We had a great time last week at the Tulsa Launch event.  After a long drive and a short sleep, Tulsa turned out about 500 people to the Heroes Happen {Here} Launch event.  Zain and I tag-teamed to deliver the developer track in the afternoon.  After sharing Keynote responsibility, my session – “Reach End Users With Next Generation Web Applications" – covered what’s new in VS08 related to ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAX

We also covered some of the cool Extender Controls in the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.  The ACT is one of the Microsoft-supported Open Source projects featured on our Open Source repository CodePlex.  These controls are a great and easy way to add AJAX functionality to your existing ASP.NET AJAX Web Applications.  There are a couple of really interesting ones to mention:

Animation Control – More that just a simple extender control, this client-side animation framework allows you to add some really interesting animation effects to your web site.

Filtered Text Box Control – this control allows you to control what types of data are enterable (is that a word?) into the associated text box.  You can restrict by valid and invalid characters.  Too bad there’s not a RegEx option, but maybe someone will update the control to add this feature?

Password Strength Control – how many web applications give you feedback about your chosen password?  The Password Strength Extender Control will tell you whether your password is “weak” or “unbreakable” and many states in between.

Validator Callout Control – this control adds some professionalism to your client-side validators by making the messages appear as callouts instead of inline messages. I particularly like the effect here – clean and clear to the user.

All of these control and more can be viewed at the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit web site where you can interact directly with all the controls in the toolkit to see what they do and how they do it.  Of course, the irony is not lost on me that this samples page doesn’t use any AJAX stylings to effect a transition between the samples – they’re full-page postbacks a la classic ASP.NET ;-)

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