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Beginning ASP.NET AJAX development, Part 3

In the latest tip in this series, Ed Tittel considers the ASP.NET AJAX road map and links to resources for both client-side and server-side development.

Perhaps those who've been doing the Rip Van Winkle thing for the past year might not yet know about Ajax. Best expanded as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, Ajax is a leading development technology that targets interactive Web applications. Heck, even Microsoft has awoken to Ajax potential and now offers a peachy ASP.NET AJAX Roadmap that includes overviews, tutorials, examples, and related API reference topics to help you exploit the growing overlap between Ajax and the ASP.NET environment.

Basically, you'll learn about the underlying architecture that makes Ajax style programming possible within the ASP.NET environment. This is thanks in particular to a collection of ASP.NET server controls designed to help you make the most of this environment, along with a set of client APIs that provide the typing and type-reflection functionality necessary to make an object-oriented approach workable within JavaScript. To that end, the following links should prove particularly useful for those interested in exploring this confluence of mainstream Web development and Microsoft tools:

Of course, you'll also find a sample application that demonstrates how to create an Ajax-enabled Web site for ASP.NET using Visual Studio templates, as well as step-by-step illustrations on how to add an UpdatePanel control to an ASP.NET Web page, build content for that control, work with UpdateProgress controls and more.

Learning .NET: Get started with ASP.NET AJAX development: Part 1 | Part 2

ASP.NET AJAX Learning Guide

On the client side, you'll get an illustration of how to invoke Web service inside a client script (including background on how to add the ASP.NET HTTP handler) as well as calling Web services from related .asmx files that have been marked with the ScriptServiceAttribute. Details include error handling methods, single callback functions from within multiple Web service methods, and passing complex types to a Web service.

There's also a substantial collection of tutorials also available on all these same topics. Though what you'll find is still pre-release documentation, it's a great way to get a leg up on putting Ajax to work within your ASP.NET methods and applications.

Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!

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