Windows 8 is on the horizon, and many of us are turning our attention to building Metro-style applications.
The opportunity is enormous; possibly once in a life-time. The numbers of Windows 7 machines is staggering, and sooner or later nearly all of these will convert to Windows 8 and find the Store on their Start page.
In addition to the millions of customers who will have access to the Windows Store, many enterprises are gearing up for immersive applications for their businesses.
In short, there is a lot of interest in what it takes to create a Windows 8 Metro-style application, and what’s in that toolbox.
The good news is that the toolbox is chock full of useful widgets. This new is tempered, however, by the conspicuous absence of some very important controls. Fortunately, Telerik is already geared up to fill the gap.
The RadControls For Metro collection is currently in Beta, and we recently had a Webinar introducing these controls. You can download the webinar, slides and code here, and review the complete Q&A from the webinar here.
The key controls that are currently in the RadControls for Metro collection that are not in the Visual Studio toolbox are
RadChart can be considered a suite of its own, comprising a large number of bar, pie, line, area and financial chart types to suite every data visualization need.
RadGauge provides a rich assortment of circular and linear gauge types, with powerful customization capabilities.
RadBulletGraph provides data visualization to concisely describe a single datum (the featured measure) compared to one or two additional data (the comparative measures). RadBulletGraph can be positioned horizontally or vertically.
Additional controls that we offer include:
RadDatePicker and RadTimePicker enable quick and efficient date / time selection by navigating through a set of infinitely-looping selection lists.
RadDropDownList is useful when you want to limit the user’s selection to a single item from a predefined list. You can populate the list with data from a local array or remote data from an online service, and you can add, remove and disable items at runtime.
RadNumericBox provides precise control over changing numeric values in your application. It provides increment and decrement buttons that allow the user to change the value with a predefined step.
RadAutoCompleteBox provides Google-like suggestions as you type, and allows the user to select two or more items. You can populate the AutoCompleteBox from a local array or remote data from an online service.
Our RadSlider is much more powerful than the Slider control included in the Windows 8 toolbox, offering two thumbs to more precisely adjust a range of values, as well as customizable tooltip templates, horizontal and vertical positioning, easy restyling and more.
Similarly, RadComboBox is much more powerful than what comes out of the Win 8 box, offering Google-like suggestions and auto-complete as you type. Besides selecting an item from the ComboBox’s drop down list, you can enter custom text in the textbox area. ComboBox can be populated either by a local array or remote data like movies database or list of stocks coming from an online service.
The Metro controls come with extensive documentation, and we’ll be supplementing that documentation not only with Webinars but with blog posts, white papers, videos and more. For example, we started this series of Blog Posts with Michael Crump’s Why Would You Want To Write Applications For Windows 8 Now?
Telerik is famous for our world-class support, our hugely helpful forums and our commitment to you before, during and after your purchase.
In short, the key controls that are missing from the Windows 8 toolbox are in Telerik’s RadControls for Metro. And we’re just in Beta; expect to see more controls from us by the time we’re done. A lot more.
Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects. He is the author of 2 dozen books and has been a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T and a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. You can read more on his personal blog or follow him on twitter