I guess some of you may have heard about the Atlas framework Microsoft will release fairly soon. In a nutshell, it is an extension to the ASP.NET framework which makes it very easy to use Ajax. One of the common problems with Ajax technologies is that they make for very painful development as one has to juggle between “real” code and script languages. Atlas is a set of components that provide developpers with the ability to easily extend their existing applications while using a visual IDE (like Visual Studio for instance).
Now, why should users or customers care about AJAX? It is a fair question since end-users should not (and usually do not) give a damn about who coded the sites they surf through. The answer is all about user experience. The standard user interaction with a web page is “I click-I wait-I see something new-I click-I wait-aso”. Now, with AJAX-enabled websites, parts of a page can actually refresh without the user noticing. In the end, it makes for a smoother user interaction, and ultimately it may translate into a higger transformation rate (think e-commerce here).
Anyway, if you want to feel what Atlas can do for you and how easy it is to turn your existing applications into Atlas ones, check these two links:
- From an end-user perspective, Pageflakes, where you can create you personal mashup and share it with others; mine can be found there;
- From a technical perspective, short videos can be found there.