One of the things that I really love about Atlas is that it offers a framework approach to ajax style development.  That is, rather than each new control having to be a “stove pipe” of plumbing code, with Atlas each new control is able to leverage a rich, integrated framework.  This not only makes it easier (and fun) to build applications, but it also makes it easy to build reusable components that can be leveraged across your sites or across the net. 


Shawn and co have just given us some great evidence of the power of this framework model.  They just shipped the first drop of the "Atlas" Control Toolkit which is a set of great controls and extenders that use "Atlas" technologies and allow developers to easily improve the client experience on their websites.  All of the controls come with full source!  What is even more fun is that the toolkit also includes Visual Studio 2005 templates to get you started writing your own controls!


Here is a summary to get your going..

  • CascadingDropDown: Easily link drop downs, complete with asynchronous population and no postbacks!
  • CollaspiblePanel:  This extender allows panels on your page to collapse and expand with no code.
  • ConfirmButton: This extender adds a confirm dialog to any Button, LinkButton, or ImageButton control.
  • DragPanel: Makes any panel into an object that you can drag around the page.
  • HoverMenu: Allows UI to pop up next to a control when the user hovers over it. 
  • PopupControl: This extender turns any panel into a popup. 
  • ReorderList: This control is a full-featured data-bound control that allows its elements to be reordered on the client via drag and drop.
  • TextBoxWatermark:  This extender adds "watermark" prompt text to TextBoxes on the page.
  • ToggleButton:  This extender turns an ASP.NET CheckBox into an image checkbox. 

You gotta love the cool samples on each of the pages above! 


Check out The "Atlas" Control Toolkit and keep up on the blog!