Book Review: Microsoft AJAX Library Essentials: Client-side ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Explained
With Microsoft AJAX getting
the spotlight these days, it’s timely that we see books on the subject springing
out on the store shelves. Microsoft AJAX Library Essentials:
Client-side ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Explained
by Bogdan Brinzarea and Cristian Darie brings about a practical tutorial to using
the Microsoft AJAX Library to enhance user experience in ASP.NET web applications.
The book is about 280 pages – not a thick book by programming book standards – but
it’s concise enough to reap much value out of the book.
The book features eight
chapters of content and a 45-page appendix dedicated to a reference of the Microsoft
AJAX Library. The first chapter is more of an introductory journey into the
world of AJAX and Web 2.0. At the end of the chapter, the reader is treated
to a little “Hello World” example using raw AJAX i.e. how one would conventionally
write AJAX code without using the Microsoft AJAX Library.
The second chapter provides
a guide to the foundation technologies used to implement AJAX features, such as
DOM and CSS but I find these sections serving as an excellent refresher.
Chapter 3 gives a nice
about terms like encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism, readers will learn
execution context and scope, implementing inheritance using closures and prototypes,
crucial in understanding the overall O-O approach used by the Microsoft in implementing
the AJAX library.
Chapter 4 takes readers
on a tour of the components that
make up the Microsoft AJAX Library. At the end
of the chapter, the reader is treated to several code examples, this time using
the Microsoft AJAX Library to perform asynchronous server calls.
After a relatively short
fourth chapter, Chapter 5 gets a little hard-core. The chapter presents the
world, such as namespaces, interfaces, a more powerful inheritance paradigm, extended
base classes, properties, events, and enumerations.
Chapter 6 gives a theoretical
outline on creating client components using the Microsoft AJAX Library. This
includes extending page elements, registering events, and utilizing the page life
Chapter 7 is where it
gets interesting as there are more codes to look at and try out. The chapter
presents a walkthrough on creating two client-side components, namely the
Timer and EnhancedTextBox (a sort of auto-complete
The final chapter provides an overview of essential debugging tools out there for working with Microsoft AJAX
Library projects using Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
The appendix of the book
i.e. the Microsoft AJAX Library Reference – provides a quick reference and visual
guideline to the library namespaces and classes.
Both Bogdan and Cristian
did an excellent job in presenting the subject matter in an easy-to-understand manner.
The diagrams and screenshots are not just plain eye-candy but useful in understanding
the textual content. All code examples presented are systematically dissected
and explained in detail.
I’d suggest anyone reading
this book to have a PC connected to the Internet beside as the book is generously sprinkled with links to various useful web resources. In addition, the AJAX
examples in the book can be tested live on the Cristian's
This book serves as a
nice introduction for ASP.NET developers who are just starting out developing client-side
components on the ASP.NET AJAX Framework. For ASP.NET developers who are already
using pre-built Microsoft AJAX client-side components in their projects, this book
will help provide a better understanding of the inner workings of these components.
- Jason Ong
Microsoft AJAX Library Essentials: Client-side ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Explained
Authors: Bogdan Brinzarea and Cristian Darie
Publisher: Packt Publishing