How to Create Exciting and Dynamic Web Pages and Applications
Ajax is not a single technology but really several technologies combined in powerful new ways. Ajax uses a combination of:
- HTML and Cascading Style Sheets for designing the appearance of information on a web page.
- The XMLHttpRequest object to exchange data asynchronously with the web server.
- The use of XML to format the data transferred between the server and client.
XMLHttpRequest is an important part of the Ajax web development technique. It is used by many websites, including Google Maps, Mapquest and Facebook, to implement responsive and dynamic web applications.
Advantages of Ajax
In the more classic web application, user actions in the interface trigger an HTTP request back to a web server. The server does some processing — retrieving data, crunching numbers, talking to various legacy systems — and then returns an HTML page to the client. This approach makes a lot of technical sense, but it doesn’t make for a great user experience. While the server is doing its thing, the user is waiting and at every step in a task, the user waits even more.
The Future of Ajax
Ajax is at the top of the list of technologies developers will begin using in the next 18 months, according to a survey by Ziff Davis Enterprises. Google is making a huge investment in developing the Ajax approach. All of the major products Google has introduced over the last year are Ajax applications.
These projects demonstrate that Ajax is not only technically sound, but also practical for real-world applications. It opens the door to a wider range of richer and more exciting web applications.