You can now create Web applications that feature next-generation user interfaces and reusable client components that use the new features of Visual Studio 2005. You can develop Web pages by using a server-based approach, a client-based approach, or a combination of both, according to your requirements. The AJAX server-based and client-based programming models are supported by the following:
Server controls that support server-based AJAX development. This includes the ScriptManager, UpdatePanel, UpdateProgress, and Timer controls. These controls enable you to create rich client behavior, such as partial-page rendering and displaying update progress during asynchronous postbacks, with little or no client script.
The Microsoft AJAX Library, which supports client-based, object-oriented development that is browser independent. In addition to supporting the new AJAX-enabled server controls, the client library enables you to develop custom client components that extend DOM elements or that represent a DOM element.
Server classes that enable you to develop server controls that map to custom client components whose events and properties are set declaratively. Server types that support this functionality include controls that derive from the ExtenderControl or ScriptControl base classes, or that implement the IExtenderControl or IScriptControl interfaces.
Support for script globalization and localization. Globalization enables you to display dates and numbers based on a culture value (locale). Localization enables you to specify localized content (text, images, and so on) for client components for UI elements or exception messages.
Access to Web services and to ASP.NET authentication, roles management, and profile application services.
Visual Studio 2008 enables you to easily enable asynchronous partial-page updates in a page, which avoids the overhead of full-page postbacks. You can just put existing controls and markup inside UpdatePanel controls. Postbacks from inside an UpdatePanel control become asynchronous postbacks and refresh only the part of the page inside the panel, which creates a more fluid user experience. You can display the progress of the partial-page update by using UpdateProgress controls.
Project Designer Support for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Applications
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications have been added to Visual Studio 2008. There are four WPF project types:
WPF Application (.xaml, .exe)
WPF Browser Application (.exe, .xbap)
WPF Custom Control Library (.dll)
WPF User Control Library (.dll)
When a WPF project is loaded in the IDE, the user interface of the Project Designer pages lets you specify properties specific to WPF applications.
Project Designer Support for Web Application Projects
Web Application projects were added to Visual Studio in Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 and are also included in Visual Studio 2008. The new Web Application project model provides the same Web Application project semantics as the Visual Studio .NET 2003 Web project model, except updated with features of Visual Studio 2005 and ASP.NET version 2.0. The Visual Studio Project Designer supports Web application projects, with the following limitations:
On the Settings page, Web application projects can only be application-scoped. For more information, see Settings Page, Project Designer.
On the Signing page, the manifest signing option is disabled because Web application projects do not use ClickOnce deployment. For more information, see Signing Page, Project Designer.