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

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Announcing the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit - v15.1

I'm happy to announce the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit v15.1 release is now available!

ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit v15.1

Click the download button above to get the latest bits.

Revised and Improved

Late in 2014, DevExpress took over the maintenance of the venerable ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. Our major goals for the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit were these:

  1. Make it work and make it stable - The library had many issues (some 2,200 at the last count) that prevented it from working properly. So the first job was prioritizing them and solving the major blocking ones (in the end, totalling nearly 1/3 of those 2,200). For more detail, please take a look at the What's new in v15.1 information below.
  2. Improve the 'getting started' experience - The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit (ACT) was very difficult to download, install, and start using. We have improved this experience immeasurably by introducing a fantastic new installer that installs ACT into the Visual Studio toolbox for versions 2010 through 2013.
  3. Introduce modern browser support - The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit did not work in all modern browsers. With the v15.1 release, it now works with all popular HTML 5 browsers.
  4. Add support for Visual Studio 2013 templates - The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit did not support Visual Studio 2013's new web project templates well. With this v15.1 release, we have solved this major issue.
  5. Provide an upgrade path - The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit's core codebase is now over 7 years old. While we at DevExpress can help to improve many of its features, we do not plan to rewrite it from the ground up. That would take a massive effort and many breaking changes. And it's not necessary because a better, modern, feature-rich, and more, set of user interface controls is available with DevExpress ASP.NET. Download the free DevExpress 30 day trial.

The new version number: v15.1

We have updated this release's version number to v15.1 because we wanted a more semantic version number system. Similar to our own version system, you'll be able to tell by year and major release version at a glance. So v15.1 means '2015 major release 1'.

What's new in v15.1?

Here's what's new...

New installation experience

DevExpress has redesigned and created an improved ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit installer that leverages Visual Studio’s extensibility features. This new installer automatically registers the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit components into the Toolbox of all available Visual Studio versions that you have installed on your system.

Single binary

The former ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit releases provided different assemblies for each .NET version. Starting with v15.1 we've built a single assembly that supports all .NET versions later than .NET 3.5. Support for .NET 3.5 has been dropped.

Dependency cleanup

The ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit assembly is now free from external dependencies: it no longer requires AjaxMin, HtmlAgilityPack, or WindowsAzure. All functionality depending on third-party packages has been extracted to separate packages (ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.StaticResources, ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.HtmlEditor.Sanitizer), all of which are available as Nuget packages.

ASP.NET Web Optimization framework for JavaScript and CSS bundling and minification

The outdated custom resource bundling and minification mechanism (causing the dependency on ToolkitScriptManager) has been replaced with a modern and better approach, using the ASP.NET Web Optimization framework.

Modern browsers

The new Toolkit can be easily used with the latest standard Visual Studio web-project templates. Therefore, it works with Bootstrap. And it also works in modern HTML 5 browsers.

Source code put in order

We worked hard to clean and add a structure to the entire source code tree. Unused and outdated code has been removed. The Visual Studio solution has been reorganized to a plain and simple structure. And now the new build pipeline is considerably faster and more straightforward. The new layout is easier to understand and faster to build.

Rollback of unfinished and experimental features

We have removed features from past releases that were incomplete and/or experimental. For example, two major items that caused many issues and headaches were the malfunctioning support for Windows Azure and the so-called “jQueryzation” of ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.

Bug fixes

With the v15.1 release, we have addressed some major issues for the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. Restructuring and cleaning up the toolkit was just the starting point to fixing many of the bugs. We have even more plans for the toolkit so stay tuned!

Feedback

Get the latest ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit v15.1 release and let us know your feedback by reporting it here.

How to upgrade to v15.1

Please take a look at the 'How to upgrade to v15.1 release' article to see how to migrate your existing ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit projects to the new v15.1 release.

Try DevExpress ASP.NET

We’d like to thank you for installing the DevExpress Edition of the AJAX Control Toolkit and look forward to your feedback as you begin its use.

When we took over the fabulous ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, our goal was to reach those web developers who want to use great web user interface controls for their web projects and DevExpress ASP.NET provides that and much more.

Try the free DevExpress 30 day trial.

Email: mharry@devexpress.com

Twitter: @mehulharry


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Published Mar 10 2015, 11:00 AM by
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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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