My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

I just got back from a business trip and sitting there on the counter was a copy of my latest book from Wrox! This book (my 20th) is titled Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX. This was a fun book and I wrote this with some great co-authors including Matt Gibbs, Dan Wahlin, and Dave Reed. Amazon says that the book will be available on February 3rd (not too far away). Here is some of the introduction I wrote for the book:

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ASP.NET revolutionized Web application development. The platform handles many of the complexities of creating Web applications. Now ASP.NET AJAX takes the development platform even further. The lines between rich client applications and traditionally less interactive browser-based applications are being further blurred with the use of this technology.

The ASP.NET AJAX Library brings object-oriented programming to JavaScript development for modern browsers, and ASP.NET AJAX makes it easy to write rich Web applications that communicate with the Web server asynchronously. Again, the complexities are made easy by using ASP.NET.

The new server controls that are part of ASP.NET AJAX make it simple to designate parts of the page to be updated automatically without making the user pause and wait while the data is refreshed. You can have partial page updates without writing a single line of code. Other new controls let you alert the user that background work is happening and designate regular intervals at which updates occur. In addition, the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit makes it easy to make your user interface really come to life with animations, modal dialogs, transition effects, and more.

Ajax is definitely the hot buzzword in the Web application world at the moment. Ajax is an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML and, in Web application development, it signifies the capability to build applications that make use of the XMLHttpRequest object.

The creation and the inclusion of the XMLHttpRequest object in JavaScript and the fact that most upper-level browsers support the use of this object led to creation of the Ajax model. Ajax applications, although they have been around for a few years, gained greater popularity after Google released a number of notable, Ajax-enabled applications such as Google Maps and Google Suggest. These applications demonstrated the value of Ajax.

Shortly thereafter, Microsoft released a beta for a new toolkit that enabled developers to incorporate Ajax features in their Web applications. This toolkit, code-named Atlas and later renamed ASP.NET AJAX, makes it extremely simple to start using Ajax features in applications today.

Prior to Visual Studio 2008, the ASP.NET AJAX product used to be a separate application that developers were required to install on their machine and the Web server that they were working with. This release gained in popularity quite rapidly and has now been made a part of the Visual Studio 2008 offering. Not only is it a part of the Visual Studio 2008 IDE, the ASP.NET AJAX product is also baked into the .NET Framework 3.5. This means that in order to use ASP.NET AJAX, developers are not going to need to install anything if they are working with ASP.NET 3.5.

Overall, Microsoft has fully integrated the entire ASP.NET AJAX experience in that developers can easily use Visual Studio and its visual designers to work with your Ajax-enabled pages and even have the full debugging story that they would want to have with their applications. Using Visual Studio 2008, developers are now able to debug straight into the JavaScript that they are using in the pages.

In addition, it is important to note that Microsoft focused a lot of attention on cross-platform compatibility with ASP.NET AJAX. Developers will find that the Ajax-enabled applications that they build upon the .NET Framework 3.5 are able to work within all the major up-level browsers out there (e.g., FireFox and Opera).

This book is aimed at experienced ASP.NET developers looking to add AJAX to their applications, and experienced Web developers who want to move to using ASP.NET and AJAX together.

In this book, I assume that you already have an understanding of how ASP.NET works. For an in-depth discussion of ASP.NET, I recommend Professional ASP.NET 3.5 by Bill Evjen, et al. (Wrox, 2008). The focus here is on how you can extend ASP.NET applications to update portions of the page asynchronously and to add richer UI elements to a page. ASP.NET AJAX makes it easy to enrich your existing application or to design a new application to provide a better experience for users. The differences among modern browsers have been abstracted, allowing you to write to a common set of APIs and trust that the user will get the correct behavior whether they are using Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari.

If you know how to author ASP.NET pages, you can easily start using the Microsoft AJAX library to manipulate the browser’s Document Object Model and communicate with the server to update the user’s view of data without forcing them to wait for the entire page to be refreshed.

This book covers ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX. It does not cover ASP.NET 3.5, on which ASP.NET AJAX is built. The examples lead you from the core of what is included in the ASP.NET AJAX Library through the core controls you would first start using. You build on that using the core JavaScript library and the ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit before covering debugging, deployment, and custom control development.

The ASP.NET 3.5 release includes the Microsoft AJAX Library as well as the server controls that can be used in ASP.NET pages to extend applications, making them more rich and interactive. It does so by leveraging the ASP.NET AJAX Library, which is JavaScript that runs in the browser. The server controls and JavaScript Library work together to let you update HTML with data obtained asynchronously from the server. The ASP.NET application services are exposed to JavaScript classes in the ASP.NET AJAX Library, making authentication and personalization accessible from the browser.

UPDATE: This book is now available on Amazon [Feb 10 2009].

posted @ Saturday, January 31, 2009 5:06 PM
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Comments on this entry:

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by bill simons at 2/6/2009 3:25 PM
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This book looks like it covers the ajax
html dom for silverlight-a good book is hard to find!!! Please correct me if I
am wrong. This book should be a must have for every silverlight asp.net developer.....

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by ZK@Web Marketing Blog at 6/29/2009 5:11 AM
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Before explaining the article, I would like to thank all readers who read my article and voted for it. Your appreciation for my article gives me strength to write more good articles. Hope in future I will get your valuable comments and suggestions. Now I won't waste your time and come back to the topic. I have written this article on ‘Ajax Enabled Gridview Using JavaScript in ASP.NET’. In this article, I will show you how to make a Gridview using a simple HTML table, JavaScript and XML HTTP for Ajax call without using any ASP.NET control.

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by Lulu at 8/19/2009 10:20 PM
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I'm new to AJAX. Does this book teach from basic concept? Thanks.

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by Bill Evjen at 8/20/2009 11:42 AM
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Yes - it is best if you are already a .NET developer though.

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by henry lu at 9/11/2009 4:33 PM
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Where to download the code? The web page for downaload code dosen't work. (Fake links to a readme.txt file)

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by VB Reader at 10/8/2009 12:31 AM
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This book helped me improve my ASP.Net Ajax skills. i started adding ajax enabled search functionality to my site(http://www.vbknowledgebase.com/?Id=91&Desc=Freeze-GridView-Columns-and-Headers-in-ASP.Net-CSS) after i red this book.

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by Truong Van le Truong at 10/25/2009 7:50 PM
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I want dowload asp.net & Ajax 3.5

# re: My Latest Book – Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX

Left by Jon Weir at 8/14/2010 5:06 AM
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I'm a professional .NET developer and want to speed up / improve certain features on e-commerce sites I develop by using AJAX: updating the shopping basket, a small pop-up "searching catalogue now, please wait", dynamic postage calculations, product rollovers, predictive typing in the search box etc.

Will your new book help me understand how to code these features myself, or do you just explain how to integrate ready made controls from existing libraries?

Many thanks, Jon

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