Three Ways to Consume Web Services with AJAX
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by Xianzhong Zhu
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Today, it has been estimated that more than 100 frameworks for AJAX development exist, which are in support of a variety of platforms and utilize a number of programming approaches. In general, however, they can be grouped into three main categories based on their capabilities: callback frameworks, UI frameworks, and full frameworks. The first two solutions in this article should fall into the first category (but AjaxPro.NET is the stronger and the favorite one to be used by developers by virtue of its simplicity and other more stability), while ASP.NET AJAX belongs to the third one with a package of client/server-side AJAX related projects.

Here, for brevity and for our interesting topic concentrating on Web Services, we have set up a table (Table 1) to give a synopsis of comparison of the three frameworks discussed in this article.

Table 1: Comparison of the three Ajax-enabled frameworks



Callback support



Full support











Access the Session and Application data from the client-side JavaScript

Cache the required results

Freely use source code

Add and modify new methods and properties in the framework without modifying any source code

All the classes support the client-side JavaScript to return data, and DataSet can be used from inside the JavaScript

Use the HTML controls to access and return data

Do not need to reload the pages and use the event delegate to access data

Supply only one method for call and therefore dramatically increases system performance

Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX




OOP JavaScript programming

JSON support

Debug/Trace support

Safety support

support for batching

WCF service support

Browser compatibility (IE, Firefox, Safari)

To be honest, I am not well up in the three frameworks either, so please forgive me for the shallow comparison above.

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User Comments

Title: Sr. Web Developer   
Name: Nelson Xu
Date: 2008-09-04 11:20:30 AM
Hi Xianzhong,
I reall enjoy your article and code sample.
The reason that "Undefined" appears is because you have () for OnSuccess when you call Web service.


Message will go away if you remove () after OnSuccess.

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