Monday, 7 April 2008


Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a method of building interactive applications for the Web that process user requests immediately. Ajax combines several programming tools including JavaScript, dynamic HTML (DHTML), Extensible Markup Language (XML), cascading style sheets (CSS), the Document Object Model (DOM), and the Microsoft object, XMLHttpRequest. AJAX is not a new programming language, but a technique for creating better, faster, and more interactive web applications.

With AJAX, your JavaScript can communicate directly with the server, using the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest object. With this object, your JavaScript can trade data with a web server, without reloading the page.

AJAX uses asynchronous data transfer (HTTP requests) between the browser and the web server, allowing web pages to request small bits of information from the server instead of whole pages.

The AJAX technique makes Internet applications smaller, faster and more user-friendly.

In traditional JavaScript coding, if you want to get any information from a database or a file on the server, or send user information to a server, you will have to make an HTML form and GET or POST data to the server. The user will have to click the "Submit" button to send/get the information, wait for the server to respond, then a new page will load with the results.

Because the server returns a new page each time the user submits input, traditional web applications can run slowly and tend to be less user-friendly.

With AJAX, your JavaScript communicates directly with the server, through the JavaScript XMLHttpRequest object

With an HTTP request, a web page can make a request to, and get a response from a web server - without reloading the page. The user will stay on the same page, and he or she will not notice that scripts request pages, or send data to a server in the background.

The XMLHttpRequest object is supported in Internet Explorer 5.0+, Safari 1.2, Mozilla 1.0 / Firefox, Opera 8+, and Netscape 7.

AJAX was made popular in 2005 by Google (with Google Suggest). Google Maps also uses AJAX.

Google Suggest is using the XMLHttpRequest object to create a very dynamic web interface: When you start typing in Google's search box, a JavaScript sends the letters off to a server and the server returns a list of suggestions.

Ajax is not a proprietary technology or a packaged product. Web developers have been using JavaScript and XML in combination for several years. Jesse James Garrett of the consultancy firm Adaptive Path is credited with coining the name "Ajax" as a shorthand way to refer to the specific technologies involved in a current approach.

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