What exactly does a third-party control or libraries mean? Basically, it means that it is a component developed by someone else and distributed mostly on the internet whether paid or free which can be used by other parties to integrate their work.

Why use third-party controls?

Using a third party control can save a lot of time. Instead of writing the codes from scratch, one can just buy or download a third-party control that is in most cases, essentially ready and finished.

Libraries are part of every developer’s work. Coming up with your own can be a lot of work so this is where third-party libraries come in. They are available and can save you a lot of time.

2 computers and a phone

Another reason for using a third-party control would be that none of your team may have enough experience or expertise about what needs to be done so instead of spending time doing research and development, you can just make use of a third-party control and they can focus on their areas of expertise.

A simple google search will lead you to vast results of free third-party control.

Here are some the most used resource (in no particular order):

  • Telerik
  • Syncfusion
  • Infragistics
  • DevExpress

Consider these tips before buying or implementing a third-party control:

How Complicated Is The Control?

Will be easy for you and your team to implement it? Once implemented, you have to look further ahead if there would be impediments along the way which will be created by the third-party control.

Flexibility Of The Control

You have to check whether the control can be reconfigured to suit your needs. If configurable, would it be easy to do or your team might spend time just to configure the control rendering the “time saved” useless. Check the components thoroughly.

Price Worthy

If you’re buying a third-party control, you have to ensure that what you’re paying is just right. Don’t buy a pricey one for a control that can easily be created by you and your team. You have to be cost-effective.

Availability of documentation

There should be at least some kind of documentation that you can refer to when using a third-party control. Usually user manual is part of the documentation.

License Terms

This is very important. Check the license, terms of use and specifications of the components you’re implementing to your project and the scope of how it can be used and until when.

Resources Available

Do they have customer support? If yes, how can they be contacted?  If free, how many articles, online communities or forums on the web are discussing it? Ensure that you have enough resources for you to get help from.

A part of a programmer’s experience is solving puzzles and logical thinking. While third-party controls generally make things easier for a team, it sometimes is not always the best way to go. If you’re not on a deadline and have time to spare, try to develop it first to improve your team’s programming experience as well.

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