...and the Microsoft AJAX Library, err, and the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. Yep, Microsoft has not only finally come up with an official name for the AJAX technologies which until now have been known collectively as ‘Atlas’ but has also split it into three individual products. All are expected to ship by year-end.

ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions cover the server-side functionality, while the Microsoft AJAX Library handles the client-side stuff and integrates with the server-based extensions, naturally. The final part of this triumvirate is the self-explanatory ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.

Together, the intention is to simplify ASP 2.0 web development where advanced JavaScript and XML functionality is required. Now I am no such developer myself, but I know a man who is and he tells me that the whole Atlas concept is actually rather good in real world use. In particular, that it does away with the need to bother writing JavaScript code.

But you know what, nobody seems to care about that online. The big fuss seems to be on the naming convention: what was wrong with Atlas? Why not call it iAjax? Why is Microsoft so boring these days? It is branding that counts, that’s why the x-box is a success.


Is it just me, or does what a technology can do matter more than what it is called? Especially in the corporate domain where something like ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions is destined to live? Personally, I rather like the name, it pretty much says what it does on the tin.

Perhaps the problem is that the Atlas stuff is competing with true open-source toolkits, a world where obscure naming is key. Hey, you’ve got to have some badge to wear that shows you are a member of the IT in-crowd, you are in ‘in-the-know’ after all. I suspect we will see it being referred to collectively as MAJAX 1.0 before too long.

Anyway, back to the real business: Microsoft also announced that its AJAX tools will be fully supported within Visual Studio 2005 (and should ship with the next version of Visual Studio, codename Orcas, when that finally arrives.) Another small, but rather important fact that got lost in the what’s it called again argument. As was the fact that it should ship in Beta form real soon now, and be shipping properly by the end of the year.

You can read more at Atlas ASP.Net Web, the official Microsoft site.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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