Infragistics and telerik grant better control over ASP.Net 2.0 development
Injected with AJAX, NetAdvantage and r.a.d.controls expand developers' toolboxes
Chart your course
The standard Microsoft controls don’t cover charting; NetAdvantage and r.a.d.controls again pick up the slack, both offering grids, menus, tree controls, tab strips, toolbars, panels, date pickers, and calendars. Between the two sets, NetAdvantage’s UltraChart has more mature and capable chart control over r.a.d.chart. UltraChart displays more than a dozen types of 3-D charts and a couple dozen types of 2-D charts, allowing for multiple linear and logarithmic axes, multiple layers and areas, annotations, and most of the features needed for financial, scientific, and engineering charts. One of the very few chart types I’ve used in my work that’s missing from UltraChart is a triangular line/spline chart, used for representing ternary phase diagrams.
As far as charts go, telerik provides just enough functionality for simple business charts. The r.a.d.chart control displays 2-D point, line, bar, area, pie, spline, Bezier, Gantt, and bubble charts, with one set of axes. The telerik set also has a
Click for larger view.
On the other hand, the Infragistics set is compatible with the Microsoft Atlas AJAX framework. It also has a calculation manager for implementing a subset of Excel’s numeric capabilities, useful for implementing online calculations without writing a lot of code.
One of the most powerful data controls that Microsoft supplies in ASP.Net 2.0 is the GridView. I have built useful Web sites with little more than a SqlDataSource, a GridView, a populated SQL database, and a few SQL queries and property settings. The GridView is such an improvement over the older DataGrid that I was concerned that third-party vendors such as telerik and Infragistics would have trouble keeping up.
I needn’t have worried. Not only have Infragistics and telerik added AJAX functionality to speed the performance of their grids; they’ve added other useful functionality — in fact, a lot of useful functionality.
NetAdvantage’s UltraWebGrid has Outlook-style grouping by columns, target URLs for cells, flexible row numbering, cell merging, drag-and-drop column moving, XML-style presets, client-side sorting, AJAX sorting, multicolumn sorting, client-side cell editing, masked column formatting, and the ability to use WebDataInput, WebCombo, and WebDateChooser controls as cell editors, column footers, multicolumn headers, and hierarchical data display. Other performance optimizations include AJAX data load on demand, a variety of deferred data-scrolling strategies, an UpdateRow event that works with load on demand, AJAX data paging, AJAX type-ahead, and AJAX and client-side row filtering.