Microsoft readies Atlas Ajax tooling

The company said its Atlas project will be a commercial-grade product by the end of the year.

Microsoft on Monday said it intends by the end of the year to release a commercial-grade tool for building Ajax-style Web applications.

The Ajax tools are being developed under the code name Atlas, which has been available for several months on a prerelease basis.

On Monday, Microsoft said it expects to release supported and certified Atlas products that work with its flagship tool, Visual Studio 2005, and its Web development framework, ASP.Net.

Atlas is a set of components for writing applications using Ajax, a Web development technique for building interactive Web pages that automatically deliver information from Web servers to browsers.

The company said it will fully integrate the Atlas software into the next Visual Studio version, code-named Orcas, which is due some time next year.

What was called Atlas will now be recast into separate products, said Scott Guthrie, a general manager of Web development tooling in Microsoft's developer division, in a blog posting.

The set of client-side JavaScript libraries, or prewritten components, will be called Microsoft Ajax Library.

Server-side components that integrate with ASP.net will be called ASP.Net 2.0 Ajax Extensions. A third product, called Atlas Control Toolkit, is a set of free shared-source components.

Guthrie said Microsoft is determining which features will be put into the Atlas tools' 1.0 version, which will work with multiple browsers and operating systems. He added that the company will launch a beta and "release candidate" later this year.

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