I can answer your first question about the Telerik UI tools, that yes, you should be able to use them without issues. I am specifically talking about the Kendo UI widgets. I don't use the Ajax toolset much anymore since I moved to MVC, and I don't really build WinForms or WPF applications much either.
But if you are building web applications, then you should have no problem using the Kendo UI widgets with this framework as they are specifically UI tools that point to whatever backend you are using.
For your second answer, I would go with Jack's answer.
I hope this helps.
King Wilder, Sep 21, 2014
Unfortunately, we're not familiar with the Telerik UI tools.
The advantage of the Spark Platform is that it makes it very easy (and fast) to get data in and out the database.
It presents the data in the form of 'Active Record' business objects.
If the Telerik UI controls are expecting to receive data from some external source, then Spark will a perfect partner for these tools. However, if these controls also handle the back-end and data access processes (which I doubt) then there may be a 'conflict of interest'. At that point you will need to decide who will take on the data access responsibilities. But again, I doubt this is the case.
As far as your second question, there is no requirement that you have an in-dept understanding of the Spark internals to be able to benefit form the the Spark Platform. Having said this, I would still suggest that you get a reasonable understanding of what is going on for two reasons: 1) you will be more confident working with Spark, and 2) it is a powerful and valuable learning experience that will allow you to grow much further as a .NET developer.
Hope this helps.
Jack Poorte, Oct 27, 2013