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Mehul Harry is the DevExpress Web Program Manager. Follow him on twitter: @Mehulharry

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LONG LIVE The Ajax Control Toolkit - Open Source and now maintained by DevExpress

The venerable AJAX Control Tookit has been downloaded over 9 million times. THAT’S A LOT. It was created in a time before jQuery, in a time before AJAX, in a time before today’s modern web. However, it’s super useful, and we here at DevExpress appreciate that there is a lot of good use to be had in these kinds of libraries.

Some years have now passed and the AJAX Control toolkit has not kept up with changes in Visual Studio, changes in modern JavaScript, and changes in today’s web development. To be blunt, the library has significant issues, many unresolved, and yet it is still as popular as ever.

So what can be done to support the past, present, and promote the future? Should the toolkit die in a fire? Of course not. Should it be scrapped and rewritten? No. What it needs is an infusion of modern JavaScript energy, and it just turns out that we here at DevExpress have energy to spare.

What’s happening to the AJAX Control Toolkit?

Unfortunately, the Toolkit is one of those open-source projects where everyone believes that someone else is looking after it and fixing issues, with the result that no one does. We do not want to see it stagnate like this.

Some of our web developers have done some code analysis and spikes, and we have some solid ideas on how to fix the library and bring it into 2014 for use in the latest Visual Studio and beyond!

Enter Microsoft, then Exit Microsoft...

So, we contacted our friends at Microsoft (4 of them were named Scott) and offered to take over the maintenance of the toolkit. They were stoked about the possibilities and encouraged us to take over the project and forge ahead.

What’s Step ZERO?

There are issues. So our first priority is to get the toolkit to a stable condition -- at a minimum this will require adding tests and removing some of the half-finished changes -- and then adding back the newer functionality. This may involve rolling some things back a bit, but we intend to keep compatibility whenever possible. (We’re not going to do a Replace All “Microsoft.” to “DevExpress.”)

This initial work is bound to take a few months, after all, we have updates to our own controls to implement, so don't expect anything until early 2015. We'll post updates of our progress as we go.

Will it still be Open Source? Is this a Trick (™)?

Totally, it’s a trap. Seriously, it is and will remain Open Source Software (OSS). It will simply be “AJAX Control Toolkit maintained by DevExpress”....and hopefully you!

If YOU are passionate about the Toolkit, hit us up on Twitter or at mharry@devexpress.com and let’s talk. File issues, start discussions, and get involved!

Published Sep 26 2014, 03:40 PM by
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Comments

RDF

This is awesome to hear Mehul!  I've been a fan of the Toolkit for sometime but recent instabilities have forced me to abandon it quite a while back.  We've been using DevExpress for 8+ years so I know the hard work and dedication you guys will put towards this, and I'm excited to see the end result and know it will be kept up to date!

September 26, 2014 5:34 PM

Uwe Keim

From now on there will be an update of the toolkit at least every 2 weeks!

October 4, 2014 3:49 AM

Roman Shelomanov

How you plan to integrate Ajax Toolkit with DX controls?

Do you plan to introduce this controls to the  XAF?

October 6, 2014 2:35 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Roman,

No, the Ajax Toolkit will continue to live as it's own open source project separate from DevExpress ASP.NET controls suite.

XAF will continue to use DevExpress ASP.NET controls and not Ajax Control Toolkit.

Thanks.

October 9, 2014 10:28 AM

David Porter 4

The code had a half-complete implementation of some of these controls entirely in client side javascript. The date picker worked ok, most of the others not so great. I hope you will also work on this part of the library

October 19, 2014 6:07 PM

Popescu Andrei Vlad

Will you keep what is already done based on Microsoft Ajax library? I really like it and I hope will remain there.

December 7, 2014 3:18 PM

Rocco Mettola

Good Morning,

we learned that now the new owner of Ajax Control Toolkit is DevExpress (September 2014).

our application uses the following version: Ajax Control Toolkit product version 1.0.10618.0 (Copyright Microsoft Corporation, 2006).

Our application .NET 2.0 is solid and has been online since 2008. With the porting of the client Internet Explorer 11 we are getting errors like this:

Client error: Sys.WebForms.PageRequestManagerServerErrorException: An unknown error occurred while processing the request on the server. The status code returned from the server was: 12002

You may tell the compatibility matrix of Ajax toolkit with Internet Explorer 11?

We have already asked Microsoft who responded ask DevExpress, we do not know !!!

Thank you in advance for your support and greetings.

RM

February 27, 2015 6:13 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Rocco,

Thanks, once we release, please post issues to the codeplex site:

community.devexpress.com/.../asp-net-ajax-control-toolkit-how-to-report-issues.aspx

February 27, 2015 12:30 PM

About Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Mehul Harry is an ASP.NET technical evangelist at Developer Express. You can reach him directly at mharry@DevExpress.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mehulharry
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