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'Atlas': The Beta Begins

Microsoft last Friday began shipping the beta test release of version 1 of ASP.NET AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), previously codenamed "Atlas."

A little confusingly, the company simultaneously released the ASP.NET AJAX CTP (Community Technology Preview) Beta, which provides additional features that are still under development, as well as the AJAX Control Toolkit, which updates the toolkit framework and controls.

The company has been shipping CTP releases of the technology for months. In mid-September, Microsoft officially named it ASP.NET AJAX v1 and spelled out a roadmap for its release by the end of the year.

ASP.NET AJAX is a set of technologies to add AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) support to ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005. It consists of a client-side script framework, server extensions and the control toolkit -- all separate downloads.

"The ASP.NET AJAX CTP provides additional features and functionality that work alongside the ASP.NET AJAX core. Together, these releases enable development scenarios supported in the earlier ASP.NET AJAX CTP releases in addition to newly added functionality," according to Microsoft documents.

Visual Studio 2007 will offer further AJAX support in the form of debugging tools, JavaScript intellisense and WYSIWYG design features for the server controls, according to a blog entry in September by Scott Guthrie, general manager of Microsoft's Developer Division.

The downloads, documentation and further information are available here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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