The creator of Ajax.NET Professional, one of the first Ajax frameworks for .NET, announced last week that he has stopped working on the project.
"Today I have my eyes on new technologies that will change…Web applications," Michael Schwarz wrote in a Jan. 4 blog entry titled Future of Ajax.NET Professional.
"I'm still using Ajax in nearly all my Web applications, but the future will bring more important features," he added, suggesting that future endeavors may focus on technology such as Silverlight and the ASP.NET MVC Framework.
Schwarz said that, in most cases, developers who had been using Ajax.NET Professional should migrate their projects to Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX framework, since that framework is baked into Visual Studio 2008 and is available as a free add-in for Visual Studio 2005.
Schwarz outlined the process for such migrations in a blog entry titled How to... move from AjaxPro to ASP.NET AJAX PageMethods. (He also pointed out here that developers who used Ajax.NET Professional for .NET Framework 1.1 applications should keep using AjaxPro, as ASP.NET AJAX is available only for .NET 2.0 and above.)
"As I have recommended in the Google group for Ajax.NET Professional, I'm using the [AjaxNamespace] attribute nearly every time," Schwarz wrote. "The reason is that it is very easy to move the class around or to make updates more easily."
As for the nitty gritty, he indicated that an AjaxPro application's source code need not change as the app moves to ASP.NET AJAX -- only meta information needs to change. Moreover, he added, "you can still leave Ajax.NET Professional attributes if you want."
Additional help for Ajax.NET Professional users is available in Schwarz's How to... use Class Libraries with ASP.NET AJAX like AjaxPro blog entry.
As recently as last month, more than 13% of .NET Web application developers were using Ajax.NET Professional, according to the .NET Ajax Survey conducted by Italian blogger Simone Chiaretta. The framework debuted in April 2005 as Ajax.NET and was renamed Ajax.NET Professional six months later after several security features were added.
Schwarz's work on the framework has earned him MVP status from Microsoft three consecutive years.
Though Schwarz has stopped working on the framework, CodePlex still hosts an Ajax.NET Professional page, and the Google groups page for Ajax.NET Professional also remains alive and well.
Nonetheless, many are sad to see that Schwarz has moved on to other efforts.
" Michael, I'm sure this wasn't a decision you came to lightly but, nevertheless, it is a sad day for the .NET Ajax community," Troy Forster wrote in response to Schwarz's Jan. 4 blog entry.
However, Forster, like many others, also appreciated Schwarz's efforts: "Thank you for your contributions to Ajax development for ASP.NET. Without them I would not be where I am today."