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AJAX

AJAX loader

AJAX Load Demo

Click "Load" to get text asynchronously from the server. The text is populated in the area below without refreshing the entire page.

Click on "Clear" to remove the text.

Load | Clear

 

You will need to have Javascript enabled in your browser to see this demo.

AJAX became mainstream in 2005-06 and a whole lot of Internet users had their first experience with Google's Gmail service that used AJAX from its very early days. The tenet was simple back then... a user does not have to refresh the entire page to get new data. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, pause a bit to reflect...

Whenever users have tended to request some information from a web server, the request (whatever the user has filled into an online form) goes out to the server for the processing to happen. After this, the server returns a completely new page back to the user, with the relevant information that was requested being filled in.

Now instead of the complete page being reloaded (with all the associated graphics and resources), what if only the requested information was sent back to the user? This would lead to an enormous amount of bandwidth savings as well as processing, because the server now only has to return a bit of the page and the processing also has to be done only on this bit. If the user is sitting behind a slow Internet connection, it would be highly beneficial to him or her since the complete page is not being received but only highly relevant information that was requested.

That's precisely the point. AJAX stands for "Asynchronous Javascript And XML, where a piece of Javascript code can asynchronously request some information and receive it in a small XML (or JSON) nugget, without having to disturb the rest of the page.

Javascript & jQuery

Javascript is a very powerful scripting language available within the browser that can be used to a website's advantage. While AJAX is a nice way to receive relevant information from websites, a new breed of Javascript frameworks create new ways for a user to interact with a website. AJAX is no longer for nifty refreshes. A complete user interface can be designed using jQuery and jQuery UI that mirror our day-to-day desktop applications.

Business applications

AJAX is the perfect technology to use in business applications. Such systems tend to have a static page with lots of menus and links, with only specific areas that contain dynamic content. A very simple example could be a static page that retrieves a list of invoices sent between a set of dates. The page itself will have two date fields and a large area for AJAX'd content. A user enters the dates and clicks on a "Get Invoices" button. AJAX can be used to retrieve only the invoice information and populate the large AJAX area on the current page.

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If you're a business owner who wants to use the web as a major foundation, look no further. If you're looking for a great, dynamic web presence handling all major aspects of your operations, get in touch with us today...