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Jolt Awards 2014: The Best Programmer Libraries

, April 22, 2014 Astonishing collections of software bundled with superb design and coding tools
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Jolt Productivity Award: ComponentOne Studio Enterprise 2013 v3

ComponentOne Studio Enterprise is a full set of UI controls for both legacy and modern platforms including:

Desktop: Windows Forms, ActiveX, WPF, WinRT XAML, and Compact Framework.

Web: ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, HTML5, and Silverlight.

Mobile: ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, HTML5, Windows Phone, and WinRT XAML.

The controls fulfill the needs of different kinds of applications, websites, and apps. The gauge controls are a breeze to customize and make it easy to generate impressive user experiences for dashboards and balanced scorecards.

One of the key features you will find in this huge control library is that it offers great support for legacy controls. For example, the library still supports legacy ActiveX, Compact Framework, and Windows Forms controls. Thus, if you developed a Windows Forms project that used the legendary ComponentOne FlexGrid, you can continue using it, and you can leverage your experience with it in the new platforms that include this grid, such as WPF.

The nicest thing about legacy support is that the new library version also includes new features for the legacy platforms and controls. ComponentOne Studio Enterprise simplifies the support for touch-based interfaces by providing touch-enabled controls in all the supported platforms. You can touch-enable a Windows Forms or WPF project without additional effort when you use the controls included in the library. However, the library goes a step further to solve touch-based interface problems and provides the new TouchToolkit for Windows Forms that allows you to add touch support to an entire application by adding a component to a form.

The new version of the library includes solutions for all target platforms to simplify theming the controls. Theming is usually a problem when working with third-party controls, so the new solutions are extremely welcome for management of the presentation aspects for each control.

The complete set of controls (called Wijmo) is built on HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, SVG, jQuery, jQuery UI, and jQuery Mobile. Wijmo makes it easy to transition from Web to Mobile with great touch features and added support for both Bootstrap and AMD (Asynchronous Module Definition).

The documentation delivers many well-organized examples for some of the platforms that allow you to easily master how to work with each control. However, Wijmo controls, in particular, need far more examples of features that are otherwise not demonstrated in this package. — Gaston Hillar

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