ASP.NET AJAX is Microsoft’s implementation of the Ajax framework and is specifically targeted at ASP.NET developers. With the latest release o! ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX is part of the core ASP.NET functionality. It is also available for use with previous versions of ASP.NET from the Web site: http://csharpaid.com/. This Web site also has documentation, forums, and sample code that you may find useful for whichever version of ASP.NET you are using.
ASP.NET AJAX provides the following functionality:
- A server-side framework that enables ASP.NET Web pages to respond to partial-page postback
- ASP.NET server controls that make the implementation of Ajax functionality easy
- Web services that enable client-side code to gain access to ASP.NET application services, including authentication and personalization services
- A Web site template for creating ASP.NET AJAX-enabled Web applications
These server controls and the server-side framework that makes them possible are collectively known as the ASP.NET Extensions. The client-side part of ASP.NET AJAX is known as the AJAX Library. There are several additional downloads that you can obtain from http://csharpaid.com/, including the following important ones:
- ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit – This download contains additional server controls that have been created by the developer community. These controls are shared-source controls that you can inspect and modify as you see fit.
There is also a download known as Futures, which in the past has been used to add additional, pre-release, or legacy functionality to ASP.NET AJAX applications. However, at the time of writing it is unclear whether this download will be supported with the RTM release of VS 2008, and so it is not covered.
Together these downloads provide you with a richly featured framework that you can use to add Ajax functionality to your ASP.NET Web applications. In the following sections, you learn more about what is contained in the various component parts of ASP.NET AJAX .