New ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Release

Yesterday the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit team released an updated version.  You can download it from the web-site, and run samples built with it on the online samples page here.

The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit is a free download and contains more than 40 additional AJAX controls and components that work on top of the core ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 release.  In addition to having Microsoft developers contribute, the project also has more than 15 non-Microsoft contributors adding great features and controls. 

You can download either a binary version of the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit to use (just add to your toolbox and you are good to go), or you can download the source for the project itself and tweak/extend it if you want (all source is released under a permissive license allowing you to make your own modifications to it). 

New ToolkitScriptCombiner Support

One of the biggest improvements with this toolkit release is support for a new "ToolkitScriptCombiner" control.  This control allows you to replace the default <asp:scriptmanager> control behavior, and supports the ability to dynamically merge multiple client-side Javascript scripts into a single file that is downloaded to the client at runtime.  Better yet, only the Javascript needed by the specific controls on the page are included within the combined download, to make it as small as possible.

The big benefit with this feature is that is can significantly reduce the number of Javascript files the browser needs to download, as well as reduce the overall download size of the scripts.  This can provide some really nice performance and load-time wins on pages.  Best of all - you don't need to change any code or refactor any script yourself to take advantage of this.

Other ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Improvements

This week's release contains a number of other new improvements, including:

  • More than 125 bug fixes
    • Extended client side event support - new client side event handler extensibility points are available with common toolkit server controls
    • ASP.NET Validation Controls now work with the Toolkit Controls
    • Accessibility fixes: Slider and AutoComplete have support for high contrast and other controls have JAWS accessibility support built-in when doing AJAX callbacks.
    • Animation support: More toolkit controls now have generic animation support built-in
    • Nice design mode improvements for the controls, including: 1) designer support for the TabContainer.  You can now select/add/remove tabs within the tabcontainer directly from the designer, and you can directly edit both the content and the title, 2) page methods can now automatically be generated for those extender controls that call web-services, 3) nice icon support within the toolbox.

    You can learn more about all of the improvements in blog posts from Shawn, David, Kirti and Garbin.

    ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit Videos

    Joe Stagner has been cranking away at recording "How Do I?" videos for the AJAX Control Toolkit, and now has 39 free ASP.NET AJAX "How Do I?" videos hosted on the site. 


    Click here to watch them for free and learn how to-do common tasks with ASP.NET AJAX and the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.  The most recent videos are now available to download in a variety of video and audio formats, including: WMV, Zune, iPod, PSP, MPEG-4, and 3GP.

    ASP.NET AJAX Books

    As I mentioned in my links post from last week, the first books specifically targeting the final ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 release were recently published.  Below are links to two of them that are shipping today:


    Both books include a chapter on using the controls within the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.

    Hope this helps,



    • Great news, I'm glad you guys keep coming out with this things because each one has solved a problem for me so far. I do have a question though, you see I have a site that is hosted by a major provider. I already convinced them to install the Extensions, and it wasn't all that easy.

      If I remember correctly, the toolkit is just what is added to the solution in the BIN folder, so my question is if I install the new toolkit, how do I update my project for it to see the new tools, and how do I upgrade my application in the production hosted environment after that.


    • FANTASTIC!!! Validation fixed! WOOHOO!

    • Hi Carlos,

      The good news about the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit is that it can be deployed in the \bin directory of your application without needing to update anything else on the system.

      The Control Toolkit does rely on ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 being installed - but assuming you already have it installed on the remote host, then you are all set to go and just need to update the control toolkit assembly to use the new version.

      Hope this helps,


    • Scott,

      now that MIX is behind us and all (most) is known about Silverlight, the DLR and LINQ, can we please get back to the real ASP.NET? I'd like to know what kind of controls we can expect in ASP.NET 3.5 (Dynamic Image), how/if the Toolkit will become a default part of the package, what kind of AJAX controls are on the roadmap (when can we expect drag AND drop), will the treeview and menu controls be more CSS friendly (by using regular unordered lists for instance), has your team finally mastered valid HTML (spans don't have a disabled property) without tables (the CheckBoxList could be rendered using unordered lists) etc, etc.

      I'm sure there a ton of stuff your teams have been working on, we want to hear it. Thanks!

      PS> I'm kind of tired of the Silverlight stuff being a pure ASP.NET developer I'll not even use it.

    • does not work in this release.
      Any work-around for this problem?


      ' <= This does not work!!!

    • ¡viva la validation!

    • Excellent news. I am in the middle of creating a fairly complex interface and I was getting concerned at the number of Javascript files that my pages needed to download and seeing a gradualy slowing down of performance as a I added more features. This should help a lot as should design time enhancements for the tab control which I use quite a lot.

    • Hi Mike,

      I'll be posting several new ASP.NET content posts soon - stay tuned. ;-)



    • Hi Akio,

      I haven't seen that issue before, but just forwarded it to the control toolkit team for them to take a look. I'll let you know what they say. Have you also reported it on the control toolkit forums?



    • Hi John,

      Can you send me email ( with more details of that issue you mentioned? I can then have someone take a look at it for you.



    • great news, But why no new control even when the toolkit next release is after so much time

    • There should be some NumericTextBox with a mix of functionality Like Telerik NumericTextBox and EworldUI.

    • I agree with Mike. The emphasis seems to have been on producing AJAX "Futures" and possibilities. They're fine and innovative, but we could now use more focus on the components that will be official, *supported* products in ASP.NET 3.5.

      Once we know what's likely to be included (dynamic data controls?) in the release, we can concentrate on finding bugs before the release rather than being distracted and spread too thinly.

      The community-generated controls (perpetual betas?) such as the Toolkit are great, but it's really hard to know what Microsoft considers to be production quality. What's safe for ISPs to host and for us to use in our real-world apps?

    • Scott,

      Thanks for the news about the latest AJAX updates. I would like to add that after reading Dino Esposito's new book, I can strongly recommend it to anyone as their first primer. His writing is impeccible and engaging as always. I love how the book starts by introducing the client library first, rather than the typical server-side UpdatePanel approach. I bought the Wrox book (Gibbs/Wahlin) as well, and I'm looking forward to digging in to that one next. A quick scan through it looked encouraging.


    • HI Scott,

      The Ajax 1.0 release has an issue with cross domain ajax calls. Betrand Le Roy has post regarding the issue and the fix which requires updates the core files.

      When can we expect a service pack release for Ajax 1.0?


    • Hi Scott,

      Great news, on a different subject I have always had problems configuring connectionstring to ASP.Net Providers like Personalization and ActiveDirectory because the connectionstring in our application differs by url so I have to set it dynamically from code rather than in web.config.

      For Personalization provider, I rewrote the SqlPersonalizationProvider so that it takes the connectionstring from session as source code for SqlPersonalizationProvider was released by Microsoft. But for ActiveDirectoryMembershipProvider, you haven't released source code yet(have seen many people requesting for the same),
      Do you have any plans on providing the source code for ActiveDirectoryMembershipProvider?
      I could set the values for connectionUsername, connectionPassword etc.. by inheriting ActiveDirectoryMembershipProvider but not the connection string(pointing to LDAP), also adConnectionString is private, any idea how I could set the connectionstring from code?

      Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.


    • I have been looking at Script# by Nikhil Kothari at the weekend. And after looking briefly at what it can do or what you can do with it. Would I use the Ajax toolkit?
      Maybe not. I might use the Ajax toolkit code to develop my own tool kit but not this tool kit.

    • I'm with Mike. Although I am very excited, interested, and motivated to read about the brand new technologies, just like Mike, I will not get the chance to work with them for a while. I too would be very interested in getting more info about the upcoming ASP.NET-based features, becuase I will be experimenting with those as soon as they are released, for sure!

      Thanks for the spectacular blog!!

    • Would I use the Ajax toolkit, Was working with Script# by Nikhil Kothari over the weekend and would I rely on a toolkit with 135 bugs fixed. I do think Script# is for people actually producing code to sell rather than just deployment by "IT" in big companies where there is no call back.
      I would use this toolkit as samples you get with any technology and I think that's what they were and still are for. Not for development purposes.

      You feedback is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Scott

      I have a slightly off-topic question, which i'm sure you must get all the time.

      Do you have a release date for Orcas (or a target date)? We have an app built with LINQ which is awesome, but we can't deploy it until final release. It's killing me! :)



    • Will we see a patch for Ajax to make ScriptManager with this ToolkitScriptCombiner functionality?

      Seems worthy of adding it to the ScriptManager - even as an option.


    • How do I install the updated toolkit? Does it replace the toolbox group that was installed by the previous toolkit release. (Nice meeting and talking with you @ TechEd2007! We talked as you packed up and left the session.)

    • Scott,

      Is there any plan to flesh out the client side design of the toolkit controls to allow more activity in Javascript? For example, several of the controls might benefit from exposing client-side Javascript events (i.e. Expand/Collapse for the Collapsible Panel control, same thing for the Accordion, etc). Also, many controls have a lot of flexibility w/r/t to the other controls/elements they interact with, but many do not. For example, the Password Strength control is very limited. The text or ugly-looking progress bar MUST be DIRECTLY above, left, below, or right of the textbox, there is no customize-ability for the progress bar layout (or very, very little), etc.

      Will there be an effort to make these things more consistent and expose a common API among most or all of the toolkit controls?

    • Thanks for the videos, too bad my computer doesn't have any speakers though hehe. I'll have to check them out when I get home.

      You guys are really pushing Ajax!

    • When can we expect a service pack release of Ajax 1.0?

    • there is something NOT good for UI with Rating Control.
      the control of this release add a tag "".
      when i click the star to rate,if i stay in the bottom of the page,the page will go to the top.i think it is realy bad.

    • Hi Scott,

      Is there any information on how to upgrade from the previous version? In particular I can find no information on how to use the ToolkitScriptCombiner.


    • I'm having issues with the Intellisense for the AJAX Control Toolkit Release. If I create a project on my local harddrive, no problems. If I create a project on a mapped network drive, the Intellisense doesn't work, just for the Control Toolkit. The general AJAX controls, ASP.NET and HTML all work fine.

      A post about the same issue on but his solution to use FrontPage extensions but that isn't feasible. The other solution to use the full path \\server\blah\blah\website\ doesn't work either. Is there a proper solution so this?

      I am using Windows XP with VS 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects.

      Any help is appreciated.

    • Hi Deepak,

      The Toolkit today is actually being used by a couple of hundred thousand sites now, so there are definitely a lot of people using it in production. The development approach with it does differ from the fully supported ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 core bits - in that it is developed in a more agile, iterative approach (as opposed to a few big releases).

      Shawn Burke has a good post here that talks more about this process:

      In general, his team is able to turn around feature requests and bug fixes very quickly - often within days when people report them.

      Hope this helps,


    • waiting for new posts on ajax.......... DEEPLY

    • Hi Chad,

      I don't know all of the plans for the upcoming releases of the toolkit, but I believe the plan is to expose more and more of a client-side Javascript API for the controls.

      Hope this helps,


    • Hi Josh/Ken,

      I'll be doing several more ASP.NET related posts over the next week or two.



    • Hi Kirk,

      Can you send me email ( with more details about the intellisense on mapped drive issue? I can then have someone on the team take a look.



    • Hi Rob,

      For upgrading, I think you should be able to just replace the toolkit assembly in the \bin directory and then update the web.config file.

      For any specific upgrade issue, I'd recommend asking on the ASP.NET AJAX Toolkit forums on There are a number of good folks who should be able to help answer specifics.



    • Hi Gopi,

      An update to ASP.NET will ship with .NET 3.5 soon, and it contains a number of improvements and fixes. If there is a specific issue you are running into, I'd recommend calling product support - and they can issue you a patch if it is blocking you.

      Hope this helps,


    • Hi Rob,

      The "Orcas" release will enter Beta2 later this summer, and will support a go-live license that allows you to put applications in production. The final release will then be not too many months off from that.

      Hope this helps,


    • Do we still need to use the validators.dll to work with AJAX?

      I found that I still have to use validators.dll and I still have to wrap the validators in an update panel for them to work, as far as turning the asterisk off and on and updating the validation summary. I also have to wrap the validation summaries in update panels with updatemode set to always, or they don't erase the validation messages.

      Also, I cannot get dynamically-created validators to work at all. I get "'null' is null or not an object' at "if(typeof(Sys) !== 'undefined') Sys.Application.notifyScriptLoaded() in ScriptResource.axd. Here is what I do:

      private RequiredFieldValidator AddRequiredFieldValidator(string controlID, string errorMessage)
      Panel panel = new Panel();
      panel.ID = controlID + "_ValidatorPanel";
      panel.CssClass = "validatorPanel";
      UpdatePanel updatePanel = new UpdatePanel();
      updatePanel.ID = controlID + "_UpdatePanel";

      RequiredFieldValidator requiredFieldValidator = new RequiredFieldValidator();
      requiredFieldValidator.ID = controlID + "_RequiredFieldValidator";
      requiredFieldValidator.ControlToValidate = controlID;
      requiredFieldValidator.ErrorMessage = errorMessage;
      requiredFieldValidator.Text = "*";
      requiredFieldValidator.Display = ValidatorDisplay.Dynamic;

      return requiredFieldValidator;


    • Hi Carl,

      The patch that contains the Validators fix for ASP.NET can now be downloaded and applied to System.Web.dll. You can learn more about how to download it here:

      Once you do this, you can remove the temporary validators patch in your web.config file.

      Hope this helps,


    • For the next release of ASP.NET, any chance that your team can move viewstate data (shown in HTML) to the bottom of the page? I'm sure you've heard of this complaint before on how viewstate can hamper SEO.

    • Hi Scott.

      Firstly - thanks for the great blogs. I'd like to detail an issue I am having with the AJAX control toolkit (I'm running the latest release) .. to do with Gridview Paging where the page always gets reset to Page 1, when I return from a link off a gridview.

      My config is:
      Master Page - has script manager
      Child Page - has a GridView inside an AJAX TAB

      Is there something I'm missing?



    • Hi Tim,

      Any chance you can send me an email directly on this issue (my email address is on the about tab of this site)? I can then loop in someone from the AJAX Control Toolkit team to take a look.



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