Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Use Telerik - It's worth it; Not Infragistics

In Nov/Dec 2007, one of my client asked us to use Telerik controls. At first, I was skeptic and did not want to introduce one more new thing in the project. It was our first 2005, .net 2.0, Ajax project. (I am running behind others in technology ain't i?). Till then we had used 2003, .net 1.1 and very little Ajax.

So, I ignored and when the saw first prototype with all .net native controls, they were so furious (obviously) because none of us were great graphics designers. And it was very poor looking application then.

And I thought let me have a look at Telerik. Woila, it had everything I "did not want to do". (this is positive sentense). I did not want to create stylesheet myself and check how different colors look for a table or button or drop down blah..blah... I did not want to write javascript to add some dynamic value to drop down... did not want to design javascript menus.... and Telerik did everything.

The best part was their Client object Model. They provide very rich set of Javascript classes for the controls that you are using that Javascript becomes fun to program. Javascript was my limitation - and they fulfilled it. Not that I don't know, but I don't like to write big javascript code. Even Firefox's FireBug helped debug the javascript.

In 2008 I got to see Infragistics being used in a project. It was Windows Smart Client project. Now, Infragistics had lots of properties for everything. And all those property names were not intuitive. Like in .net controls you may have some property Visible=true/false. Infragistics won't have that property but instead a method Hide() or Show(). Shortcomings of Infragistics was not in terms of features but more in terms of the usability. We were using Office Green theme for Grids, but everytime we go to set theme, it would reset it.

Then I checked to see if we can use it for Web development. But unfortunately their Javascript object model is not as strong as Telerik's ones. For example, to add a TAB to a TABSTRIP, you can use Javascript in Telerik controls, but Infragistic only does this from Server side. This is a true shortcoming.

The Help documents of Infragistics is very poor; while Telerik help is really helpful.

I finally bought Telerik controls in early 2009 and using it for my clients. They actually like the UI that I create using Telerik.

I am not really paid by Telerik to write this post. This is just my honest opinion.

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