Thursday, 10 April 2008

What is AJAX

Firstly what exactly is this AJAX thing people are throwing around the web.

Its short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.

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What AJAX allow you to do is simple, it means you can communicate between client and server without the need to reload pages, and the current .net framework has a nice toolkit for ajax.

Now this is where AJAX gets a bit confused.

There are basically 2 interpretations of AJAX.
  1. The normal understand which uses XML and JavaScript to pass communcation directly between the client and the server. This may be something like updating your shopping cart when making a purchase or it may be more advanced like returning your bank account information directly for your bank. Simpyl it means that you can receive information to your browser without a page reload.
  2. The next understanding of AJAX comes mainly from the Microsoft side of the world. This is really an extension of using DHTML and aiming it more at the page DOM (more on this in a later post) now in this mindset AJAX simply lets you manipulate the webpage to make the user experience a lot more user friendly. Such items as drop dowm menus, drag and drop, tabs and so on. This is not strictly AJAX as there are normally not any communcation with a back end, although there can be, so XML si not used and it is more a simple case of a DHTML implementation using the DOM.

Ok so that is AJAX, at least as I see it, I am always open to comments and the more the merrier I don't know everything and I don't make out I do. I am simpy doing this blog to help people with web development. I may even, fi I feel nice, post some code samples.

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