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Telerik did a very nice job on these controls!

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Scott R
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Scott R asked on 22 Jul 2008, 03:31 PM
I've seen a few posts here and there grumbling about hassles upgrading from the RadControls for ASP.NET to the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. I thought I take a moment to post my experience.

I completed a project a couple of years ago with the "old" controls. They look pretty, but I had a LOT of problems with them. I'm sure that part of the problems were due to me simply not understanding the controls, but it seemed like every single thing I wanted to do required some javascript work-around to accomplish. It was pretty frustrating, but still far better than writing my own controls. On that project, I ended up using the Telerik controls rather sparingly due to all the problems I was having. I think I only ended up using the Menu and TreeView. I was originally using the Grid (which caused me untold headaches) but eventually found that it was so "bulky" that it made page load times unbearable and eventually had to take it back out. Also, as one might expect, the old controls did not "play nice" with ASP.NET AJAX. You pretty much had to use the Telerik AJAX manager for the controls to really work.

The next project I started I avoided all 3rd party controls like the plague. I just didn't want the headaches. It turned out "okay", but I'm a programmer not a graphics designer so it was very "simple" looking. I kept telling my self that "clean and simple" is all the rage now, but I longed to have it look better.

So I decided to give the new Telerik controls a shot.

Maybe it's because I had worked with the controls before, or maybe it's just because the new controls are much, much better. Either way, I am extremely happy with the results this time. There are still work-arounds for odd-ball type stuff that I wanted to do, but the new controls really seem to work "out of the box" a majority of the time. And when they don't, you can get an answer on the forums in about a day. And they have significantly reduced the client-side "bulk" of the controls, so page load times are fast. This new project uses almost every Telerik control (grid, toolbar, menu, splitter, treeview, input controls, window, panel bar, upload, tab strip w/ multi-page, reporting, and soon the scheduler) and I've had to open exactly one support ticket. There have been frustrations, to be sure, but that's to be expected with any 3rd party control. But the final product is fantastic (in my humble opinion). And the best part? I looks awesome without me having to do anything more than set the Skin properties and override some CSS here and there.

So no, I didn't have to go through the pain of upgrading an existing project from the old controls to the new (although I probably will at some point), but I can say with certainty that the new controls are head-and-shoulders above the old ones. If you are looking for a 3rd party control suite, I would definitely recommend Rad Controls for ASP.NET AJAX. Expect to spend some late nights figuring out how to use the controls appropriately. But also expect great results and happy users.

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