New ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Release

Scott is writting about the new ASP.NET Ajax Control Toolkit. Here is his post:

Yesterday the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit team released an updated version. You can download it from the http://ajax.asp.net web-site, and run samples built with it on the online samples page here.

The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit is a free download and contains more than 40 additional AJAX controls and components that work on top of the core ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 release. In addition to having Microsoft developers contribute, the project also has more than 15 non-Microsoft contributors adding great features and controls.

You can download either a binary version of the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit to use (just add to your toolbox and you are good to go), or you can download the source for the project itself and tweak/extend it if you want (all source is released under a permissive license allowing you to make your own modifications to it).

New ToolkitScriptCombiner Support

One of the biggest improvements with this toolkit release is support for a new “ToolkitScriptCombiner” control. This control allows you to replace the default control behavior, and supports the ability to dynamically merge multiple client-side Javascript scripts into a single file that is downloaded to the client at runtime. Better yet, only the Javascript needed by the specific controls on the page are included within the combined download, to make it as small as possible.

The big benefit with this feature is that is can significantly reduce the number of Javascript files the browser needs to download, as well as reduce the overall download size of the scripts. This can provide some really nice performance and load-time wins on pages. Best of all – you don’t need to change any code or refactor any script yourself to take advantage of this.

Other ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Improvements

This week’s release contains a number of other new improvements, including:

  • More than 125 bug fixes
  • Extended client side event support – new client side event handler extensibility points are available with common toolkit server controls
  • ASP.NET Validation Controls now work with the Toolkit Controls
  • Accessibility fixes: Slider and AutoComplete have support for high contrast and other controls have JAWS accessibility support built-in when doing AJAX callbacks.
  • Animation support: More toolkit controls now have generic animation support built-in
  • Nice design mode improvements for the controls, including: 1) designer support for the TabContainer. You can now select/add/remove tabs within the tabcontainer directly from the designer, and you can directly edit both the content and the title, 2) page methods can now automatically be generated for those extender controls that call web-services, 3) nice icon support within the toolbox.

You can learn more about all of the improvements in blog posts from Shawn, David, Kirti and Garbin.

ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Videos

Joe Stagner has been cranking away at recording “How Do I?” videos for the AJAX Control Toolkit, and now has 39 free ASP.NET AJAX “How Do I?” videos hosted on the www.asp.net site.

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Click here to watch them for free and learn how to-do common tasks with ASP.NET AJAX and the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. The most recent videos are now available to download in a variety of video and audio formats, including: WMV, Zune, iPod, PSP, MPEG-4, and 3GP.

ASP.NET AJAX Books

As I mentioned in my links post from last week, the first books specifically targeting the final ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 release were recently published. Below are links to two of them that are shipping today:

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Both books include a chapter on using the controls within the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.


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