ASP.NET AtlasLast Monday and Tuesday, using the March CTP, I demonstrated how quickly and easily developers can use Atlas to improve the client experience on their websites.  Just before I got up to speak on Tuesday, I discovered that the Atlas team released their shiny new April Community Tech Preview.

That CTP release was followed on Wednesday by the Atlas Control Toolkit, a set of nine controls and extenders.  Check them out below - they are really impressive.  All of the controls come with full source, and the toolkit also includes Visual Studio 2005 templates to get you started writing your own controls. 

The plan is to take this set of controls and turn it into a shared source effort into which we will be taking contributions from the community.  As the Atlas team writes:

Our goal is to turn this toolkit into the best and most comprehensive set of client side controls available. 

For details, check out the Atlas site online at http://atlas.asp.net/default.aspx?tabid=47&subtabid=477.

The Toolkit samples can be found here: http://atlas.asp.net/atlastoolkit/

And here, via Brad Abrams, are some examples of the nine controls in action:

  • 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. 

    This is an early release of the toolkit, and the Atlas team plans to continue to refresh and incorporate feedback from the developer community. 

  • -drooooooooool-