Thursday, October 19, 2006


I've been playing around with ASP.NET AJAX ("Atlas") a bit recently. It's got some pretty cool stuff if you're into web development, and ASP.NET in particular. The documentation isn't that great, so it's hard to see exactly what all it can do, but there's definitely a lot of potential in there. I'm sure I'll post more about it once I've learned more.

But what it can do to a databound GridView control is pretty amazing. You add one ScriptManager control to the top of the page, set a property on it, and then wrap your GridView inside of an UpdatePanel, and then magically the old non-AJAX GridView becomes AJAX-enabled and doesn't require page postbacks to update. You can page through data, sort, and even get live updates, insertions, and deletes, all without page reloads or any code at all.


ianonymous said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of Web 2.0. (I hate that term).

You're only a year or so late.

Travis said...

Mmmm, precisely the comment I expected.

On a different note, are there any other AJAX developer frameworks out there that people recommend looking at? I don't really know what else exists right now, though it's kind of difficult to even imagine one that's easier to use for basic scenarios than ASP.NET AJAX. It's the only way I know how to do this kind of async stuff except the so-half-a-decade-ago direct use of XMLHTTP.

Steven said...

Infragistics makes one. I've only breifly messed with Atlas and only briefly with Infragsitics. However, my peers tell me that Infragistics has a better implmentation than 'Atlas'.

Infragistics isn't free, but I'm pretty sure your employeer has it available for you. ;-)

Travis said...

From what I can tell, the Infragistics offering is a different class of product than what ASP.NET AJAX ("Atlas") offers. Infragistics offers a set of ASP.NET controls that have built-in AJAX functionality, such as an AJAX-enabled data grid. The basic Atlas scenario involves only two new controls, which are used with your existing controls, like the classic GridView, to magically make them AJAX-enabled. The difference seems to be that the Infragistics solution is more custom-tailored, and more along the lines of what any enterprising control author would create when asked to produce a set of AJAX-y controls, and Atlas is a more general solution framework.

Or maybe there's more to what Infragistics has done than I've been able to see from their website.

Kerjo said...

I helped move a couple of our projects at work over to Atlas this summer. After looking at a lot of frameworks, Atlas was easily the best and most integrated into .NET 2.0 (gee, I wonder why!)