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Programming Atlas by Christian Wenz

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How This Book Is Organized

Chapter 1, Atlas, Ajax, and ASP.NET , gives a high-level overview of Ajax and the Atlas framework and then covers the installation of Atlas, a review of its structure, and a first simple example.

Chapter 2, JavaScript , is a concise introduction to JavaScript. Although Atlas does its best to hide the details from ASP.NET programmers, a certain knowledge of JavaScript is required to really master Atlas.

Chapter 3, Ajax , explains the technologies beyond the hype. You learn what happens in the background, how Ajax works, and what it really is all about, in fewer than 20 pages.

Chapter 4, Controls , describes the client-side controls that come with Atlas. These make accessing HTML elements from JavaScript easy, using a consistent API.

Chapter 5, Data Binding and Validation , covers how you can perform declarative data binding, meaning that you can program without having to write code. It also features Atlas client-side validation controls.

Chapter 6, Components and Behaviors , shows you the built-in behaviors of Atlas and how to attach their functionality to client-side controls and components.

Chapter 7, Animations , focuses on graphical effects you can implement with Atlas, including opacity animations and automatic positioning of page elements.

Chapter 8, Client Script Library , describes how Atlas enriches the functionality of client-side JavaScript by adding new OOP-like features and even reimplementing some classes of the .NET Framework so that they can be used on the client side.

Chapter 9, Using Server Data , explains how you connect to databases. Atlas can be linked to a data source via specifically crafted web services, making data binding without page refreshes quite easy. Atlas also provides special client-side controls to display data.

Chapter 10, Web Services , deals with XML web services. Even though Atlas focuses on client-based development, it also adds features for server-side web services. This includes features for error management and session support. The chapter also explains how to call remote web services from JavaScript even without using Atlas.

Chapter 11, Extending Controls , focuses on the extender controls in Atlas that do what their name suggests: extending existing controls with capabilities such as autocompletion or drag and drop.

Chapter 12, Virtual Earth , shows how easy it is to use the Virtual Earth API from Atlas. This enables web applications to use map data, dynamically add markers, and more.

Chapter 13, Web Parts and Gadgets , shows to ways to reuse Atlas components: either as a Web Part (with features that regular ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts do not have), or as a custom Gadget on Microsoft’s new http://Live.com portal.

Chapter 14, Atlas Control Toolkit , introduces the Atlas Control Toolkit and shows how to write custom extender controls. Since the toolkit is now a community-driven project, this is a great opportunity to contribute your own code to Atlas.

Chapter 15, Using Atlas with Other Server Technologies , proves that some parts of the Atlas framework are not tied to ASP.NET 2.0; a sample application in PHP shows how to bridge between these two worlds.

Chapter 16, Other Ajax Tools , concludes the main part of the book by presenting alternative ways to use the Ajax technology with ASP.NET, be it with ASP.NET 1.x or by using ASP.NET 2.0 without Atlas.

Appendix A, XMLHttpRequest Reference , lists important methods and properties of the XMLHttpRequest object.

Appendix B, DOM Reference , covers important JavaScript DOM methods.

Appendix C, Atlas Reference , lists the most important methods provided by the Atlas framework.

Appendix D, ScriptManager and UpdatePanel Declarative Reference , documents the properties of these two key Atlas server control.

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