The ASP.NET AJAX Framework provides many mechanisms to embed
rich-client functionality in ASP.NET applications. This framework provides a
components meant to aid integration and development of web services, control
extenders, and more. All of these objects fit within the patterns Microsoft
set forth in regards to their approach of AJAX development. In addition, the
ASP.NET AJAX Framework contains a set of server-side components and base
classes that you can leverage in your custom AJAX components.
I've heard people ask why it is needed. After all, AJAX is regularly available without the need of a specialized framework. But what this framework
is attempting to do is make development of AJAX components easier and more
managed. They've include a client-side framework that mimics the ASP.NET
framework, by including classes and class inheritance, interface definitions,
type checking and reflection, and many other mechanisms used in ASP.NET. We'll
take a look at that in this article.