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AJAX: The Future of Website Development

AJAX The Future of Website Development

With the expanding nature of the internet, there are constantly new software titles and programming tools being developed to enhance the functionality and look web pages. The latest development that is garnering a lot of attention is the AJAX programming technology, or rather, technology suite. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) incorporates the best aspects of XHTML, CSS, XML, XSLT, and JavaScript, to create incredibly responsive dynamic web pages. AJAX is literally changing the face of the web, and it is expected to revolutionize the web browsing experience within the next few years. So, what exactly does AJAX do and how is it going to revolutionize the internet? Let us take a closer look.

What Does AJAX do?

If you have ever executed a web search in Google and seen the recommended search phrases appear below the search bar as you type, then you’ve witnessed a simple demonstration of the power of AJAX. Although this may not seem like much of a feat, upon further examination you’ll realize that this small change is slowly removing the need for page refreshes. Imagine an internet without refreshing pages; where everything happens as instantly as the search recommendations in Google! This is the promise that AJAX offers towards the future of web development.

How Does AJAX Work?

As mentioned, AJAX combines aspects of the most valuable programming tools and languages, to form one mega-tool that ultimately allows smoother communication between the end-user and the website’s server. AJAX retrieves information from the server almost instantly using XMLHttpRequest. AJAX then uses the Document Object Model to display interactive information in real time as the end-user inputs data. Using JavaScript to bring all of its technologies together, AJAX has brought the best of the programming industry into one amazing tool. Without AJAX, the end-user inputs data and the website sends an HTTP request back to the web server to retrieve information. After a complex process, the server returns the proper HTML to the end-user. With AJAX, this process is simplified and happens almost instantly.

AJAX Advantages

Although all of the advantages that AJAX offers are too numerous to name, there are some key features that anyone would find beneficial, regardless of technical knowledge.

  • Almost zero delay between the web server and user interface; pages load information instantly without the need for refreshes
  • Since AJAX minimizes communication between the web server and user interface, it saves a lot of server bandwidth, while simultaneously enhancing server performance. The end result is an incredible relief on server workload.
  • AJAX optimizes web application performance by minimizing computing tasks per action request. AJAX also minimizes the amount of bandwidth used by each web application. Normally applications need to keep resending the same information repeatedly each time the page refreshes. With AJAX, the application only needs to send new information.

Developing with AJAX

While developing web applications with a new programming tool may seem like an intimidating task, learning how to use AJAX should be a simple process for any experienced wed developer, since it uses a variety of familiar technologies. Anyone with JavaScript experience should be able to learn AJAX in a relatively short time period. The challenge in using AJAX is not learning how to use the programming tool itself; the real challenge is abandoning the traditional way we think about the internet, and realizing new horizons for web developing with this incredible new programming tool.

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18th February 2010
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