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Contrary to what I thought when I originally got this book it is not related to the ASP.NET Ajax Control toolkit for which you find many articles and websites dedicated to, instead this book is about the library behind the scenes that makes Microsoft Ajax work. This is a good thing because there are a limited number of locations to get some details about underlining JavaScript libraries.

Some of the pros of the book.

  • The author provides an in-depth break down of the code with step by step explanations of what the source code is doing. This makes it easier to follow along.
  • Many of the code samples are written out with comments, verbal explanations, and UML / class diagrams.
  • The first three chapters are on Ajax development without any ties to Microsoft technologies.

Some of the cons of the book.

  • A lot of large fonts were used, which makes it a bit unreadable at times.

On to the book content…

Chapter 1 starts off with an introduction of why Ajax is needed and the components involved at a high level. Chapter 2 goes into more detail of the foundation of Ajax covering the DOM, CSS, XMLHTTPRequest object. This is a good overview of Ajax technology that is not tied to Microsoft technologies.

Chapter 3 contains an overview of adding some object-oriented programming (OOP) to JavaScript.

Chapter 4 recreates the examples Ajax application the was created in chapter 2 using the Microsoft Ajax library. This is a good example to demonstrate the benefits of using the Microsoft Ajax library.

Chapter 5, which makes the book worth it weight in gold, goes into using Microsoft Ajax library to create “true” OOP JavaScript objects which work across many if not all modern browsers.

Chapter 6 goes into creating controls and components utilizing the library and Chapter 7 build on 6 with providing two component a timer and an enhanced text box control.

Chapter 8 goes into debugging Ajax application with either Firefox or Internet Explorer.


The book is a good reference book to have if you want to learn more about the Microsoft Ajax library or how Ajax works.

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