Call ASP.NET Page Methods using your own AJAX

ASP.NET has grown very rich day by day. Recently Microsoft has introduced JQuery as a primary javascript development tool for client end application. Even though there is a number of flexibility in ASP.NET AJAX applications, many developers do seek place to actually call a page using normal AJAX based application. In this post I will cover how you can invoke an ASP.NET page method directly from your own AJAX library.

What are page methods?

A Page method is a method that is written directly in a page. It is generally called when the actual page is posted back and some event is raised from the client. The pageMethod is called directly from ASP.NET engine.

What is a WebMethod?

A WebMethod is a special method attribute that exposes a method directly as XML service. To implement PageMethod we first need to annotate our method as WebMethod.

Steps to Create the application :

1. Start a new ASP.NET Project.
2. Add JQuery to your page. I have added a special JQuery plugin myself which stringify a JSON object. The post looks like below :

(function ($) {
toJson: function (obj) {
var t = typeof (obj);
if (t != "object" || obj === null) {
// simple data type
if (t == "string") obj = '"' + obj + '"';
return String(obj);
else {
// recurse array or object
var n, v, json = [], arr = (obj && obj.constructor == Array);
for (n in obj) {
v = obj[n]; t = typeof (v);
if (t == "string") v = '"' + v + '"';
else if (t == "object" && v !== null) v = JSON.stringify(v);
json.push((arr ? "" : '"' + n + '":') + String(v));
return (arr ? "[" : "{") + String(json) + (arr ? "]" : "}");
// extend plugin scope
toJson: $.toJson.construct

The code actually extends JQuery to add a method called toJSON to its prototype.

3. Add the server side method to the Default.aspx page. For simplicity we actually return the message that is received from the client side with some formatting.

public static string DisplayTime(string message)
// Do something

return string.Format("Hello ! Your message : {0} at {1}", message, DateTime.Now.ToShortTimeString());

Remember : You should make this method static, and probably should return only serializable object.

4. Add the following Html which actually puts one TextBox which takes a message and a Button to call server.

<asp:Content ID="BodyContent" runat="server" ContentPlaceHolderID="MainContent">
Welcome to ASP.NET!
Write Your message Here : <input type="text" id="txtMessage" />
<input type="button" onclick="javascript:callServer()" value="Call Server" />

Once you add this html to your default.aspx page, add some javascript to the page. We add the JQuery and our JSONStringify code to it.

<script src="Scripts/jquery-1.4.1.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="Scripts/JSONStringify.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

<script type="text/javascript">
function callServer() {
var objdata = {
"message" : $("#txtMessage").val()
type: "POST",
url: "Default.aspx/DisplayTime",
data: $.toJson(objdata),
contentType: "application/json; charset=utf-8",
dataType: "json",
success: function (msg) {
error: function (xhr, ajaxOptions) {

The above code actually invokes a normal AJAX call to the page. You can use your own library of AJAX rather than JQuery to do the same. On success, it returns the serializable object to msg.d.


Server Side Message

Thats all Folks! !

Things to Remember :

1. WebMethod should be a static method.

2. WebMethod should always return a serializable object.

3. Remember to send strings to a JSON object as the Server side will deserialize the object using JavascriptSerializer.

You can download the Sample Application from here.

I hope you will like this post.


Abhishek Sur

Abhishek Sur is a Microsoft MVP since year 2011. He is an architect in the .NET platform. He has profound theoretical insight and years of hands on experience in different .NET products and languages. He leads the Microsoft User Group in Kolkata named KolkataGeeks, and regularly organizes events and seminars in various places for spreading .NET awareness. He is associated with the Microsoft Insider list on WPF and C#, and is in constant touch with product group teams. He blogs at His Book : Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Expert Development Cookbook. Follow Abhishek at Twitter : @abhi2434

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