During the DallasCodeCamp this past Saturday, a lot of the presenters were having a discussion regarding third party controls and I want to go on the record and clarify that I hope I didn’t sound totally against third party controls.
I am definitely for utilizing off the shelf products to increase productivity and delivery schedules, but I always do so with caution.
From experience, I have seen too many projects have their hands tied from moving forward with some other core system update (VB3, to VB4, to VB6, to .NET 1.0/1.1 and .NET 2.0). If your project is too dependent on third party controls to deliver it’s functionality then you have to wait for the component provider to provide an upgrade path.
The main thing that any software development team has to be aware of and provide full disclosure to whomever controls the budget is the need for keeping the third party controls updated with their versioning life cycles.
Microsoft has made it a lot easier for these component vendors to keep their products updated to the latest frameworks by providing ever earlier looks into the upcoming frameworks. So this concern is not as worrisome as it used to be.
The real moral to the story, if you are using off the shelf products, you more than likely should consider investing in their subscription models in order to keep your products up todate or at least be willing to buy the upgrades necessary to keep your applications on the modern frameworks.