I have begun working on an ASP.net application that I have needed to enhance with Ajax to get the performance up to scratch. The users want to scroll through 1000’s of rows of data and are used to the flexibility of a desktop app.
I have based my Ajax on this book.
This does simple things like replacing the contents of a span tag with the rendered content of a distinct (yet incomplete) asp.net page. So far I have all of the functionality that I need yet have not touched an ajax framework. I am not sure that I am missing anything – all of the examples look far more cumbersome than what I already have!
My technique keeps a separate page for each specific replaceable region. Performing actions is always called to the form that produced the button (with the exception of navigation). This appears to be a different technique to most of the examples that I have seen. I can reuse the server component across distinct pages (with the client side having one script per page). The update panel looks crude by comparison. The trick is to do as much work on the server as possible but in small chunks. You should be able to fill up the entire display window in less than a second. Once you have that the user can start working while your app thinks about getting the rest of the data.