Home » Articles


Sponsored links

CodeDigest Navigation

Technology News
No News Feeds available at this time.

Community News
No News Feeds available at this time.
Building AJAX Applications using ASP.Net AJAX

By Satheesh babu
Posted On Aug 18,2008
Article Rating:
Average Rating: 5
No of Ratings: 1
No of Comments: 2
Category: ASP.Net AJAX
Print this article.

Building AJAX Applications using ASP.Net AJAX



My previous article, Implementing AJAX Enabled Applications in ASP.Net provided a good understanding on AJAX and different ways of implementing AJAX application in ASP.Net. We have also seen how to implement a simple AJAX application using ASP.Net AJAX framework, which helped to understand the efficiency and easiness of implementing AJAX enabled web applications with ASP.Net AJAX framework. Moving forward, we will understand ASP.Net AJAX framework and consuming the framework in depth to create AJAX enabled applications.


The implementation of AJAX enabled application is made easy with the help of 2 new controls called UpdatePanel control and ScriptManager control in ASP.Net AJAX framework. These are the two primary controls that makes AJAX happen with very less effort. This article will help us understand the usage of these two new controls by implementing a sample application. After reading this article, the reader will have good understanding on these controls and he can use this controls effectively to build AJAX applications.

To make our understanding better, we will develop a sample application and understand these controls precisely.



For ASP.Net 2.0, ASP.Net AJAX is available as ASP.NET AJAX Extensions 1.0 for free download. For ASP.Net 3.5, AJAX functionality is integrated in ASP.NET 3.5 and does not require any additional downloads. Download and install the library on your development machine to start developing ASP.Net AJAX applications.



We will build an application which displays Employees details in a Gridview that has edit/update/delete feature. We can also include a feature to insert new employee details in the same page. Refer the below figure. The button “Clear Employee Display” will clear all the employee display in the gridview. Since we are developing this application in AJAX, we will have a label in left-hand top corner that displays the server time to know when the last postback to server is happened.


As I said earlier, the AJAX enabled application with ASP.Net AJAX framework is done through the primary support of 2 new controls, UpdatePanel and ScriptManager. Before moving to the actual implementation we will have some knowledge about these controls.


ScriptManager Control

This is the control that manages and registers the client script for aspx pages for asynchronous request/response processing. All the Ajax controls require this control to be present on the page to communicate asynchronously to the server. This control should be kept on top of the page before any control for the AJAX to work.


UpdatePanel Control

Ø       This is the control that makes the partial page rendering possible.

Ø       UpdatePanel control works together with ScriptManager control for Asynchronous request/response processing.

Ø       By default, the controls that are added inside the UpdatePanel control becomes Ajax enabled controls. All the server controls inside the UpdatePanel control can post the panels content to server asynchronously and refresh the panel’s content.

Ø       The child controls that causes asynchronous postback is called the Triggers of UpdatePanel.

If we want to build an Ajax enabled application, our target will be refreshing the part of page instead of whole page. Hence, we can have more than one UpdatePanel control to refresh different part of the page asynchronously. If we have more than one UpdatePanel control in a page, by default the contents of all the UpdatePanel controls will be refreshed for any of the asynchronous postbacks caused on the page i.e. even for the asynchronous postback in other UpdatePanel controls. This is the default behavior of UpdatePanel controls. There is a property called UpdateMode to control this behavior. It takes an enumerator that accepts either “Always” or “Conditional”. The default value will be “Always” and hence the above said behavior is seen.


<asp:UpdatePanel ID="UpdatePanel3" runat="server">


       //Controls go here




With this information, we will start building our sample application. We will have 3 UpdatePanel controls in our application, one for GridView, another for Inserting New Row and one more for displaying last postback time. We will have the “Clear Employee Display” button outside the UpdatePanel and we will implement it as Ajax enabled control using ScriptManager control.


Step 1

Drag an UpdatePanel control from the “Ajax Extensions” tab of Visual studio 2005. Drag a SqlDataSource control and configure it. I have used the database attached in App_Data in this sample. Configure Update/Delete by clicking “Advanced” button and checking “Generate Insert, Update, and Delete statements”. Refer the below figures for clear understanding.


Step 2

Drag a GridView control and configure its DataSourceID property to the SqlDataSource control’s ID. Check “Enable Editing” and “Enable Deleting” option in the GridView[When we click smart tag we will get this option].

Execute the webpage and you can see edit/update/delete working without postback. Next, we will add insert functionality as seen in the sample application's output figure.


Insert New Row

Step 1

Drag an UpdatePanel control. Drag textbox for name, department, age and address and a button for save.

<asp:UpdatePanel ID="UpdatePanel2" runat="server" UpdateMode="Conditional">




                            <td style="width: 100px">



                            <td style="width: 100px">

                                <asp:TextBox ID="txtEmpName" runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>



                            <td style="width: 100px">



                            <td style="width: 100px">

                                <asp:TextBox ID="txtdept" runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>



                            <td style="width: 100px">



                            <td style="width: 100px">

                                <asp:TextBox ID="txtAge" runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>



                            <td style="width: 100px">



                            <td style="width: 100px">

                                <asp:TextBox ID="txtAddress" runat="server"></asp:TextBox></td>



            <asp:Button ID="btnSave" runat="server" Text="Save" OnClick="btnSave_Click" />




Step 2

On btnSave click,

        SqlDataSource1.InsertCommand = "INSERT INTO [Employee] ([EmpName], [Department], [Age], [Address]) VALUES ('" + txtEmpName.Text + "', '" + txtdept.Text + "', '" + txtAge.Text + "', '" + txtAddress.Text + "')";



When we execute the page, we can see insert happening without postback. As I told before, any postback to the server caused by any controls on the page will update the contents of other UpdatePanels on the page by default. Hence, the newly added row will be updated on the GridView.


Setting External Triggers to UpdatePanel

When a new row is added, the Gridview will automatically update its contents because the UpdatePanel’s UpdateMode property is “Always”. We will set this property to “Conditional”, which suppresses automatic updation. If we execute the page, the new row will not be updated in the GridView.

We will now set the “btnSave” button as a trigger to the UpdatePanel that contains the GridView. To do this, go to properties of UpdatePanel and click the button(…) seen in Triggers. Refer the below figure,

Click Add and select the ControlID as btnSave.


This will make the btnSave that resides in a different UpdatePanel as a trigger to the GridView’s UpdatePanel. If we execute the page, the new row will be updated in the GridView.

The reason for doing this is if we have any other UpdatePanel control on the page which is served of different purpose, the postback caused by its trigger will also update the UpdatePanel that contains GridView. We can also make the UpdateMode of insert panel to Conditional.


Dynamically Updating/Refreshing UpdatePanels

We can also update panels programmatically. To refresh/update the UpdatePanel control we need to call Update() method of the UpdatePanel control.



Registering a Control outside UpdatePanel as Ajax Enabled Controls

As we all know, the controls inside an UpdatePanel control will automatically become Ajax enabled controls. To Register a control which is not inside any UpdatePanel control, we need call RegisterAsyncPostBackControl() method of ScriptManager by passing the control ID in order to participate in partial page rendering or to make it as Ajax enabled control.




Moving to our sample application, we will now add the “Clear Employees display” button to clear the content of GridView.


Step 1

Drag a button and change its text to “Clear Employees display”. Now, we can register this button as Ajax enabled control by registering it using the code discussed in previous section.

In page load, we can register this button as an Ajax enabled control by,




Step 2

To clear the Gridview and to refresh the UpdatePanel we can use the below code,

 protected void btnClear_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


       GridView1.DataSourceID = null;




We will now complete the implementation of our sample application by adding a label control which displays the time when the last asynchronous postback caused on the page.


Step 1

Drag an UpdatePanel control and add a Label control inside it.

Step 2

In page load, add the following code,

lblTime.Text = DateTime.Now.ToString();


Since, the default value for UpdateMode is “Always” it will update the time whenever there is any postback on the server.


This completes our sample application implementation.


Nested UpdatePanel Controls

We can also have nested UpdatePanel controls. The following are the characteristics of nested UpdatePanel controls provided their UpdateMode property is “Conditional”.

Ø       Triggers of parent UpdatePanel control will update/refresh the nested UpdatePanel content.

Ø       Triggers of nested UpdatePanel control will not update/refresh the parents UpdatePanel content.


If parent is “Conditional” and child is “Always”, it is equivalent to setting both to “Conditional”. If both are “Always”, it will always update both the contents. If parent is “Always” and child is “Conditional”, it is equivalent to setting both “Always”.


Using UpdateProgress Control

This control will help us to inform the user that the processing is progressing and yet to receive the response from the server. For example, we can provide a “Loading…” message or an image showing the progressing of the request.

<asp:UpdateProgress ID="UpdateProgress1" runat="server">


<DIV id="IMGDIV" align="center" valign="middle" runat="server" style="position: absolute;left: 35%;top: 25%;visibility:visible;vertical-align:middle;border-style:inset;border-color:black;background-color:#c8d1d4;">

                      <asp:Image ID="Image1" runat="server" ImageUrl="~/icon_inprogress.gif" />





When we click on any operation on the page, the image will be displayed as an indication to the users for progressing. Refer the below output where we are displaying a progressing image when the processing is happening.



The image which is displayed in the page is inside the UpdateProgress control.



Source Code 


Thus, we have understood UpdatePanel control by implementing a sample application.

We can implement Ajax enabled application very easily by using the UpdatePanel controls but this article will help us to use the control very effectively. This article discussed implementation of ASP.Net AJAX application from a beginner level. Download the source attached with this article to see it in action.

Happy Coding!!


Similar Articles
You can contribute to CodeDiget.Com:
Donate to
Article Feedback
RE:Great work
Hi Amey, Thanks for your comments! Definetely will post one for fileupload very soon!
Great work
Really nice way of explaining how to use AJAX compared to other sites ,please post some more article on ASP.NET AJAX like file upload Thanks Yaar my e-mail id