Microsoft launches major new Content Distribution Network that can add AJAX features to any website
This move by Microsoft is a big deal. It’s an important milestone in the evolution of mainstream web architecture. The new service will influence the way in which many websites and many web developers work -- forever.
The ASP.NET AJAX library is often overlooked by developers who don’t specialise in Microsoft technology, but it’s a very useful resource that everybody can use. I hope the CDN will tempt more web developers and user-experience designers to see what’s on offer. Microsoft has packed some really useful features into its JS libraries, offering impressive features such as seamless support for the back/forward buttons of the web browser out-of-the-box. If you’ve used Live Mail lately (formerly Hotmail), you’ve probably seen it in action already. For example, if you click on an email in your Live Mail inbox and then click the browser’s back button, Microsoft's JS magic automatically ensures that you return to the inbox in exactly the same way as you would if the web site did not use Ajax. It’s a flawless user experience, yet this type of capability is still not common on Ajax web pages, and historically this type of functionality has not been easy to implement.
- The request will be processed much faster than if it had to hit your web-server (making the end-user's page load much faster)
- The script can be easily cached across multiple web-sites – which means it might not even need to be downloaded if the user has already hit a web-site that requested the file (and as such has it already in the browser's cache)
- You don't have to pay for the bandwidth of this file – since the file comes from our server we pay the bandwidth cost (saving you money)
16 September 2009