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How to Start with ASP.NET AJAX

As described on ASP.NET website.
ASP.NET AJAX is a free framework for quickly creating efficient and interactive Web applications that work across all popular browsers.

ASP.NET AJAX is built-into ASP.NET 3.5. It is also available as a separate download for ASP.NET 2.0. With ASP.NET AJAX you can:
  • Create next-generation interfaces with reusable AJAX components.
  • Enhance existing pages using powerful AJAX controls with support for all modern browsers.
  • Access remote services and data from the browser without tons of complicated script.
  • Take advantage of the improved efficiency and ease of use in Visual Studio 2008, with its built-in support for ASP.NET AJAX, improved JavaScript support, and a new Web page designer interface.
for more details and essential downloads please visit ASP.NET AJAX Website.

ASP.NET AJAX contains maily four (4) controls that is used to create next generation websites. These are

Timer Control The Timer control is used to postback at defined intervals. If we use Timer control with an UpdatePanel, we can enabled partial page updates at a defined interval. We can also use Timer control to post the entire page on the server.
ScriptManager Control ScriptManager control is the parent control that needs to be there on every page wherever we are trying to use ASP.NET AJAX controls. The ScriptManager control manages client script for the ASP.NET AJAX Pages. This control supports partial page rendering and web service call.
UpdateProgress Control The UpdateProgress control provides status information about partial page updates in Update Panel controls. You must have seen in some of the AJAX pages that when you are requesting for a certain information, you are intimated to wait (some images or message appears, Please wait...) this is done through this control.
UpdatePanel Control This is the main ASP.NET AJAX Control that enable us to build rich, client centric web application. By using this control, we can refresh selected parts of the page instead of refreshing whole page with postback. This is called partial page update.


Please use left side menu for tutorials of every controls described above.

Reference: MSDN