Product Review: Syncfusion Essential Studio 2010 Volume 2

A quick look at new capabilities in the latest release of Syncfusion's component and tool set

This is a brief follow-up to my original Syncfusion 2010 Volume 1 review published in the June issue of DevProConnections.  As such, this article will focus mainly on the new capabilities and support added to the Volume 2 release.

Several of the expected features I mentioned in the original review have made their debut in this quarterly update. The most important of these for existing Syncfusion users is full support for Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET 4.0 Framework.

Figure 1: Essential Studio Enterprise Edition 2010 Vol. 2

In addition, Office 2010 compatibility has been extended to all the major components such as the DocIO and XlsIO ASP.NET components. Several other new features have been added as well, such as improvements to the Essential Business Studio ASP.NET Chart that make it considerably more robust and even more useful (especially when coupled with the Report Builder).  The OlapGrid can now export to Excel, Word or PDF.  The ASP.NET MVC components have also had substantial improvements, with 2.0 compatibility on the top of the list. The Grid now supports in-line editing, multicolumn grouping and additional skins to choose from. The MVC tools also now have full support for IE 7 and higher, Firefox 2 and higher, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera web browsers.  A number of fixes to the existing components have also been made, making them even more stable than they already were.

Figure 2: Additional Skins to Choose From

What I really appreciate about the Syncfusion Essential Suite is the dedication that the Syncfusion development team has toward aggressively improving the product in such tight timeframes.  While other quarterly iterations might not have the scope of changes and improvements, the effort is admirable.  I discovered that migrating several constructed applications using Syncfusion from Visual Studio 2005 or 2008 to 2010 to was an effortless process (as it should be).  The tool integration for the Visual Studio 2010 IDE worked the same as it had for 2005 and 2008, allowing me to quickly orient myself back to working with it.  Given how many changes are present in the new Windows Presentation Foundation-driven VS2010 IDE, Syncfusion’s seamless compatibility does not strike me to be a trivial feat.

In summary, Syncfusion Essential Studio has stayed lock-step with the times and is well positioned for future expansion into the .NET realm of technologies.  Thanks to the company’s consistent interface throughout its components, whether they be for Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight or ASP.NET, rapid deployment and repurposing of applications leveraging these controls and libraries is practically a given.  The Business Intelligence components deliver a level of power and flexibility at a price that is extremely competitive compared to other BI controls.  The number of features added between quarterly release cycles is aggressively satisfying, making the annual subscription fee an active investment.

Mike Riley ([email protected]) is an advanced computing professional specializing in emerging technologies and new development trends. He is also a contributing editor for DevProConnections.

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