Developers (yours truly included) often hate it when there is a need to deal with an external tool to accomplish a simple task. The upgrade process of RadControls seems such a task – you need to start a browser, open the Telerik website, login to your account, navigate to the Downloads section, download the installer and run it. Even more - if you want to keep updated you need to either check your RSS reader or e-mail, or refresh the Downloads page when you’re eagerly waiting for a new version.
One of the new features in the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX and RadControls for Silverlight installations for the Q3 release is the auto-upgrade utility provided by the Visual Studio Extensions. We added a special webservice in the Telerik website to support that.
One of the aspects of the auto-upgrades is the automatic check for a new available version. The check happens once a day when you open a RadControls Web Application in your Visual Studio. See for yourself:
The other aspect is the retrieval of the actual new version. Once you are notified that a new version is detected, you need to just provide your Telerik site credentials and you get the assemblies and the accompanying files downloaded and extracted to your hard drive*. Check these screenshots:
Once retrieved, the new version is available for an upgrade:
Here is important information I’d like to stress on: When you finish applying the upgrade, you’ll change the RadControls references in your project. However, having the Visual Studio Toolbox populated with the RadControls you have installed, if you drag and drop a control to your page, you could accidentally revert the references to the older version. The next page in the Upgrade Wizard allows you to prevent such an accident:
And finally, to be able to restore any breaking changes, you can automatically create a backup of your project and get a log:
- There are two limitations we haven’t covered yet:
(RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX only) In contrast to the installer, the auto-upgrade functionality does not add the Telerik.Web.Design assembly to the GAC. While technically possible, there are several side issues we would need to implement to have the auto-upgrades support the GAC addition.
- The Visual Studio Extensions do not upgrade themselves for the time being. This is one of the major stuff the VSXTeam will be working in the near future.
* The download includes all the files needed for a web project – assemblies, script/skin files, RadSpell dictionaries, RadEditor dialogs. Documentation, Live Examples and Visual Studio Extensions are not included.