On Monday, I've been attending the pre-conference session on ASP.NET AJAX (formerly referred to as ATLAS) brought to us by Wintellect's Jeff Prosise. From what I read before, I thought it was merely some kind of SDK which primary purpose is to allow page updates without a full post-back and heavily relies on web services. How wrong I was…
- Support for calling ASMX web services from client-side scripts (no WCF support yet).
Advanced client-side databinding with web services running on the server.
- An extensive control toolkit with 30+ AJAX-enabled controls such TextBoxExtender, CollapsablePanel, and DragPanel. This toolkit includes really useful controls that provide more than just eye-candy.
- Support for orchestrating complex animations (colors, fading, scaling, moving, sequentially, parallel), and drag-and-drop through any control.
- Abstraction classes hiding away the browser-specific DOM. For instance, there is a TextBox class that wraps an browser textbox and provides the same events and properties regardless of the actual browser.