7 of my favorite jQuery plugins for use with ASP.NET

AJAX, ASP.NET, jQuery, UI By . Updated January 26, 2010

One of jQuery’s greatest strengths is its thriving plugin ecosystem. Hundreds of plugins are available at plugins.jquery.com alone, with even more hosted on author sites. If you think of a feature, chances are there’s a jQuery plugin to implement it in just a few lines of code (if that).

Having used jQuery with ASP.NET for over a year now, I’ve discovered that some plugins are more easily combined with ASP.NET than others. In fact, one popular plugin even fails completely when used with ASP.NET AJAX.

Without further ado, here are seven of my favorites. I couldn’t begin to rank them preferentially, so I ordered them by how long I’ve been using them with ASP.NET.

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Using jQuery to display a modal UpdatePanel confirmation

AJAX, ASP.NET, jQuery, UI By . Updated October 15, 2008

A screenshot of the modal confirmation dialogAfter the previous example of integrating jQuery and ASP.NET AJAX to display modal progress indication, there were requests that I follow it up with an example of also displaying the confirmation modally. So, I’m going to expand the original post with a technique for doing exactly that.

If you missed my first post on the topic, do be sure to read it first. Otherwise, this continuation may be difficult to follow.

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Alt.NET Podcast – jQuery in ASP.NET

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery By . Updated October 18, 2008

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I’m a big fan of integrating jQuery with ASP.NET. If you’re of the same mind, you’re sure to enjoy the latest Alt.NET Podcast: jQuery in ASP.NET.

Update: Part two of our discussion on jQuery and ASP.NET.

Mike Moore hosted a roundtable discussion on the topic, between Bertrand Le Roy, Chris Brandsma, Rick Strahl, Steven Harman, Scott Koon, and myself. Between us all, the discussion ranges from the official Microsoft viewpoint, to theory about JavaScript and jQuery, to the pragmatic.

Whether you’re already on board with jQuery + ASP.NET integration or you’re still trying to figure out what the announcement means for you, I think you’ll find the discussion interesting. I know I did!

Using jQuery to enhance ASP.NET AJAX progress indication

AJAX, ASP.NET, jQuery, UI By . Updated October 15, 2008

Animated example of using jQuery's BlockUI with an UpdatePanelIn the spirit of Microsoft’s official embrace of jQuery last week, I’d like to show you an example of how easily you can add jQuery functionality to existing ASP.NET AJAX applications. jQuery allows you to achieve exceptional results with minimal difficulty, and integrating it with ASP.NET is not an exception.

My previous posts about jQuery have been somewhat lower level, incorporating JSON, web services, and the like. While these are important tools to have at your disposal, the realities of software development sometimes leave us scrambling for something quick and dirty.

In those situations, you may find yourself using the UpdatePanel.

To that end, I’m going to show you how easily you can use jQuery’s BlockUI plugin to display a modal progress indicator during an UpdatePanel’s partial postback.

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Avoid this tricky conflict between ASP.NET AJAX and jQuery

AJAX, ASP.NET, jQuery By . Updated September 29, 2008

ASP.NET and jQuery's logos togetherYou have probably already read the great news that Microsoft is going to begin shipping jQuery with Visual Studio and ASP.NET MVC. If not, make sure you take a minute to read the official announcements from both ScottGu and John Resig. This represents a surprising, yet tremendously welcomed change of course for Microsoft.

If you haven’t yet used jQuery with ASP.NET, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. It removes almost all of the pain from client-side development. Coming from an ASP.NET centric perspective, you may find several of my previous jQuery articles useful.

Additionally, I highly recommend the articles that Matt Berseth and Rick Strahl have written on the topic of using jQuery with ASP.NET. I am constantly amazed at the quantity and quality of content that they both generate.

Introductions aside, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss an incompatibility between ASP.NET AJAX and at least one jQuery plugin, which needs to be fixed.

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Username Availability Validator is nearing… availability

AJAX, ASP.NET, General By . Updated October 11, 2008

After about a week of great discussion and development over at CodePlex, the Username Availability Validator control is nearing readiness for an initial release.

While there are still a few outstanding bug fixes up for grabs and ample room for enhancement, most of the control’s base functionality has been implemented. If you intend to enter the Advanced ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls book giveaway contest via code contribution, time is running out, so don’t delay.

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Review: Advanced ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, Reading By . Updated September 4, 2008

The most common complaint I typically have with the ASP.NET AJAX books I review is that they simply don’t cover JavaScript in enough detail. JavaScript represents half of the nouns in the AJAX acronym, and all of those relevant to ASP.NET AJAX.

For that reason, when I read a book that only contains a few pages about remedial JavaScript and then jumps directly into using UpdatePanels and Timers, I don’t recommend it to you.

However, I was very impressed when I began reading Adam Calderon and Joel Rumerman‘s recent book, Advanced ASP.NET AJAX Server Controls.

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Easily build powerful client-side AJAX paging, using jQuery

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, UI By . Updated October 15, 2008

A book's pages blowing in the wind

When I suggest that developers consider using web services and a more client-centric approach to solve their UpdatePanel performance problems, the lack of paging is often their first objection.

Conventional ASP.NET wisdom seems to hold that the GridView/UpdatePanel combo is king when asynchronously paging through a data source. If you’ll give me a few minutes of your time, I’d like to challenge that notion!

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It’s almost that (book giveaway) time again

AJAX, ASP.NET, JavaScript, Reading By . Posted August 18, 2008

When I heard the banging on my front door early this morning, I thought it was yet another solicitor selling magazine subscriptions or overpriced vacuum cleaners.

That periodic interruption ranks near the top of my short list of telecommuting drawbacks. It’s truly amazing what gall door-to-door solicitors have, even in the face of the NO SOLICITING sign prominently displayed on the only street into my neighborhood.

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How to easily enhance your existing tables with simple CSS

AJAX, ASP.NET, CSS, jQuery, UI By . Updated October 15, 2008

In two of my recent posts, I demonstrated using ASP.NET AJAX in conjunction with jQuery or ASP.NET AJAX 4.0′s templating features to generate client side tables from JSON data. However, what I neglected to show you was how to make them look even remotely presentable.

In this post, we’ll continue where those posts left off. I’m going to show you how you can improve the table’s presentation in three steps:

  • Setting basic styles for the page and table.
  • Improving the table header by using strong contrast.
  • Adding subtle gridlines to the table body.

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