Simply put, Not worth the money.
We purchased the product for .net 2005 in order to bring up our old app that uses C1 a ton.
I can honestly say, I have never received a solution from C1 for any support issue that we had. In 2 cases, we found the issue and the solution, reported back to them without even a thanks. That being said, our app is 140K lines wrapped around C1 controls so we were trying not to dump that logic.
I think we all know that C1, like any other products has it’s issues, but without the support, you just cant use it.
Lets start with the Flexgrid. First, in trying to keep with the object model of .net, they have made simple steps time consuming and awkward. Just try and fill it in with MySQL. It will take much longer to fill. (Standard examples with MDB’s don’t work the same)
The Report writer has to have a OLEDB Connection that is compatible with .Net. MySQL does not have a fully integrated solution. Since you have to design the reports outside of .net, you can’t even use the CoreLabs components. Jumping though hoops to make it work takes too much time and effort.
I really don’t want to harp on each control, but I can tell you, after 23 years of programming, this is simply the hardest set of components to get to work correctly that I have ever used. And the worst support I have used. Maybe that is the only real issue.
AlexSaare, 10/12/2006 11:08:14 AM
***** NEVER EVEN CONSIDER BUYING THESE COMPONENTS!!!!! *****
They suck.. They really, really suck. In fact, they suck great big, fat, rotten whale d!(k.
C1 provide all the support of a chocolate crutch and the controls have more bugs than MI5.
Integrartion with Source-Safe and Visual Studio is a nightmare (particularly with licencing).
RenaudBompuis, 9/15/2005 5:16:18 AM
I bought ComponentOne Studio Enterprise a year ago as an upgrade from the lighter version included in the now defunct Borland C# Builder. It was advertised specifically to Borland C# Builder users and I liked the wide-ranging amount of components and options.
The first issue was to actually install the components: while ComponentOne assured me that it didn't require MS Visual Studio .Net to be installed, it seems that most of my installation issues stemed from the fact that some files installaed only by VS.Net were expected.
It took a few weeks to solve these issues, and at least one person in Customer Realtions seemed to care.
However, trying to have any sort of meaningfull dialogue with Support was like throwing a message in a bottle at the sea and expecting something back... I gave up when the support guy I had been email with for a few days suddenly started to address my issue like he had never heard of it...
Giving up on Bolrand C# Builder, I decided to use Visual Studio .Net instead and installation was smooth. I started to enjoy the components although I found the learning curve a bit steep as they lack proper documenation of the basic concepts used. You only get reference documentation but not much in the way of explaining how the components work.
After a while, it seemed that simple things that were supposed to be simple ended up being quite hard to do. So much so that I gave up on nearly all data-related components as they become close to useless if you're not using OLE DB. You can't easily used ODBC or ADO drivers: you've got to jumpt through hoops to make it work partially and you won't be able to use all the designers (including report designer) at their fullest, if at all.
After struggling to make MySQL work for a few days, using various hacks found on the newsgroups, I gave up because of the uncertainty: I could make some things work, but would very easily uncover issues that took a long time to investigate and correct. In the ned, I couldn't be sure my app would work reliably at all.
I also got issues with PDF export from their flagship TrueDBGrid component: I reported the various bugs I found only to recive automated answers, all identical, requesting me to send them a working example of the bugs.
While I perfectly agree that many people may send bogus bug reports instead of reading the doc, I was really annoyed after having spent days trying to make sure I was using the component properly and trying anything I could to make it work the way it was said it should only to be requested to spend even more time building a nice case. I could expect that from an Open Source project where resources are limited, but I paid a lot for the priviledge of using these components, and spend countless hours trying to get around bugs that should never have passed QA.
Instead, to avoid losing more time and sanity ovr this, I just switched to another provider.
I will still use some one the ComponentOne controls as they can be useful, but I will never buy again from ComponentOne again as I spent more time getting around bugs and making sense of the somewhat unbalanced documentation and often poor implementation and design choices than I gained buying them in the first place.
If you don't believe me, just read their newsgroups carefully and you will see that most people have issues that they should not have.
On the Plus Side
- Many choices of components covering most aspects of UI and Database programming
- Data components may be good if you only use OLE DB.
- Plenty of activity on the newgroups
On the Minus Side
- Limited database abstraction means that Data components may be close to useless if you're not using OLE DB.
- Documentation in inconsistent in Quality: some good tutorials but they don't always cover the basics (try to find out how to get the current underlying object in a truDBGrid). No overview of the design philosophy and almost no explanation of the object hierachies.
- Components are inconsistent in their implementation: for instance, the C1List and C1TrueDBGrid share a lot of common functionalities, but for instance databiding is done differnetly for each, meaning -after a few hour of searching- that you actually can't do what you expect.
- Support is bad, really. It feels impersonnal, support guys seems to want to get rid of you rather than actually help solving your problem. Support on the newsgroup is just as bad, whith the support people just quoting the documentation without assessing if that actually covers the problem.
Frankly, go with DevExpress: at least support is real, fast and they go out of their way to make you feel that they care (and you can actually get the source code to everything: compare that to ComponentOne which doesn't seem to want people to find out how they make their software...)
GregoryVarghese, 7/20/2004 9:39:34 AM
I purchased the ComponentOne Studio for the PrintPreview control. I hadn't found any other at the time I was needing one so it was my only choice. Had I waited a month, I'd have found DevExpress's xtra reports suite which seems to be on a completely different plateau.
Let me review this suite piece by piece:
ComponentOne FlexGrid® for .NET
This is one of the few controls that seems to be really useful in the suite. It's a bit more powerful than Microsoft's flexgrid and has some features like autosort/autofit that make it really useful. It still has its flaws.
ComponentOne True DBGrid Pro® for .NET
I don't see the hype behind this DBGrid. I use Infragistic's UltraWinGrid. Above and beyond in terms of power, flexibility, features, and more.
ComponentOne Preview™ for .NET
This is the reason why I purchased this suite. It's a somewhat buggy control but the only one I found that worked at the time. It seems to break your code whenever they update the version because they remove features or functions and don't bother documenting it/telling you about it. If you wish to supply a report editor for your end users, you have to pay ComponentOne an additional $1000 from what the website says. Xtrareports provides one for you at no additional cost.
ComponentOne Reports™ for .NET
This basically goes with the preview. It lets you generate access style reports.
ComponentOne Chart™ for .NET
The charts can generate some interesting patterns and might be useful to someone. I found absolutely no use for most other than the standard Pie/Bar/Line charts.
ComponentOne DataObjects™ for .NET
I'm couldn't figure this one out very well. It left me more confused about databasing than before I tried learning ADO.NET.
ComponentOne Input™ for .NET
Automatically binds databases to their controls. I haven't figured out the benefit of using this over databinding yet. I prefer Infragistics controls over these as well.
ComponentOne List™ for .NET
I haven't used this one at all so I can't comment on it.
ComponentOne PDF for .NET
This could be useful for apps that need PDF support, but like most of their products, this doesn't offer much power. It's very basic.
ComponentOne XLS™ for .NET (new for 2004 v2)
Haven't tried using this yet. I haven't found a need for the excel output yet but its probably on par with the rest of their suite and doesn't have much power to it.
ComponentOne Zip™ for .NET
I use another component for Zip features. I prefer having encryption and different methods of compression. This is a very basic Zip control based on the Zlib library.
ComponentOne Menus and Toolbars™ for .NET
By far the most USELESS menu and toolbar set in existence. It's almost identical to the Microsoft Toolbar set that came with VB 6. Go with Infragistics if you need a good toolbar set. You're limited to the old look of Windows 98 style toolbars. I prefer using more modern looks and functions from Office 2000-2003 which this doesn't provide (but Infragistics does)
ComponentOne Spell™ for .NET
This I'm not sure about. Their VB 6 version was utter crap. It worked randomly and I've been hesitant to waste my time with this one. I'll have to try it though since I paid for it.
ComponentOne Sizer™ for .NET
A component that resizes the controls on the screen as the form resizes. I haven't found the need for it. Docking with panels usually resizes everything properly for me.
TomWilson, 6/28/2004 2:42:38 PM
The controls themselves are ok. They are somewhat buggy and they don't have full color support but some of their tools could be quite useful. We bought it for the multi-column listbox/combo. They work well but don't offer disabled color changes. The grids are nice, bound or unbound. However, their inability to improve or fix the controls makes it useless to us. I've been programming for 26 years and I've never seen anything as bad as this. Customer service and complaint emails are passed on to support and ignored. Support claims responses in 3 bus. days yet I waited for 7 before making a stink. Then finally, someone addresses my case, isn't sure if it's a bug or not and sends it to QA for an amount of time for which there is no estimate. I can't wait indefinitely. After 3 weeks of this I asked for a refund. That's the last I've heard from them.
Go with Infragistics or DevExpress. They're both excellent tollkits, much more flexible and support/CS is great. These people (C1) were a nightmare from hell.