid interfaces. This has been accomplished by an integrated resizing mechanism for the widgets, and the seamless integration with the popular and widely adopted Bootstrap framework. We also introduced some advanced resizing features for the ToolBar and Gantt widgets, for instance.
With Q1, we take our responsive story to the next level, by providing the following responsive additions:
- [New Widget] Responsive Panel: A brand new responsive container component with the sole purpose of providing the necessary plumbing for hiding content on small screens when the specified width boundary is passed, and showing this content when its "hamburger" icon button is clicked. This feature is very helpful when implementing various patterns for showing and hiding any content or page elements for responsive web scenarios.
- Grid and TreeList: Both widgets integrate a responsive pager ,which automatically adjusts on different screen widths and provides the ability to define which columns to be hidden on small view ports. This makes them more flexible for mobile web usage.
- Scheduler: Our scheduler provides the mechanism to overflow its View selection options into a dropdown on small screen estates. Additionally, it can apply short date/month/year abbreviations where applicable. Thus, its visual presentation is fine-tuned for usage in responsive web scenarios.
- Menu: Menu with root-level items for navigation can be configured to switch to a “hamburger” on smaller screens or mobile phones, adjusting navigation behavior and improving usability on different form factors. This is possible when it is placed inside the Responsive Panel container.
- SplitView: The splitview allows you to define its left pane as collapsible (via code configuration for this purpose) on small view ports. Thus, it can be hidden by default and displayed on-demand via a mobile drawer-like mode, making it react responsively, based on the available screen estate.
Additionally, we remain true to our commitment to continue working in this direction in the future, and we expect more responsive features in Kendo UI suite later in 2015.
New Fiori Theme (Professional + Server Wrappers)
With this new theme, the appearance of the widgets conform to the SAP Fiori design guidelines, and blend seamlessly with the SAP Fiori platform styles. No need for manual adjustment or custom styling; simply apply the theme and you're done.
Grid and TreeList Features (Professional)
Major widgets such as the grid and the TreeList get some deserved love in this release, as usual.
The Grid adds a few more features to its valuable set of functionality. These are:
- Multi-checkbox filtering: In a few clicks, the user can select a specific set of matching options to filter against, without specifying a complex filter pattern for the same purpose.
- Copy/paste cell selection: The option to select a group of cells and copy their text to the clipboard, and then paste or process the copied values in the clipboard to an external recipient, such as MS Excel.
- Auto-fit column width: The ability to auto-size column widths based on the longest text in the corresponding column cells. This feature is useful when you want to further optimize the width the Grid table will occupy on the page where it is hosted.
As for the TreeList, it already provides a variety of column manipulation features, such as column reordering, resizing, show and hide, as well as support for static/pinned columns with horizontal scrolling enabled. You can easily customize the appearance or accessibility of TreeList columns, based on your preferences.
Grid Multi-Checkbox Filtering
TreeList Column Menu
Chart and Gantt (Professional)
With this release, our Chart exposes visual templates for various core charting elements (chart series, points, axis labels or legend items, and so on), enabling you to tweak or completely replace portions of the chart with your custom visualizations. This is quite a powerful feature to bring your chart data visualizations to the next level of user experience.
Furthermore, the Gantt integrates RTL support, task tooltip and current date indicator, which further complement the existing functionality already available in the widget.
The main purpose of this new widget is to output header and detail content by means of collapsible functionality. This is useful in a variety of cases for web and mobile apps when the screen estate is limited, but you should still display compressed discoverable data for the end users.
Starting in Q1, pdf export is available for the Editor, Map and Pivot Grid widgets, and the Pivot Grid also features Excel export functionality. This completes the export story for the widgets in Kendo UI suite started in Q3 2014, enabling you to export content and share it with colleagues, relay it to external applications or operate with it offline.
And More (Core)
It's not possible to cover all new features in this blog post, but I want to mention a few more important enhancements shipped with the Q1 2015 release:
- ComboBox Virtual Scrolling: Enables you to display a subset of items in its dropdown initially that match the entered criteria, and load mode on-demand, if needed. This results in more scalable presentation of the items and better performance, especially when large amount of items have to be displayed as options in the dropdown.
- DropDownList Option Groups: The functionality to divide its items into groups with non-selectable headers, based on some criterion. You can make the visual representation of the items in the dropdown more UX-friendly.
- TabStrip Vertical Mode: With its vertical mode, the TabStrip becomes even more flexible in case you would like to display vertical navigation in your apps.
DropDownList Option Groups Vertical TabStrip
All Bower fans, rejoice! With this release we deliver Bower feeds for Kendo UI Core and Professional, which you can use to directly download the latest Kendo UI bits without visiting telerik.com.
The Bower feed for Kendo UI Core is hosted as a public github repo, while this for the commercial Kendo UI version is protected with user/pass credentials on bower.telerik.com. More info can be found in this doc.
As with each Kendo UI release, all new widgets receive server-side wrappers for ASP.NET MVC, Java (JSP) and PHP to assist developers who feel more at home with server-side rather than client-side development. This means that the widgets (and features) listed above are directly available in Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC, UI for JSP and UI for PHP products.
MVC Server Wrappers
ASP.NET Scaffolding is a code generation framework for ASP.NET Web applications. Visual Studio 2013 includes pre-installed code generators for MVC and Web API projects. You add scaffolding to your project when you want to quickly add code that interacts with data models. Using scaffolding can reduce the amount of time it takes to develop standard data operations in your project.
Our MVC scaffolding VS extension introduced in Q1 enables you to choose a model and configure the grid. The result is a controller paired with a view that is specific to the chosen model. This gives you the ability to automatically generate the code plumbing between your data and view layers hosting data-bound Kendo UI MVC wrappers.
New Visual Studio Project Templates
In addition to the existing "Standard," "Mobile with Ajax Navigation" and "Mobile with Server Navigation" MVC Visual Studio templates, we added "Grid and Menu" and "Empty" project templates. By extending the basic set of predefined boilerplates, we enable you to jump start your MVC projects and reduce your development time from start to finish.
ASP.NET 5 and MVC 6/VS 2015 Beta
With Q1 2015, we are shipping a Beta version of Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC, targeting ASP.NET 5, ASP.NET MVC 6 and Visual Studio 15. This is a public preview of our progress and up-to-date product deliverable for the new version of the Microsoft .NET framework.
As we already know, ASP.NET vNext and MVC6 are going to be very different in terms of framework and architecture, compared to the previous versions of ASP.NET, and are still in a flux. Our commitment for the next releases of the Kendo UI MVC wrappers is to stay in line with the ASP.NET vNext development and public Beta versions, and deliver official support for vNext and Visual Studio 2015, right after they are released officially by Microsoft.
We are truly excited about the new opportunities ahead of us, and encourage you to give the Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC Beta (targeting MVC6 and .NET 5/VS 2015) a spin. Also, do send your input about it our way; we'll surely take it into account.
You can find the Beta distribution as part of our NuGet trial and commercial packages for Telerik UI for ASP.NET MVC, available under the following path in your Telerik account:
(Trial users) Products & Subscriptions > Trials > UI for ASP.NET MVC > Download > Other Setup Files group
(Commercial users) Products & Subscriptions > UI for ASP.NET MVC > Browse All Product Files > Other Setup Files group
(DevCraft Collection users) Products & Subscriptions > DevCraft Collection Name > Download Installer and Other Resources > UI for ASP.NET MVC > Browse All Product Files > Other Setup Files group
Join us for a Telerik Kendo UI™ Release Webinar on April 9 at 11:00 a.m. ET to learn what’s new in the March release and see how Kendo UI suite helps you build responsive web apps that scale for every device.
Watch everything new in Kendo UI suite in action:
- Responsive features in the most popular widgets, and new Responsive Panel widget enabling developers to hide content on small screens behind a “hamburger” menu, thus improving user experience on small screen estates
- Major features for the Grid, Chart, TreeList and Gantt widgets, and new Fiori theme
- Editor, Map and PivotGrid now have export capabilities, enabling users to take their data on the go
The webinar ends with a Q&A session during which our Kendo UI experts, Burke Holland, Cody Lindley, Jen Looper and John Bristowe, will answer all your burning questions about the new release.
Eager to try yourself everything that’s depicted above? Visit the official demos, documentation and release notes for Kendo UI | UI for ASP.NET MVC | UI for JSP | UI for PHP.
Trial Downloads > Kendo UI | MVC | JSP | PHP. You'll find additional stuff as well, as this is just a small portion of everything included in Q1.
Last but not least, do not hesitate to share your feedback about this release, either in the comments of this blog post or in our forums. We want to hear your voice and discover how these features will help you build your next amazing mobile web application.