MIX10: Microsoft Doubles Down on jQuery

Scott Guthrie announced today at the MIX 10 Conference in Las Vegas that Microsoft is increasing its investments in the open source jQuery JavaScript Library. The corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division announced that Redmond will provide active code contributions and QA and testing resources to the jQuery Project.

Guthrie also outlined a series of improvements in Visual Studio 2010, including jQuery client-side data binding support in ASP.NET 4, a new jQuery templating engine and first-class support for client-side scripting in jQuery. Microsoft will contribute the templating engine to the jQuery JavaScript Library Team.

"We've been big fans of jQuery for several years now," Guthrie said during his Day 2 keynote address.

jQuery is a lightweight, open source JavaScript library that enables complex interaction between JavaScript and HTML. First released in 2006, jQuery gained Microsoft support in 2008 as part of the ASP.NET MVC project. The shipping version of ASP.NET MVC 2 was made available for download last week.

Stephen Walther, senior program manager for ASP.NET at Microsoft, said jQuery will play an important role at Microsoft going forward. "Our plan is to make jQuery the primary technology to use when building AJAX applications with Microsoft technologies," Walther said.

Underscoring that commitment, Guthrie welcomed jQuery founder John Resig on stage to talk about the library. Microsoft Program Manager Scott Hanselman also gave a demo featuring jQuery to build an e-Commerce site, and highlighting the new templating engine.

Response from developers was positive.

"This means that Microsoft has abandoned seeking a complementary strategy for client-side development to adopt jQuery," said Peter Vogel, principal of PH&V Information Services and a Visual Studio Magazine columnist covering ASP.NET. "Microsoft had started, for instance, developing their own client-side templating solution for displaying data. Now they're working with the jQuery team to present a proposal to make templating part of the jQuery core."

The commitment will also spur efforts by Microsoft to extend its own tooling to support jQuery. Vogel singles out the Open Data Protocol (OData) plug-in for jQuery that was discussed at the MIX keynote.

Andrew Brust, Chief, New Technology for consultancy twentysix New York, applauded the jQuery announcement.

"Scott Guthrie has implanted the jQuery religion throughout DevDiv," Brust wrote in an email exchange from the show. "And he was and is right. It's generating goodwill."

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.