I found it a bit frustrating to figure out what I needed and how to setup everything to use the AJAX Control Toolkit. Here is what I learned.
Since ASP.NET AJAX is built into ASP.NET 3.5 and ASP.NET 3.5.1(which is part of Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 respectively), you don’t need to download or install anything else when usual Visual Studio 2008 SP1, except the Toolkit itself. It is NOT included with any Visual Studio. You MUST download the toolkit itself.
Click here to go to the download page. It is important to get the correct version of the toolkit since it has one for each version of Visual Studio. In particular, there is a version for Visual Studio 2008 (Original Release) and another version for Visual Studio 2008 SP1. To download click one of the four links under the Downloads & Files section on the page. I recommend the AjaxControlToolkit-Framework3.5SP1-NoSource.zip link if you don’t need the source, and just want to use the toolkit. This is the kind of installation you would typically get with any other third party control library.
Figuring that out was the hard part for me. I’m sure there is some document out there that explains all this, but I only found clues in different places.
Now that you have the file, unzip it to a location on your hard drive. You will then need to run the installer. Depending on where you unzipped the file, the installer is located at a path similar to the following:
The project template never shows up in Visual Studio, so I don’t know what the installer actually did. I would love to hear what other people experience.
Open Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and add a tab to the Toolbox for the AJAX Toolkit controls by right-clicking on the Toolbox .
Add the toolkit controls to the tab by right-clicking the area below the tab label. Choose the Choose Items…. menu item. Browse to the AjaxControlToolkit.dll assembly.
The DLL for controls that you will use is located in the SampleWebSite\Bin directory. The path should be similar to:
The AJAX Control Toolkit controls are now available just like any other server control.
NOTE: If you don’t have a project open and the active file (in your main window) is a web page or user control, etc, you won’t see the controls because Visual Studio only shows the controls in the proper context like editing a web page.