When I first saw Atlas I was a tad sceptical, a lot of code and not a great deal of tools to make it easy!!  Well if you were in the same boat as me then check out the Dec Atlas bits from http://atlas.asp.net, a lot has been cleaned up, docs are better and some good samples to get going with!! 

I've gone from hmmm, to this stuff is awesome, I can start doing AJAX style apps without a serious JavaScript implant and when all the tooling is all in place I can now see how easy it's going to be to build cross browser AJAX style apps that just work oh and I'll get client side debugging and trace support too (for when it doesn't just work:-))!!

I've put the demos and PowerPoint presentation from Wednesday's ADNUG session at http://projectdistributor.net/Releases/Release.aspx?releaseId=309.  Unzip the file and just run the demos from the file system.

To get up and running with Atlas, then you'll need

  1. Visual Studio 2005 or download for free Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition
  2. The Atlas bits from http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/info/future/atlastemplate/
  3. Then check out:-
    1. Documentation and Hands on Labs at http://www.asp.net
    2. Quick Start Tutorials at http://www.asp.net

This is a really unobtrusive installation (though not production ready), all it does is to install an Atlas ASP.NET template. 

Start up Visual Studio 2005 (or Express Edition), create a new web project and you'll see the "Atlas ASP.NET Project" Template.  Select it and it'll load a new project with the Javascript libraries and the atlas.dll, simple and best of all it doesn't monkey around with any of your system files!! 

When the Atlas "Go Live" licence is available you'll be able to run Atlas Web Apps on your existing ASP.NET V2 infrastructure without any changes...

My current two favourites Atlas feature are

  1. Incremental Refreshes and Partial Updates with the UpdatePanel
    • Create a page with a gridview as normal - set up paging etc, then wrap it as follows
      • <atlas:UpdatePanel runat="server" id="searchUpdatePanel">
            <asp:GridView runat="server" ... />
    • Add the scriptmanager tag above the form tag
      • <atlas:ScriptManager runat="server" id="scriptManager" EnablePartialRendering="true" />
    • and run, it doesnt get a lot easier!!  see http://www.nikhilk.net/AtlasM1.aspx
  2. Server side Auto Complete - again see http://www.nikhilk.net/AtlasM1.aspx

As per the PPT, great reference points for more info are

  1. http://Atlas.asp.net
  2. http://www.nikhilk.net/AtlasM1.aspx
  3. http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/01/01/434314.aspx

Cheers and hope you have as much fun getting started with Atlas as I have - it'll be time well spent!!