Infragistics came to the office yesterday to show us their shiny new products and to talk about their roadmap for development. We scheduled the meeting as part of the .Net Working Group series, and was the first working group meeting of 2007. Jack Schwinn, one of our Sales Reps, brought in Devin Rader and Andrew Flick, Product Managers for Web Client and Rich Content respectively. The demo was led by Tony Lombardo, their Infragistics Evangelist. They covered a wide variety of topics and did a great job answering our questions. Here is a run-down of my notes from the demo:
Tony walked us through the controls that we have not seen since our last volume release. He walked us through the Excel, XPS and PDF Exporters, with support for formulas and multiple tabs. There is also an Excel Importer control. I think we will have a lot of use for these controls in our internal projects. They explained the Calc Manager, which is an easy way to add Excel functionality (like a mortgage calculator) very simply to the page. They also gave us a demo of the new WebGauges graph controls. The demo he showed was 101 different variations of the radial gauge and the linear gauge. In terms of their roadmap, they will be supporting .Net 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 in the future, with both their native Ajax platform and with the ASP.Net Ajax platform from Microsoft.
Since we do not work a lot on WinForms, we spent only a few brief moments on the new controls released since our last purchase. There has been a new WinDesktopAlert control (think “Toast Control”), which is a small popup window control, similar to the Outlook mail notification window, in the lower right corner of your screen. The second control they discussed is a new Ribbon control, which works within the ribbon functionality in Microsoft Office 2007.
Their XAM Showcase is the sandbox work that Infragistics is doing with WPF. They gave us a preview of their Carousel Control, Data Carousel control, and WPF charting controls. You can see some of their preliminary work at http://xamples.infragistics.com . These work with XBAP (or XAML Browser Applications), the browser based application model for WPF. MSDN has put together a great WPF XBAP video about it. And, if you are wondering what is the difference between XBAP and Silverlight, read this great forum chain on http://silverlight.net .
There are dramatic differences working with Silverlight 1.0 (which is still not released) and Silverlight 1.1 (which is much more exciting). In a nutshell, Silverlight 1.1 will come with its own lightweight version of the .Net Framework. This will provide more possibilities to the developer. And so it is with Infragistics. They are ramping up to leverage Silverlight 1.1. Their first set of sandbox controls will be a text box control, a graph control, and a scrolling toolbar panel control.
The meeting was very exciting, and I see lots of possibilities for future development. The controls I am most excited about are the Excel Exporter controls, the WebGauges, and the soon-to-be-developed Silverlight controls. What excites you about these new controls, or about the Infragistics roadmap?