How To Get Started With Telerik’s ASP.NET AJAX Controls

Overview:

Recently when talking to one of our clients, I had a question from them. They said your demos are great and covers most of the scenarios but when I take a particular control lets say Grid, how do I get started. Well that question prompted me to write this blog post. So if you are one of those who get the exact question in your mind about our controls, then do read on.

About Telerik’s ASP.NET AJAX Controls:

RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX is a complete development tool set for developing web sites or web apps based on ASP.NET AJAX technology. Our suite for ASP.NET AJAX contains nearly 70+ controls and helps you in rapid UI development. We also provide you with nearly 15 themes out of the box. If this excites you, check out the product page here: http://www.telerik.com/products/aspnet-ajax.aspx

ASP.NET AJAX Controls Help Documentation:

Almost all suites of Telerik have a very rich documentation support. Various formats of help is available. You can choose which mode you want to use the help documentation. If you navigate to page – http://telerik.com/help, it will list all suites help options. We will concentrate on ASP.NET AJAX controls for now. Here is the screen shot of the page with ASP.NET AJAX Controls Help Documentation Options:

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Lets spend a moment here to understand the help options. For ASP.NET AJAX we have the following resources:

  • Online Help or you can download a copy of CHM format, MS Help 2 format or MS Help 3 format. Clicking on “Online Help” will give you the documentation online. Where as other options you can download the help documentation on to your hard disks.
  • Step-by-step tutorial – the name says it all
  • Knowledge Base – a vast base of knowledge articles for you to do a quick glance at
  • Code Library – a vast library of codes for specific scenarios or requirements

For this blog post I will consider the “Online Help” option and point you to resources there. This will be the same for other formats too.

Navigating Help Documentation:

If you are starting new on a specific control, first thing you should do is to head over to the help documentation and get to the section which deals with the control you want work with. II f you navigate to online help link which is at http://www.telerik.com/help/aspnet-ajax/introduction.html, you will see the following page:

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If you notice the help documentation page, we have a tree on the left hand side. This tree lists down a lot options for you to get help on. I have highlighted 2 sections, namely – RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX Fundamentals and RadControls. The RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX Fundamentals will give you fundamental details about ASP.NET AJAX and about the RadControls itself. If you want to get to the documentation of controls you will need to expand the section “RadControls” which then will list all of our controls. As a shortcut, on the center section of the online help page, you will see links to controls directly and you can click on your control of interest. You will be navigated to that controls Documentation now.

Getting Started with a Control:

Now that you know how to navigate to the Help Documentation, the next step is to figure out getting started with a control. Remember the short cut I said that is available on the help documentation home page – well find the control you want to learn and click on it (the control name is a hyperlink which will take you to its documentation). For this exercise I will take our most popular control Grid and walk you through. Once I click on the RadGrid hyperlink, it will take me to RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX Overview page. The left side tree on the page will now have the node RadGrid under RadControls be default selected and the sub nodes under it would have been expanded.

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Now you will see a sub node called Getting Started. Click on it to expand the node. You will now see a child node which says “Getting Started with RadGrid for ASP.NET AJAX”. Click on the link and you will get a step by step guide on how to start working with our Grid.

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And that’s it – now you can first go through the getting started, understand steps required to get a Grid on your page and start using the grid.

Looking at the Demos:

Now that you know how to get started with the Telerik RadGrid, next step would be to start looking at our demos to understand different features and how to work with those features. In our demos we try to provide you with all the scenarios in which a Grid will be used in real world applications. So take a look at the demos online here – http://demos.telerik.com/aspnet-ajax/. Note that, when you download our product, the same online demo is shipped and installed on your hard disk. So you can just open the local demos right from your hard disk and go through them.

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Telerik TV:

Another great resource for anybody getting started with our Telerik Suites is to look at our Telerik TV. This is a public site available on the internet and you don’t need to be a licensee of Telerik to access the site. Telerik TV has videos on all of our products which are short in nature and very focused on a particular feature of a control. These videos are created by evangelists like me in Telerik. Personally I use this a lot to quickly understand how to work with a control. I highly recommend book marking this one in your browsers. Here is the Telerik TV URL: http://tv.telerik.com

Conclusion:

Whenever you are starting new, without knowing the right resources and guide its little tough to get started. Idea of this blog post was to hold your hand and walk you through various resources we here at Telerik have to make your experience of developing with Telerik controls an easy one. Personally as a developer at heart first place I go to is our documentation to understand the control and to go over its API exposed. Next stop would be Telerik TV and finally a look at the demos to understand different features and scenario in which the control can be used. Hope these simple steps will help you all with your evaluation of Telerik controls and make it much more easier and simpler to evaluate. Do feel free to get in touch with us in case you need further assistance.

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