Anyone use obout controls?
I've been looking at the ASP.NET controls that obout (obout.com) provides -
obout Suite for ASP.NET. Any experience with it? What's your opinion?
Re: Anyone use obout controls?
Yes, I have used them and they are fine.
Whether or not they fit your needs depends on what you are doing, as their
suite is not as full featured as some other suites. But, moving up to the
other suites (be it ComponentOne, ComponentArt, Telerik, Syncfusion, or
DevExpress - hope I have not missed any) comes with a much heftier price.
One thing I have looked for in the past is whether or not the menu control
accepts the standard sitemap file. I do not have notes on Obout about this,
but there are some manufacturers that have controls that require their own
custom xml file for the menu and/or database stored links. This may not be
I would download the trial and play.
Gregory A. Beamer
MVP; MCP: +I, SE, SD, DBA
| Think outside the box! |
"Bobby Edward" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
> I've been looking at the ASP.NET controls that obout (obout.com)
> provides - obout Suite for ASP.NET. Any experience with it? What's your
I have used them and have mixed feelings. The controls look nice and have a lot of potential. There is a learning curve and many tools work fine. However, all examples are in C# - if you are doing ASP.NET and VB you will be at a serious disadvantage unless you are familiar with C#. And some controls don't work as advertised and you must use work-arounds they post as needed. Searching the forum is useless unless you know the exact spelling and case of what you are looking for and anything negative seems to be removed. I had display issues (their controls covering menus and other controls). And contrary to the constant praising by their testimonials their support is not that responsive or great. Perhaps they are in a different time zone on the other side of the earth, but it sometimes took a day to get a response, and then it was just a reference to look at their examples. The initial cost is low but you will pay for it in time lost during development.
First, thanks for the feedback. Hopefully, I can clarify some things.
The examples we have are in 3 versions: declarative ASP.NET (with C# code if necessary), plain C# (code behind) and plain VB.NET (code behind). With these 3 versions of each example, it should be trivial to understand the code. We are not perfect, so some things might be complex for others to understand, so please let us know which example is not clear and we'll try to modify it to make it easier.
We do not remove anything negative from the forums. It is as clear as it can be. We actually want people to see how we handle sensitive issues -- we have nothing to hide and try to be as transparent as possible. We are never rude and always go out of our way to help.
Yes, we are in different time zones, but more importantly, we don't have the capacity to reply to every technical issue within seconds. In a perfect world, we would have a dedicated support rep for every customer. Unfortunately, technical issues take time to figure out and there are hundreds of other customers with hundreds unique scenarios. We try to help everyone within 12 hours. Sometimes it may take up to 48. If you don't get a reply, drop us a note again or give us a call. We also have to fight spam and the filters do make mistakes sometimes.
As far as a reference to look at the examples, yes, we strongly believe that the best way to learn is by example. That is why we have hundreds of them. If we feel that an example will help you get on the right track, we send you a link to that example and tell you where to find it in the suite. Please spend a few minutes to understand how it works.
Testimonials are copied directly from e-mails. We don't alter them at all. Sometimes it feels good to be appreciated for the hard work you put in. We look at this page once in a while to check that our work is actually helping someone.
Product Good, support and documentation poor
I basically like the ASP.Net Treeview control but have two complaints:
There appears to be no paid support option. We can get free support due to our license, but it involves sending in an e-mail and waiting for a response. As a developer whose clients are paying alot of money per hour, it would be far better for them if I could pay something and talk to someone to resolve something right away.
There seems to be no overview documentation. To find out what the product does and how you have to look at the lists of object properties and methods and figure them out individually. For example, is it possible to call a client side routine to find all nodes in a tree? So far, I think no, but this is only because I have looked at every function and cannot find one that does it. I remember coming up on the product originally was tough as well partly due to the lack of orienting documentation.
We use them, we like them, we wish we had bought something else
Their tools are great, they work well, look great and are a lot less expensive than the competition. They are fast, flexible, attractive and powerful. I am very pleased with the web sites created with their tools.
The problem is support. There is none. At some point you need help, because no one does simple projects and all their examples are simple. Help is via email for people who have purchased the product only, so they say. But anymore, if I request help I have to ask for it several times before I get a message that tells me they are looking into it. But they never follow up. Out of frustration I have started going back to ASP controls because something in one of theirs is not working as stated and they won't give a solution.
Initially they had a help forum which allowed me to resolve most issues by reviewing the posts, but that is gone and you are left with only unresponsive email. So until support is improved I would not recommend them.
Unfortunately, their menu controls do not support sitemaps. But using CSS we got a decent, functional menu with the standard sitemap provided by MS. We didn't see this as a problem, navigation is important, but data collection is much more important and the grid is great.
I've used them to and I can tell you this:
If you are planning to write very trivial and indeed simple applications and are more interested than nothing on pages that look very nice, the yes, obout controls will suit your needs.
But If you are planning to write applications that are more complex than that, then I will suggest you to forget about them. A lot of their controls do not work at all in non-trivial scenarios. Documentation is indeed very poor and it is not easy to find what you are looking for.
Support is not good either. If you send them emails, they will eventually give you a repply in five days or so telling you they are looking into your issue, but then after that, the answer will never come back.
I would suggest you to consider using other controls or write some of your own.
I disagree with some of that arguement
We have written some extremely complex pages using a combination of grids, superforms, windows and HTML input controls. One application we had used over 35 input screens - most using grids with filters for record selection and superforms for editing data. It also used over 40 reporting screens - each of which had ad-hoc capability where obout controls were used to define selection criteria that was passed on to SSRS reports. You can do extremely complex web pages. But using their tools means a lot of research and testing. We are fortunate, we started using their tools back when tech support included a forum and was actually functional. Now we have a large library of files we can pull up to for templates in real-world situations.
I just finished a web page using a master-detail grid which allows the user to filter records on either grid, sort by any column and edit either master or detail records using superforms. That single web page will be replacing 8 web pages on their older application. It is fast, user-friendly and looks great.
But as far as documentation - it is minimal at best. Their tools will do so much more than they show on their web site. And the web site keeps getting smaller. I am guessing they are not showing everything because people have to ask them how to do things due to poor documentation, and that eats up tech support that is almost non-existent.
It's a pity, because they really are some nice controls. And if your needs are simple, you can create simple web pages in minutes. But is you want more than simple, the learning curve is steep and what you are saving in the initial cost of the controls will come back and bite you in time as you try to figure out how to get those controls to do what you want.
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