This newly revised Short Cut teaches you how to build richer and more interactive Ajax-style web pages using ASP.NET AJAX, Microsoft's Ajax framework for ASP.NET 2.0. The ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel control is key to building ASP.NET 2.0 applications more responsive to user input and in this tutorial, you'll learn how to use it from the Microsoft experts: Bertrand Le Roy, UpdatePanel control's architect and developer, and Matt Gibbs, ASP.NET AJAX dev team manager.
Completely revised for the Version 1.0 release of ASP.NET AJAX, this Short Cut teaches you what you need to know to make UpdatePanel part of your application pages. You'll also learn how to use the control to improve the performance of an ASP.NET Wizard control; create a better master/details page for the AdventureWorks database; and add a pop-up preview to a search page. Finally, you'll learn how to display UpdatePanel error messages and deal with its quirks and limitations. And all of the example code is available for free download. In short, this PDF has exactly what you need to begin adding the interactivity of AJAX to your ASP.NET 2.0 applications today.
Bertrand Le Roy is a PhD in mathematical physics and a former student of Ecole Normale Superieurede Lyon. After five years developing content management applications in France, he was hired by the ASP.NET team in Redmond, WA where he's been working since 2003 on projects such as ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET "Atlas". He is a pretty good skier and a very mediocre golfer. In his spare time, he wonders who really reads bios.
Comments about oreilly ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel Control:
The technologies comprising AJAX have been around for several years, but their inherent complexity forestalled widespread adoption. AJAX frameworks are designed to make AJAX development easier. It is these frameworks that enable the whole Web 2.0 motion (and corresponding hype).
Atlas is Microsoft's AJAX framework, based on ASP.NET 2.0. It comes with server-side controls that encapsulate the client-side functionality. Most useful is the UpdatePanel control, that allows the developer to convert any events raised from traditional ASP.NET server controls from full page postbacks into flicker-free AJAX-style partial page updating.
Bertrand LeRoy and Matt Gibs who are working on the UpdatePanel control at Microsoft have written an O'Reilly shortcut "Atlas UpdatePanel Control" that shows you how to apply the UpdatePanel. After some introductory explanations they show three well-chosen real-world examples, that are so close to common ASP.NET pages that you immediately understand how to apply the UpdatePanel in your own websites. The examples also include many tips and best practices on other aspects of ASP.NET and Atlas programming, with references for further study.
Shortcuts are short introductions to a brandnew topic that you can download as a PDF file. Until a book with a complete coverage of the Atlas framework and corresponding control toolkit comes along, this one shows you all you need to know to get going with the update panel, and is highly recommended.
Comments about oreilly ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanel Control:
Quoted from an O'Reilly email to me on Thu Jun 1 12:10:59 2006.
"Atlas UpdatePanel Control by Bertrand Le Roy and Matt Gibbs. The key to making ASP.NET applications more responsive to user input is the UpdatePanel control. In this tutorial, you'll learn from the experts: Bertrand Le Roy, UpdatePanel control's architect and developer, and Matt Gibbs, Atlas dev team manager. This PDF document contains all you need to get started implementing AJAX functionality in existing ASP.NET applications. ISBN: 0-596-52747-0, 56 pages, $9.99 US, $12.99 CA http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/atlasupc/"
Everything is true in the quote above. The UpdatePanel control is probably one key and not 'The key', but it is a good way to improve user experience with quick response to the update of an ASP.NET 2.0 page. A number of the learning issues are explained in a series of good examples. I think it is important to develop the same process they used: make the page work in ASP.NET 2.0 first, then add the control[s] and make them work. Some of the most important lessons learned in this book are the ones that let you know this is a good example of a set of controls that are coming or close to being here to improve the user experience.
My experience agreed with everything written. I was a member of the first User Experience convention in St Louis, MO at AG Edwards. I have kept up with a number of contacts, mostly through Dr. Jerry Weinberg, and find that the user experience issues are expanding to the extent that AG Edwards, MasterCard, and SIUE [and many others] have their own user experience laboratories that are very active in the academic as well as the business world of human computer interaction [HCI]. Making an ASP.NET page update faster by only claiming the parts of the page that need to be updated and not the whole page improves server usage as well as user usage.
The topics start with an introduction, then simple use of the control, then error message display, and finally caveats before further readings and an appendix. Using the UpdatePanel Control is probably the best chapter starting on page 17. The rest of the book needs to be clearly understood before you get to Appendix: Creating the AdventureProducts.xsd DataSet. The chapters are written clearly, if briefly. I like that about this book. No long winded explanations of useless trivia here. Get right to the point and stay there. The code is clear and helps understanding the issues presented by the authors.
I thought the discriminations made about error messages and caveats were very important. It is valuable knowledge worth your time to read and digest as thoroughly as possible.
The book is in .PDF format. I like that feature. You can buy this online through the O'Reilly shopping cart and then download it.
The 50+ pages were easy to read and understand. I read it in one evening. The book is for someone who is a little more than a beginner but more experienced people should look it over to make sure they are up to speed with these experts.
I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book for everyone starting with beginners and moving through the rest of the ranks of experience. Since it is such a quick and easy read, you might be missing something unless you check your knowledge against these experts.
Frederick J Eccher Jr June 27, 2006
M.S. Management of Information Systems
President, Board of Directors, Saint Louis Visual Basic Users Group