Getting started with ASP.NET AJAX in Visual Web Developer

Getting started with ASP.NET AJAX in Visual Web Developer

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Once you download ASP.NET AJAX, you are ready to start using Visual Web Developer and Visual Studio 2005 for your development. 

The first thing you will notice when you open up Visual Web Developer is that you now have a new project type called ASP.NET AJAX Enabled Web Site as seen below.


Selecting this option will give you a web site with a different default.aspx and web.config than a regular ASP.NET web site.  You'll also have the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions pre-populated in your toolbox for easy drag and drop into the designer.

Tip: If you are going to be creating a lot of ASP.NET AJAX pages or are going to be adding ASP.NET AJAX extensions to your existing web site, you may want to create item templates out of your default.aspx and web.config files.  In order to do this, you will use the Export Template wizard on the File menu.  Choose Item Template in the wizard, select references as well as a default name and description for your templates and you are ready to use them over and over again.

Once you export your templates using the wizard, you will be able to see them in the Add New Item dialog as shown below.

Give Visual Web Developer a run for creating your ASP.NET AJAX web site and let us know your feedback. 

Couple of gotchas that we've heard about to date: 

1. One issue that people have been running into is with markup intellisense and source code preservation inside of the new controls like ScriptManager, UpdatePanel, etc. in HTML source view.  This is a known bug that will be fixed in Visual Studio SP1 and there's also a workaround that exists currently.  See this post for more details regarding this issue and how you can work around it.

2. Another fairly common gotcha is to forget to change <compilation debug="true"> to <compilation debug="false"> in your web.config when you are ready to deploy your application.  The default web.config template has debug="false" but upon F5, Visual Studio will automatically change this to debug="true" to enable you to debug your app.  If you deploy your application without changing this back to debug="false", you are paying via both a higher payload as well as slightly degraded runtime performance.


-- Bash

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  • Hi friends,

    I am trying to create an ASP.Net 2.0 app. with AJAX. But i am not able to decide as to what to use for the same like ASP.Net AJAX (earlier Atlas), Magic Ajax, AjaxPro.2, AjaxJSON.

    Also which of the above will be best suited with IE, Mozilla Fire fox. and will also be easily compatible with ASp.Net controls like GridView, etc.

    Your quick response will be appreciated.



  • Dear Ashish,

    It is ultimately your choice and depends on what you are trying to do, however if your main goal is to add AJAX capabilities to ASP.NET applications, we recommend that you go with ASP.NET AJAX.  This will get you better design time support in Visual Studio as well.

    Hope this helps.

    -- Bash

  • hello,

    i cant find ajax extensions in my tool box and also ajax enabled websites templates in visual web developer

    pls help me

  • Dear Rajkiran,

    If you have installed ASP.NET AJAX, these templates should automatically show up in Visual Web Developer and Visual Studio.  

    If you are not seeing these, I'm guessing that there's a problem with your ASP.NET AJAX installation.  Can you confirm that you have zip files for the ASP.NET AJAX templates installed at %Program Files%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\VWDExpress\ProjectTemplates\Web\<CSharp> and <VisualBasic> respectively?  If these are missing, I suggest uninstalling and re-installing ASP.NET AJAX from the location given in the blog post.

    Hope this helps.

    -- Bash

  • Can I use AJAX without creating ASP.NET AJAX-Enabled Web Site, I want us it with ASP.NET Web Application.

    thanks in advance.

  • Dear Tariq,

    Yes, you can do this without creating an ASP.NET AJAX-enabled web site.  Assuming that what you are trying to do is to add ASP.NET AJAX to your existing ASP.NET web application, what you should do is to create an empty ASP.NET AJAX-enabled web site to look at the default.aspx and web.config templates it creates.  You can add the script manager object to your aspx pages as in this default.aspx and merge in the web.config changes with your existing web.config.  

    Hope this helps.

    -- Bash

  • can i add one particular page in ajax to my existing project?

  • Yes you should be able to do that.  However you will need to modify the web.config in order to do this.

    -- Bash

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