Comparison between Telerik and DevExpress

2 posts, 1 answers
  1. Brent
    Brent avatar
    2 posts
    Member since:
    Oct 2010

    Posted 18 Sep 2012 Link to this post

    I have used both Telerik and Devexpress in projects in the past and while Telerik is good, it seems to lack some spit and polish.  I am looking for someone who has the skill to disabuse me of the notions that I will be raising in this post.  I WANT someone to prove me wrong so that I can feel good about switching to Telerik.

    1.  Created a Ribbon Form using the latest Telerik controls as of today, when I installed it.  Went to create an application button menu item / description.  Much to my surprise I found that something as simple as wrapping the description text was left up to me.  In order to properly wrap this text, I am forced to create a compiler extension or library function (depending on your school of thought) that will take the output from the resource file and insert vbnewline entities after a certain number of letters.  This might work ok for English but when I release the software in another language, this wrapping function will likely have to be internationalized so that it will properly wrap something other than english.  I simply find it hard to believe that a product that certainly competes in many ways with DevExpress cannot handle this.  (I have gripes with the ribbon control from devexpress too, its lack of support for anything bigger than a 32 x 32 png icon is maddening).

    2.  The ORM designer does not tag the the classes it generates with <datamember> or <datacontract> attributes and the documentation for this leaves much to be desired.  If you go with a code first approach it seems that there is a large amount of code that you need to write on your own to handle the data context duties.  The code first approach from devexpress seems to be more poco and I can decorate those classes with attributes that will end up feeding the database engine things like field length (for nvarchar) and so on.  Specifically there are additional classes that you need to hand code that the devexpress orm model seems to handle for you in that framework.

    It is true that I did not attempt to take these generated classes and run them over the service boundary, but given the testing I have done in the past, WCF services pretty much will not serialize unless you have these attributes on your classes.

    Now, if someone can disabuse me of these two notions I am all ears.  I am submitting this to the community as a challenge, especially someone who loves Telerik.  I do not dislike Telerik, but I reviewed it a number of years ago and found it lacking at that time (around 2008), and recently I won a copy of it at a .NET user meeting, so I tried it again, and found the issues above, again, causing me surprise that the product actually had these kinds of limitations being as mature as it is.

    No product is perfect, I understand that, but the first issue seems to me to be easily implemented from a control perspective and the fact that it is not, leads me to wonder... what else will I run into if I adopt this product?

    The ORM issue again, while not simple, it seems to me that it could be automated and that I could inherit a class that implements the needed capability in my poco class and it would have the data context methods already available to me, not as simple as the first issue I raised, but still seems to be a fairly straightforward OO design issue.  (just talk with JP at and he'll tell you its a simple OO problem and probably code you the answer in about 60 minutes.

    Anyhow, these are my thoughts after a day of review of this product.  If someone can disabuse me of these notions and provide fixes that will work under all the scenarios I have outlined, I would love to hear it.

  2. Answer
    Ivailo avatar
    318 posts

    Posted 20 Sep 2012 Link to this post

    Hello Brent,

    We completely understand your point of view. Of course that it would be highly inconvenient if you have to set the new lines manually in case of a multi-lingual application. This is why, I am glad to inform you that we support automatic wrapping of the description text of the menu items. In order to enable this functionality, you have to set the TextWrap property of the TextPrimitive responsible for displaying the description text to true, and you should also set the MaxSize for this primitive to an appropriate value. Here is a sample code snippet:

    this.radRibbonBar1.RibbonBarElement.ApplicationMenuRightColumnWidth = 170;
    this.radMenuItem4.Layout.Description.TextWrap = true;
    this.radMenuItem4.Layout.Description.MaxSize = new Size(150, 0);
    this.radMenuItem5.Layout.Description.TextWrap = true;
    this.radMenuItem5.Layout.Description.MaxSize = new Size(150, 0);

    I am attaching a screenshot of the result that you can get thanks to this piece of code.

    As to Telerik OpenAccess ORM, you are right that the DataContract and DataMember attributes are not yet auto-generated for your persistent entities. However, both with the code only approach, and with the Visual Designer approach, you can add the attributes to the needed classes manually. In the near future we will most certainly work on extending our code generation functionality for N-Tier scenarios involving services and serialization, so you can expect this to be available out of the box soon. As an alternative in the meantime we are offering the Add OpenAccess Service wizard which generates fully serializable Data Transfer Objects and the necessary CRUD operations for them.

    Additionally, please note that the code only approach does not necessarily mean that you should create all the code manually. For your convenience we have developed the Fluent Code Generation functionality, which can generate all your classes and the entire mapping, while in the same time allowing you to customize the generated Fluent Mapping code when you remove the Visual Designer diagram (rlinq file) causing the auto-generation of the code.

    I hope we have provided some useful insights about your questions. Do not hesitate to get back to us for any further details that you need.

    All the best,
    the Telerik team
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