ASP.NET AJAX applications were introduced in the previous chapter. With the install of the .NET Framework 3.5 and through using Visual Studio 2008, you will find a few controls available that allow you to build ASP.NET applications with AJAX capabilities. This is the framework to take your applications to the next level because there is so much that can be accomplished with it, including adding specific AJAX capabilities to your user and custom server controls. Every AJAX enhancement added to your application will make your application seem more fluid and responsive to the end user.
You might be wondering where the big new AJAX-enabled server controls are for this edition of Visual Studio 2008 if this is indeed a new world for building controls. The reason you do not see a new section of AJAX server controls is that Microsoft has treated them as an open-source project instead of just blending them into Visual Studio 2008.
Developers at Microsoft and in the community have been working on a series of AJAX-capable server controls that you can use in your ASP.NET applications. These controls are collectively called the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. You will find a link to the control toolkit for download at
www.asp.net/AJAX. When you choose to download the control toolkit from this page, you will be directed to the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit's page on CodePlex at
www.codeplex.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ProjectName=AtlasControlToolkit. This ...