A simple AJAX service using Plain Old XML (POX), Part 1: Server-side implementation

.NET, ASP.NET 2.0, Technical stuff
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I posted on my website an article showing in detail how to use an ASHX generic HTTP handler to answer simple AJAX requests. This is itended as an answer to many questions on various newsgroups I visit, asking how to use web services to perform simple tasks. In many cases, using SOAP based web services is overkill, and it's much easier and faster to use AJAX with plain old XML (POX) as a transport medium. It has actually become even easier with ASP.NET 2.0 and the ASHX handler, which allows lightweight handling of HTTP requests, without the heavy .NET machinery. ASHX handlers are a very elegant way to avoid all this, and provide an lean entry point to server-side code.
The first part of the article deals about the server-side implementation of the service, including a demo. In a next article, I will show how to implement a client in web browser based JavaScript for this service, and how to consume it.
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