Among useful traits in ASP.NET AJAX Extensions and the associated tool kit are improved Web service proxy handling and JSON-based serialization, suggested Fritz Onion, technical staff member, PluralSight. Onion spoke this week at VSLive 2006 in Boston.
Chief among capabilities of the new software for .NET developers may be an abstraction level that ensures your AJAX apps work on a variety of popular browsers. This layered browser capability is significant, said Onion.
With ASP.NET AJAX Extensions, Microsoft chose to use Java Script Object Notation (JSON) to move data between the server and the Ajax client. The company implemented serializer and deserializer types on both the client and the server to move data in the JSON format. It provides a means for the browser to call Web service methods on the server This provides a new asynchronous communication layer to connect a browser to connect to network end-points.
"They have given your ASMX endpoints the ability to serialize as JSON rather than SOAP or XML. You have the choice," Onion said, adding, "a lot of work went into this JSON serializer.
Also supported in the ASP.NET AJAX kit is an Update Panel Control that lets ASP.NET developers do a lot of "Ajax" style of work within basically familiar confines.
This control supports partial page rendering, an AJAX-style trait, without the need to write special client script. Of the Update Panel Control Onion says: "It's sort of the ultimate implementation of AJAX within ASP.NET." But he cautions that it should not be used everywhere.
Back to JS drawing board