Product Review: WebUI Studio Premier Edition Offers More than 200 Attractive UI
.NET Components at a Reasonable Price
By Mike Riley
First published by DevProConnections Magazine in 11/2010 issue - Link to the original article
The expanding market selection of commercially available .NET component suites is
growing at a rapid pace. What was once the domain of a handful of well-established
component companies has mushroomed over the past few years. As the choices increase,
so too does the ability to discern the quality from the cruft. So it was with trepidation
that I began to explore what Intersoft Solutions’ WebUI Studio Premier had to offer.
But my worries quickly dissolved.
ASP.NET, Silverlight, and WPF-Ready
The premier edition delivers .NET Win Forms, Silverlight, and Windows Presentation
Foundation (WPF) controls designed to take your application a step ahead of the
standard Windows UI widgets. The 2010 edition of WebUI Studio Premier includes more
than 30 ASP.NET and more than 180 Silverlight and WPF UI components that encompass
a majority of today’s most popular graphical widgets.
For example, the ASP.NET components include WebAccordion (vertical tabs that slide
left or right when clicked, revealing active HTML content on each tabbed frame),
WebExpander (single or multi-section horizontal content expander), WebSlidingMenu
(drill-down, cascading style sliding menu) and WebRating (increase or decrease graphical
rating scores with the click of a mouse), as well as a collection of 8 essential
components that range from an interactive progress bar and an iPhone-style sliding
menu, to a web calendar that allows the intuitive selection of date and time ranges
and a WebListBox for vertical toolbar-like navigation.
In addition to the innovative UI controls for ASP.NET developers, the latest addition
to the Premier package is the expansive number of Silverlight and WPF components
in the suite. Marketed under the umbrella Client UI, this MVVM-ready user interface
library consists of some of the most innovative and stunning Silverlight and WPF
widgets and presentation controls that many developers have seen. While the suite
contains the usual collection of enhanced buttons, menus, text boxes, toolbars,
and custom dialogs, Client UI includes some really attractive components that make
layouts look ultra-slick and professional. Silverlight-enabled versions of these
controls fall under Intersoft’s WebUI category.
Several content containers help static information come alive, such as the Content
Perspective (transforms the layout into a unique perspective), Content Reflector
(gives a reflective shine to a content object) and Content Transition (consists
of 12 different visual transition effects, such as 3D cubes, fades and slides).
Of course, the Silverlight components are for delivering a stunning yet lightweight
web experience. As such, these components load up quickly over a typical Internet
connection, making them ideal for attractive, yet responsive, user experiences.
My personal favorites are the UXDock that give applications an Apple dock-like icon
navigator and launcher (complete with animation and drag ‘n drop effects), the Stack
button for translucent button overlays that can fit within a StackGrid, and a video
player control that makes the selection and playback of web videos an effortless
few lines of code.
Documentation is comprehensive and accompanied by programming samples that expose
various control properties. These examples do a great job of getting developers
quickly up to speed in a very short amount of time. This rapid learning curve helps
developers put the controls into use for prototyping and client demo purposes and
go a long way toward zeroing in on the functionality and look and feel of an application.
You can view online demos of the controls in action at live.intersoftpt.com for ASP.NET demo
for the Silverlight and WPF version, and you can obtain a free 30-day trial of the
Making a Difference
Instead of offering a truckload of all types of visual and non-visual components,
Intersoft Solutions has wisely opted to focus its suite collection exclusively on
user interface enhancements. As such, they make a strong differentiation in the
market compared to many of the other more recent component suite vendor entries.
The UI elements in the suite covered a majority of my flashier web and desktop UI
widget needs, and incorporating them into my applications was a breeze. The Silverlight
components were especially trendy, and really showed off the exciting pizzazz that
attractive-looking Silverlight applications have to offer.
Any developer seeking a collection of well-designed and beautifully rendered ASP.NET,
Silverlight, and WPF components should take a closer look at WebUI Studio Premier
Mike Riley is an advanced computing professional specializing in emerging
technologies and new development trends. He also is a contributing editor for DevProConnections.
Follow Mike on Twitter @mriley. Email: