In the last few years, new capabilities in browsers have encouraged Web developers to again explore the possibilities of creating client-based applications. All popular browsers now support a programmable document object model (DOM), and the last few versions of these browsers have added the capability to communicate directly between the client and the server, without a complete postback and round trip. The result is a new generation of Web applications like Microsoft Virtual Earth and Microsoft Windows Live that are responsive, that provide UI features like drag-and-drop, and that process data in real time.
This is where ASP.NET 'Atlas' comes in. 'Atlas' is a new ASP.NET Web development technology that integrates client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 server-based development framework. 'Atlas' offers you the same type of development platform for client-based Web pages that ASP.NET offers for server-based pages. And because 'Atlas' is an extension of ASP.NET, it is fully integrated with server-based services. Using 'Atlas,' you can move significant portions of an application's processing to the client, while retaining the ability to communicate with the server in the background. The result is that you can create ASP.NET pages with a rich, responsive UI and server communication.
The primary goal of 'Atlas' is to integrate client script features with the features of ASP.NET on the server to provide a comprehensive development platform.
A declarative model for client development that is similar to the declarative syntax for ASP.NET server controls.
'Atlas' also integrates client scripting with ASP.NET server-side development, so you can handle application tasks wherever it makes the most sense. ASP.NET provides the following server-side features for 'Atlas' applications: