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AJAX

August 5, 2009
AJAX – Asynchronous Java Script and XML
AJAXrefers to the technologies used to build interactive web applications (Rich Internet Applications) with increased interactivity, responsiveness and usability.
Asynchronous: The data exchange between the client and server happens asynchronously without the user interaction behind the scenes.
JavaScript: JavaScript is the scripting language used to get the data asynchronously from the server using the XMLHttpRequest object.
XML: Data is transferred in the form of XML between the server and client. But this is not always the case.
The technologies include,
1) XHTML(or HTML) and CSS user for attractive views
2) DOM with JavaScript for data exchange through XMLHttpObject
3) XML is sometimes used for data Exchange
AJAX is not a new technology:
AJAX by itself is not a new technology. It is a term which refers to a group of technologies used to build web applications more interactively. All the technologies used in AJAX are already matured, well formatted and widely accepted once. AJAX is just a name for grouping these technologies and developing more interactive Web Applications.
What makes AJAX Web Applications more interactive?
In classical web applications when the user request for a page, the browser sends the request through http protocol to the server. The server in turn process the data, do some manipulations and sends the response as an html page to the client (browser) over the http protocol. Till the browser gets this response from the server the client has to wait looking at a blank screen or some processing icons.
It is not the case in AJAX web applications. The client does not have to wait for the server response. He can carry his work continuously. At the mean time AJAX Engine calls the server and gets the response and update the portion of the user view. AJAX Engine is responsible for both interacting with the server and rendering the user¬タルs view. The whole page does not get reloaded each time when the user makes a request. Only a portion of the screen is updated.

Challenges in creating AJAX Web Applications:
The most of the challenges in creating AJAX Web Application are not technical. Because all the technologies used to build AJAX Application are already matured and well accepted ones. The challenges are with the designers to change their attitudes from creating the Web Application in the classical style and to think in the customer¬タルs perspective.
Companies started using AJAX Applications:
The Google products such Google Groups, Google Suggest, Google Maps etc., are the best examples for the AJAX applications.
Amazon A9.com is also Ajax technology.
This is proved that the AJAX is not only a laboratory experiment , but it can be implemented successfully in the real world applications.
Drawbacks:
1) Older version browser does not support AJAX web applications.
2) Back button functionality does not work for AJAX web applications.
3) AJAX functionalities do not work if the JavaScript is turned off in the client browsers.
4) Takes more development time.
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