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Microsoft AJAX: use it or not?

I am developing a web application that I plan to sell through the internet.

The application is developed in ASP.NET 2.0 and I can make use of Microsoft AJAX extensions to have some AJAX features.

This would make de application more responsive in some scenarios and would also make it look nice with some of the AjaxControlToolkit controls.

The downside I see is: my customer will need a hosting that supports Microsoft AJAX. Not all of them support it. There is a DLL that needs to be installed in the GAC, it's not possible to have it under the /bin directory of the web application.

So I am thinking what would be the best choice:

- make it nice and less supported (not all hosting have MS AJAX);


- make it OK and have it supported in any ASP.NET hosting.

What would you choose?
Friday, April 13, 2007
I would go with the Ajax option. It gives you a look and feel that will help your app stand out. Also, I feel that Ajax will soon be the new 'gold standard' this means that you may soon end up upgrading your code anyway just to keep your customer happy. Why not do it now. The whole 'i can't find many web hosters that are Ajax ready' thing will start disappearing quickly in about a month anyway.
bobby strick Send private email
Friday, April 13, 2007
Is that like how "I cant find PC's with the .NET framework installed" thing has been about to disappear for, what, 5 or 6 years now?
Greg Send private email
Friday, April 13, 2007
I'll second the motion to use Atlas.  I've been pretty impressed with the ease with which it works, and it can really smooth out a clunky interface.  Well worth while, IMO.
D. Lambert Send private email
Friday, April 13, 2007
If your app is already build in .Net, I don't see the fundamental risk *unless* the Ajax library is only in a more recent version/release.  I would be more concerned about its support for non-IE browsers.

If they need to get their hosting company to upgrade to the latest and greatest, it might be problematic... regardless of the language/system being used.
KC Send private email
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The Ajax library is a .NET assembly but not part of the .NET framework, i.e. it's a recent, separately-installable release.
Christopher Wells Send private email
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Thanks for the opinions.

I'll do with AJAX.

It's a separate library. It supports IE, Firefox and Safari.

There is a new version going to be released, integrated with .NET 3.5 (in end of this year). They plan to support Opera in this one.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Use Ajax. Many will go to it eventually and it works pretty nicely.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Hello out there,

i am joining a little late since you apparently already made up your mind but nonetheless i would like to promote / suggest since i think they are really easy to use and do lots of nice AJAX things.
pixel piz
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I think it depends on the product and the customer.

For example, if you're selling a business solution, corporations have pretty stringent rules about what goes onto their servers and slower upgrade cycles. Excluding AJAX (Atlas?), at least for version 1.0, is likely to get you more sales.

Specifically, we would not buy your product because we have our own servers and they're locked down pretty tightly. Sell us a version 1.0, give us time to start using it on a regular basis and then tell us we need AJAX to run version 2.0, and we're more likely to throw our political muscle behind it.

On the other hand, if you're targeting consumers and small businesses that don't have an in house IT staff, then they're more flexible and willing to shop around to find what they need. (Or have multiple application stacks.) They can just call Dell and buy a second $750 psuedo server just to run your stuff if they want.

If your application is so complex and has so many bits and pieces that it can only be run at a dedicated hosting center, I'd say go with AJAX, but specify the entire application stack as part of your "system requirements". I.e., you need XP w/ SP2, MDAC version this and that, the AJAX libraries, etc etc.
Monday, April 16, 2007

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