9 Top .NET UI Component Collections
Simplify development of your next project by taking advantage of these UI control collections.
- By Terrence Dorsey
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time a project calls for a pie chart. Here are nine different providers of not just individual controls, but huge collections that cover everything from simple menus and sophisticated data grids, to interactive charts and configurable dashboards.
I can’t tell you which one is right for you, but I can tell you that all of these offer demos, free trials and extensive documentation.
GrapeCity ComponentOne Studio is typical of the high-end control suites available today that provide "hundreds" of individual controls covering grids and other data-binding controls, charts and data visualization, calendars and schedule widgets, data input, text editing, menus and toolbars, ribbon controls, navigation and layout, report and documents viewers, and much more.
Separate platform editions are available for ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web Forms, LightSwitch, SharePoint, Silverlight, Windows Phone, Windows Forms, Windows Runtime (WinRT), WPF and even ActiveX, if you’re still doing that. ComponentOne Studio includes all of these, plus OLAP/pivot table controls, Intellispell (a code, comments, strings, HTML, XML, resources and general text spellchecker for Visual Studio), and XAPOptimizer (a Silverlight XAP file optimizer and obfuscator).
GrapeCity Xuni provides UI controls for cross-platform mobile app development with Xamarin.Forms, giving you a consistent interface to sophisticated, native-appearing controls across Android, iOS and Windows Phone from a single code base.
Wijmo Enterprise includes all of the above, plus the FinancialChart and FlexSheet controls for visualizing stock market trends and other financial reporting. See the Wijmo blog for a great tutorial Introducing Advanced Stock Trending Visualizations in FinancialChart, with examples showing you how to create a variety of visualizations from Heikin-Ashi candlestick to scatter plots and volume charts.
ComponentOne Ultimate includes all of the Studio offerings, Xuni and Wijmo. See the ComponentOne Web site for licensing options, pricing and to download a free, 30-day demo (shown in Figure 1 ).
DevExpress .NET UI Controls cover a similarly broad selection of .NET, mobile and Web development stacks. Individual control offerings vary slightly from platform to platform, but provide data views, grid views, card views, spreadsheets, calendars and schedulers, rich text editor and spell checker, plus tree lists and other navigation controls, reports, charts, and gauges, image galleries, document automation, and much more.
You can license the .NET Controls packages individually for ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight, Windows 8 XAML, Windows Forms or WPF.
DevExtreme Web is an HTML5 control collection that includes a data grid widget, pivot grid widget, chart and visualization widgets including sparklines, gauges, and maps, schedules, calendar views, navigation controls, "toast" messages, and many more … more than 100 controls altogether.
The DXperience subscription includes all of the .NET Control packages plus document generation tools, source code for the controls, and the CodeRush IDE productivity tools for Visual Studio.
DevExpress Universal includes all of the DevExpress tools, .NET Controls products, DevExtreme Mobile, DevExtreme Web, CodeRush, TestCafe functional Web testing tools, and more. Demos with free, 30-day demo (see Figure 2 ) of DevExpress Universal are available, which include free support with registration.
Infragistics takes a slightly different tack with its developer controls and design tools, splitting the control offerings into more platform-focused offerings.
As you’d expect, there are control collections for ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, Silverlight, Windows Forms, and WPF. Each offers the typical selection of controls including grids, hierarchical grids, tree grids, pivot grids, data visualizations, editors for text, numbers, and currency with validation, navigation and interactions, mobile phone-optimized controls, theming, and more.
For mobile development, Infragistics has several options geared toward specific development stacks. Android Controls provides data grids, charts, gauges and barcode scanning. iOS Controls provides the same controls optimized for Xcode and Objective C. Xamarin.Forms UI controls integrate the controls provided by the Android and iOS offerings with the Xamarin cross-platform mobile development tools for C# and XAML.
Of course, the suite of tools wouldn’t be complete without jQuery HTML5 Controls , which brings the Infragistics controls to your modern Web applications.
Some unique offerings from Infragistics include the Indigo Studio wireframe and interaction design prototyping tool for mobile applications, the SharePlus iOS and Android apps secure mobile Sharepoint access, and the ReportPlus mobile dashboard viewer, also for iOS and Android.
Individual development platform control packages are available, as well as the Infragistics Professional and Ultimate suites. Free trials for controls are available with registration (see Figure 3 ). The iOS and Android apps can be purchased from the Apple App Store and Google Play store, respectively.
At this point you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the Syncfusion Essential Studio control offerings encompass hundreds of controls for platforms including ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web Forms, LightSwitch, Silverlight, Windows Forms, WPF, and the UWP. You’ll find controls such as charts, grids, diagrams, schedulers, Gantt controls, maps, gauges, docking controls, menus, ribbons … the ASP.NET MVC set alone contains more than 70 controls.
For mobile development, Syncfusion offers Essential Studio control packages for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and WinRT. In addition, Essential Studio for Xamarin provides data visualization components for Xamarin.Forms and libraries for handling XLSX, DOCX and PDF files (see Figure 4 ).
Platform licenses are available, as well as Essential Studio Enterprise Edition, which includes all of the platform controls packages under a single license. 30-day trials are available with registration.