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Composite Web Client Automation

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Click here to see the documentation

What's the value of this guidance?

  • Automates key aspects of developing a composite Web client application using the Composite Web Client Library
  • Automates upgrading existing ASP.NET applications to utilize ASP.NET AJAX

What is the concept?

The Composite Web Client Library provides functionality for developing a composite web application. Applications using the library have specific requirements including inherting from a custom Web Application, custom configuration settings, standardized solution structure, services for authenticaiton, authorization and navigation, implementation of specific patterns, as well as constructs such as modules and views.

The Composite Web Client Automation automates creating many of the aspects of such a solution through a set of recipes that integrate in to Visual Studio 2005. Additionally it provides automation to create new Web Client solutions that utilize ASP.NET AJAX and upgrading existing ASP.NET applications to use ASP.NET AJAX.


This release of the Composite Web Client Automation is an update to the Guidance Package in the Web Client Software Factory - June 2007 release. This release adds additional recipes as well as modifies some existing recipes. PageFlow receipes have been removed as they are to be released as a separate automation bundle.

For more information, click here to see the Composite Web Client Automation FAQ

What are some scenarios to consider using this guidance for?

Developing Web Client solutions that utilize the Composite Web Application library.
  • Creating a new Web Client solution.
  • Adding business and foundation modules.
  • Creating Page View, User Control Views and Master Pages that implement MVP and leverage Dependency Injection.
  • Creating Test projects and skeletons for Presenter Unit-Tests, Mock Views and Stub Controllers.
  • Upgrading existing ASP.NET solutions to use ASP.NET AJAX

Who should use this library?

This library is for Developers and Architects who are interested in developing composite Line-Of-Business ASP.NET Web applications.

What is in the bundle?

  • Guidance Package: Contains the receipes for automation the creation of a Web Client solution and for upgrading an existing ASP.NET application to use ASP.NET AJAX.
  • Application Blocks binaries: Contains the binaries for the Composite Web UI Application block, ObjectContainerDataSource, and the ContextSensitiveAutoCompleteExtender and ServerSideValidationExtender.
  • Guidance Package Source Code: Contains the source code for the Composite Web Client Automation Guidance package.
  • Documentation: Overview of the blocks and how to use them.

What needs to be installed?


  1. Install all of the prerequisites for the bundle.
  2. Execute the bundle installer.
  3. Read and accept the EULA.
  4. Specify the destination folder.
  5. Copy the AjaxControlToolkit.dll assembly to %bundle destination folder%\Lib\AjaxControlToolkit.

Known issues

Click here to be taken to the list of known issues

Last edited Jun 17, 2008 at 9:29 PM by jonathan, version 12


expresso Mar 26, 2008 at 3:06 AM 
Gregg, you helped me a ton with that stupid master page error in VS 2008. Thanks. I too for some reason had <title /> which was breaking the split view and design view ability of VS 2008. If you ask me, that's a completely useless error from microsoft. They should know better.

azza_gregg Feb 19, 2008 at 5:52 AM 
You guys probably sorted this out, but in case someone else has this problem...
Change this tag: <title /> in the master page, to this: <title></title>.

Aaron Gregg

markwoodlief Dec 31, 2007 at 7:05 PM 
still having the master page problem,...

markwoodlief Dec 28, 2007 at 10:55 PM 
k, i can enable ajax myself, but now am having an issue when i use the master pages, i get the master page error "The page has one ore <asp:Content> controls that do not correspond with <asp:ContentPlaceHolder> controls in the Master Page

Any advice? of course I can hack around this by designing my page outside of the content placeholder, then moving it all in when i'm done, but be nice to have designer support...
Thanks again for the hard work!

Mark Woodlief

markwoodlief Dec 28, 2007 at 6:00 PM 
I managed to use orca to modify the msi tables and get it to install and run under 2008 but enable ajax is disabled, thoughts? Also, side note any idea why i can't use the 'convert to web application" context menu on this type of project? Thanks!

jshanker2005 Dec 12, 2007 at 8:33 AM 
The solution that worked for me was to disable all the guidance recipes and save the project. Exit VS.2005 and reopen your project and enable the October 2007 package first. You can then add all other guidance packages without any problems. As many as you want. Hope it works for you guys too - Jay Shanker

rfranz Nov 15, 2007 at 1:36 PM 
As it turns out, the major recipes you will use on a daily basis will work alongside WSSF recipes: Add View (with presenter), Add Master page (with presenter) and Add User Control (with presenter).

The ones that didn't work are: Enable Ajax, Add Business Module, Add Foundational Module. However, these ones shouldn't have to be used that often. You get them to work by unchecking all the 'older' recipes and then restarting this point you should be able to successfully run the 'broken' recipes.

rfranz Nov 14, 2007 at 11:28 PM 
I got the same problem. My problem was that the 'Microsoft.Practices.WebClientFactory.GuidancePackage' assembly was using the old version from the WCSF June 2007 guidance. So I uninstalled that. However, I still had a problem because I was also using the Web Service Software Factory - which used the old version of Microsoft.Practices.RecipeFramework.Extensions.dll. So I unchecked those in the Guidance Package Manager, exited visual studio (because the assemblies are in it's appdomain, came back into studio and only selected the October 2007 gp. Then I was able to get the recipes to work.

I don't have a final solution as to how these two software factories can coexist. If I find it, I'll post it here.

blankers Oct 28, 2007 at 10:04 PM 
P.S. the June 2007 package has been working fine for me for several months now, with no modifications to the GP

blankers Oct 28, 2007 at 10:03 PM 
I'm having trouble enabling the this automation package in VS2005. I've uninstalled/reinstalled WCSF and the new Composite Web Client Automation GP and the Ajax extensions several times. But each time I try to enable the package in VS I get an error. Any help to resolve this would be GREATLY appreciated. Here's the error:

Cannot Load Web Client Development October 2007

Microsoft.Practices.RecipeFramework.ActionExecutionException: An exception occurred during the binding of reference or execution of recipe BindingRecipe. Error was: Action EnableAjaxRef failed to execute:
Could not load type 'Microsoft.Practices.WebClientFactory.References.WebSiteProjectOrWebProjectAjaxInstalledReference' from assembly 'Microsoft.Practices.WebClientFactory.GuidancePackage, Version=1.0.2720.24284, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35'..
You can remove the reference to this recipe through the Guidance Package Manager. ---> System.TypeLoadException: Could not load type 'Microsoft.Practices.WebClientFactory.References.WebSiteProjectOrWebProjectAjaxInstalledReference' from assembly 'Microsoft.Practices.WebClientFactory.GuidancePackage, Version=1.0.2720.24284, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35'.
at System.Reflection.Assembly.GetType(String name, Boolean throwOnError, Boolean ignoreCase)
at Microsoft.Practices.Common.Services.TypeResolutionService.GetType(String typeName, Boolean throwOnError, Boolean ignoreCase)
at Microsoft.Practices.Common.Services.AliasResolutionService.GetType(String typeName, Boolean throwOnError, Boolean ignoreCase)