I think that everybody knows the Telerik company – the provider of controls packs for different platforms. Beside of controls, the company also have some additional tools that can help developers in their daily work. But let finish talking about company.
This entry should be written and published a long time ago, but always there were other more important issues. Right now I have two products of Telerik – [mark]Windows Phone[/mark] and [mark]Windows 8[/mark] controls packs. I will be honest I still haven’t used the controls for Windows 8. But their time will come in the future.
So I would like to focus on Windows Phone controls. I have been using those controls over half of the year. At the beginning I planned to used them only in Kursy Walut. I wanted to improve charts in that applications. Earlier I have tried to use some free chart controls. After tests I have chosen controls prepared by VisiBlox. But they were not good enough. Users of my application complained about chart feature, that it is working too slow and is not intuitive, looks weird and so on… I had to do something. I decided that I will use [mark]Telerik[/mark] controls. It was normal for me that I wanted to check controls first. And there was no problem in this case. Telerik has created application that demonstrate all controls in action – Telerik Examples.
Right now I find this decision as one of the best I have made. Even more, I regret a bit that I have not used it earlier. The cost of whole package is not big – only 99$. The whole package contains some new controls and also replacement for build in controls.
Additionally you will get also technical support. You should get answer for questions within 24 hours. And it really works. I have already tested Telerik support many times and the quality is impressive. For each error that we find we will get points. Those points can be changed to other Telerik products. I wonder how many times have you spotted the following statement on Microsoft pages: problem is well known and it will be fixed in next release of framework. The problem is that you do not know the release date of new framework. In case of Telerik you will get it fix in most cases in one day. In case of larger error you will get dedicated package of controls.
Let back to controls. As I mentioned before originally I planned to use only chart controls – they look very nice, work fast and intuitive. Those feature are the same for the rest of the controls. Step by step I have started to change controls in all other applications. In case of Kursy Walut the performance was not so important. But in case of SpeedDial after changing all Microsoft SDK controls to Telerik ones’, the performance has increased dramatically. For me it was hard to believe that Telerik could prepare ListBox control that works faster than prepared by Microsoft. It is hard to say but I have spend two weeks to find solution that will work enough fast with Microsoft controls. After introduction of Telerik product this solution was not needed any more. It was really waste of time. Of course I have learned some new things and created some weird looking code. But from business point of view this work has been done for nothing.
Hmmmm…. This text looks like some advert – only pros. Unfortunately, there is no rose without thorns. For me the most important cons is the size of controls. Even if we want to use only one or two controls we need to import all of them. It means that size of our application will be increased by about 2 MB. And when we need one of the control from the beginning, the start of our application can be delayed about 2 seconds. The good thing is that we have access to source code and to manual how to build own set of controls. So if we want we can remove controls which are not being used.
In summary, purchase of Telerik controls can save us a lot of time. I would like to encourage everybody who has never used one of them, to try. You can find free demo version on Telerik website. In fact this is the full version with time limit. I’m sure that once you will try them, you will never want to go back to the default controls provided by the SDK.