This post will review some of the most popular form controls used in ASP.NET development – Grid control.
The biggest problem web developers and designers must tackle is how to display as much data as possible to the user without cluttering up the screen or ruining the design flow. Along with this age-old dilemma, we must now also take into consideration responsive mobile-ready layouts. Today, web users are more demanding than ever; they want eye-catching designs, easy flowing form entry and above all performance. It seems impossible that a user can expect to retrieve a set of 1 million data records in a matter of milliseconds. But, indeed, this is the expectation that we strive to achieve.
Previously, developers could easily display their data using the goo-old ASP.NET GridView control, which did provide us with a good template and the capability to redesign, although it meant coding in much of the navigation like paging, sorting, etc. As time moved on, as it always does, things change. For the web-user experience, things have changed drastically. Grid controls need to be first and foremost fast and easy to navigate. Other features that are popular are grouping, filtering, nested data and ability to add/edit/delete.
Compared to several years ago, we now have so many options. This is far from a complete list, as there are many, many controls available. I have had the opportunity to work with each of these :
1. JQGrid – The Frugal Choice
2. DevExpress – Similar to GridView
For those who are comfortable with the ASP.NET GridView syntax, the DevExpress Grid will make them feel right at home. This control includes all of the normal bells and whistles and also a built-in printing engine for instant ad-hoc reporting. DevExpress Themes implementation is based on Microsoft’s themes and skins technology. There are many rebuilt themes to choose from, as well as the ability to customize. I felt that making theme customizations was a bit too involved and could be made simpler. Overall, it’s a good product with many features. Demos available here: https://demos.devexpress.com/ASPxGridViewDemos/Default.aspx
3. Telerik – The All-in-One
Telerik offers products ala carte; however it is a better value to purchase the DevCraft bundle, which takes care of many of your needs and also has extra goodies for developers like JustMock, JustTrace. The ASP.NET AJAX RadControls have been around awhile and are used widely, therefore the support and community has a lot to offer. The Grid control boasts all of the required functionality plus a slick look and feel. My experience with support has been very responsive. Check it out: http://demos.telerik.com/aspnet-ajax/grid/examples/overview/defaultcs.aspx
Selecting the appropriate plug-in or product can mean a real savings in development time.
As technology moves forward so must we as developers!