What Is Ajax And Where Is It Used In Technology?

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AJAX is a concept, an idea and not a programming language that is used for asynchronous data retrieval at the client server without the need of refreshing the page. AJAX is a set of web development techniques to develop client-side server applications. After the development of AJAX, it has been considered as the future of web applications. The plus point of AJAX is that it carries out the procedure in the backend whereas with no interference at the frontend.

Benefits of Using Ajax

User Experience is improved

The first and the foremost important advantage of using AJAX is improvement of user experience. AJAX has the ability to update webpages without interfering the front end. This makes the browser more responsive and ultimately helps to increase user experience.

Added User Productivity

AJAX has object oriented functions in its script which leads to added productivity rather than the resentment and discontent. Its enrichment can be identified by the very fact that important websites like Google and Yahoo also have incorporated AJAX in their developed programs, applications and servers. Though adding some more features in AJAX can make it surpass other developed techniques.

Bandwidth Usage Reduced and Speed Increased

AJAX only care for the data that is necessary so it reduces the burden on bandwidth and enhances the internet speed. In this way not only better speed can be enjoyed but also increased responsiveness and better interactivity can be cherished.

More Compatibility

AJAX is compatible with almost all browsers as well as it is compatible with most of the web languages like PHP, ASP.Net, J2EE, etc. and so on.

Asynchronous Processing

AJAX is purely written in JavaScript with just an XMLHttpRequest which makes asynchronous data send and retrieve possible. The plus point of AJAX is that it carries out the procedure in the backend whereas with no interference at the frontend.

Server Hits/Network Load Has Been Reduced

Ajax has literally managed to reduce the server hit or network load drastically. It is only possible because of the asynchronous data send and asynchronous data retrieval.

Navigation becomes Easier

AJAX has made it possible to make the navigation even easier. Now the user won’t have to use the traditional and standard front and back buttons of the browser.

What Advances Have Been Made To Ajax?

  • Ajax has started to use JSON instead of XML. Though both of them are markup languages but the former is easier to use with JavaScript.
  • JQuery has been also incorporated in AJAX. JQuery is wrapper of JavaScript with easier and smaller coding.

The use of both JSON and JQuery has added more advancement in AJAX with good programming practices.

Where Ajax Should Be Used?

AJAX finds its usability in web applications that don’t require data retrieval by refreshing the whole page rather they only need some small sized information to be sent and retrieved over the server without refreshing the whole page. Some of the examples where AJAX can be used are;

  1. Form Validation and Data Validation,
  2. Comments,
  3. Filtering Data in Dropdowns and List-boxes,
  4. Surveys And Polls,

Text Hints and Autocomplete boxes, etc.

What Is Ajax, And What Ways Does it Make Your Life Easier?

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No, Ajax is not the scouring cleanser that you have under your sink. I get that the name is exactly the same, but that’s just not what we’re talking about here. Ajax stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. That’s quite a mouthful. We’re talking about something that makes everyone’s life easier, and trust me, if you’ve ever used the internet you’ve taken advantage of this concept.

Ajax keeps your webpages dynamic instead of static. It helps with the function of web browsing and is one of the reasons that are able to communicate effectively over the vast distances that the internet can cross. It makes your life easier and that helps everyone out.

1.     Allows WebPages to Reload Just the Necessary Sections

I know that this is something that I take for granted on a daily basis. For that reason, I often find myself struggling with my email, preferring to keep it open rather than closing it and reopening it every time I need to check it. As a result, I use Ajax without even realizing it. Every time my desktop notification goes off I just turn to the webpage with my email and I see it at the top of the list. My page just refreshed the parts of my page that needed to be refreshed and I didn’t have to click that button in the corner.

2.     Ajax Is Not A Programming Language.

This may not seem like a way that it makes your life easier, but it does. Ajax was built to work in JavaScript and can interact with other programming languages, giving it a more universal appeal. This lets Ajax do what it needs to do and help you on the internet. Ajax is actually a group of different programs that work with JavaScript and XML. JavaScript and XML are the primary languages that work with and it helped facilitate the change from a clunky HTML format.

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3.     It Allows You to Play Video Games in Real Time over the Internet

It’s hard to think about how video games work. I’m talking about how they connect with the internet and auto update. When playing a video game on the internet, especially an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) this allows the environment to react without having to refresh every time something changed on the screen. This allows games to be played in real time and gives us all the gaming experience that we have come to love and enjoy. I look forward to playing games after I finish this article in fact.

4.     Email Got A Lot Easier With Ajax

I’ve mentioned this in a previous section, but I can’t make this clear enough. Instant messaging and email became faster and more reliable with the introduction of Ajax Technologies. This instant server communication allowed for the webpage to refresh without being told that it needed to. This allows the server to send a command to refresh just the inbox to allow for the email to constantly update as new emails come in. If you’re anything like me, you can really appreciate this feature of AJAX.

AJAX may seem like just a simple little group of programs, but it is something that is constantly being improved on and something that makes a huge difference in our modern use of the internet. It has helped shape our society. That makes our life easier and allows for nearly instant communication between computers and the computers can now recognize the changes occur without physically refreshing the entire page.

How AJAX is Used in Everyday Life

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AJAX is a set of web development techniques with different technologies on the client-side to create web applications. Though AJAX is eleven years old by now, it’s only growing in population. Why? Because it can send and retrieve data without changing the behavior of the web page in any way. To do this AJAX uses:

  • HTML and CSS to position and style the information that’s presented on a webpage.
  • DOM is what allows users to interact with the information they see on the page. It’s also what allows users to view and click on dynamic information to appear like news, entertainment, or the weather that constantly changes.

What happens during an operation?

  • An event occurs on the client side.
  • The XHTMLHttpRequest is created, and then configured.
  • It makes an asynchronous request to the server, and the server responds with an XML document.
  • Once the server’s response has been processed the DOM on the user’s side will be updated.

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All of this happens so fast that general users won’t be aware so much communication has gone on between servers. This feature has a very complex code that can be difficult to maintain and fix bugs.

The popularity of AJAX has led to new applications being created. This means that a XHTMLHttpRequest does not need to be asynchronous, and though AJAX is an acronym for JavaScript and XML, it’s not required because some versions use JON (JavaScript Object Notification). Also, different versions needed to be made because some browsers and smart phones don’t support the creation of a JavaScript Object request and AJAX relies heavily on the program. The only way to get around these drawbacks is to use other programs and not to depend entirely on AJAX when creating an application.

When creating an application that uses AJAX, keep in mind that screen readers like JAWS (Job Access With Speech) might not be able to read the page. They may also have trouble showing content that changes dynamically.

What Can AJAX Be Used For?

With AJAX, users can login to a web page without it going to another page. It allows them to log in from the original page, AJAX sends a request to the server that the user has logged in and they can continue as usual.

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It’s also behind Google’s autocomplete feature since they were one of the first major companies to take advantage of AJAX. As a user types AJAX searches the database for things that are commonly searched which match the phrase. Any form that requires a user fill out information can use this technology. It’s also better to use this if there are too many input options that would make a drop down menu too bulky.

Any voting or rating features likely use AJAX so it’s quick and easy. Users can make their choice and move on without too much time spent on the poll, online article, online store page, etc.

Frequent users of social media are really seeing AJAX at work. The simplicity of hitting enters (for Facebook users) or sending out a tweet and seeing their profile immediately update is exactly what AJAX does all the time.

Submission forms are usually the trickiest to work with, but they can be made more user friendly by using the autocomplete feature or by validating their email or URL.

It’s rarer to use AJAX with flash but the Kongregate site uses it for games. When users earn a badge the API in flash sends a message to JavaScript, which then gives the message to AJAX to update the user’s profile.

Five Ways That AJAX Is Not Your Average Cleaner

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AJAX is only getting better. That much has clearly been established and will continue to be improved upon. No, this isn’t the average scouring cleanser that your mother used, but rather a set of programs that the internet uses to help communication.

1.     AJAX Won’t Clean Your Toilet

Sorry, this program helps webpages continue to function and allows for webpages to refresh only certain parts as needed, allowing constant updating, but no, it won’t clean your toilet. Still, maybe it can help run a robot that can clean my toilet, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Ah, well, maybe I’ll figure out a way to get that done and my life can become truly magnificent. It would be the pinnacle of human evolution; don’t you think?

2.     AJAX Won’t Burn You If Left On Your Skin.

It sounds too good to be true, but it is. AJAX isn’t abrasive and isn’t made of some horrible chemicals that are going to leave you miserable in the morning. I look forward to using AJAX, but not the cleanser. It’s going to make my life easier in communication, now if only it could clean my house for me. At least I won’t end up with a chemical burn. I guess I can be grateful for that, and I really love what AJAX does to my computer, even if it won’t help me clean it. I guess I’ll just have to learn to live without it.

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3.     AJAX Will Help Me Talk To My Loved One

While it won’t keep things clean, it is going to help me talk to my family across the country. I can totally get behind that and look forward to talking to them more and more as time goes by. I just wish it would clean my floor all on its own and I don’t have to think about it. I’ll admit how much I love the effects that AJAX has had on communications, but it could clean my house a little quicker. I’ve been sitting here yelling at my computer to go clean the bathroom for hours now and nothing has worked. Get on that AJAX and my life will be very much improved.

4.     You Can’t Leave it on Stubborn Messes

This may seem like a tired old refrain, but it’s the truth. You can’t just leave AJAX on the stain. Why doesn’t this work? Because AJAX, unlike the cleanser under your sink only exists as software, meaning that unless it can work through a robot and pour a different cleanser on that stubborn stain it just isn’t going to work. Sorry folks, AJAX is there to make the internet work better, not to clean month old coffee stains on your counter.

5.     AJAX Will Improve My Life

AJAX is going to make my life easier, but not in the obvious ways. I’m not going to get a chemical burn from it, that’s a nice touch, but it’s not the nicest part. I love to check my email with AJAX and will keep using it for that. I look forward to finding out exactly what else AJAX has to offer. AJAX is just getting better, and I’m going to keep wishing that it gets to the point that my smart house will clean itself. First I just need a smart house. If anyone out there happens to know of any that I can get for practically free, please let me know. I look forward to hearing about it.

How AJAX is Changing the Digital Landscape

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AJAX combines JavaScript and XML which allows it to perform dynamic interactions between client-side and server interactions, without refreshing the webpage. This means it’s not a programming language in itself. It’s more of a programming concept. But applications with AJAX enabled will be faster and more user friendly. Drop down menus (for inputting user information), voting/voting on streaming sites and forums, online shopping carts, mapping applications, and anything else that runs on JavaScript all use this application. Only relevant information is sent so there’s less stress on servers. All information is saved to a database without having to refresh multiple pages.

This is just a few of the ways the application works:

  • The use of HTML (or XHTML) actually creates an interface and allows the user to visually shape how the information is presented. Changes with the HTML and the CSS are made using the Document Object Model.
  • JavaScript manipulates the interface and is used to communicate with webservers using XMLHttpRequest, allowing data to be transferred without requiring a page be refreshed.

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Web applications can use AJAX to allow high levels of interaction and procession. And it does this without needing the standard client/server communication because the Ajax application handles it all in one interface; mapping applications, autocomplete functions, email applications, real time validations, and just about everything else the internet is used for. This application (or the programs it’s comprised of) isn’t new but is opening eyes on just how accessible the web can be.

Accessibility may be hampered if JavaScript is used since some sites may have that disabled, though that would be a small percentage. It might help if functionality doesn’t depend on that script or there’s a clear indication that the site isn’t compatible. The site’s interface should not appear functional if it’s not. Users expect to have control over what content gets updated (clicking a submit button or a link for example) and there’s bound to be dissatisfaction with content that automatically updates. There could also be a possible conflict with screen readers and keyboard functions. Any timed displays (news/entertainment that updates every few seconds or minutes) may be unavailable. This is a drawback of the AJAX application. It needs to be updated often to keep up with these dynamic changes but that also means it’s had to keep up with bugs and fix them. Web applications that use the AJAX application are hard to maintain.

A brief list of programs that are AJAX compatible and what they do:

  • HTML, XHTML, CSS – These programs deal with the visual presentation of a web page.
  • DOM – A Document Object Model controls the display and interaction with data on the web page.
  • XML – This is the program that actually carries data from the client-side, to a server, and back.
  • XSLT – This program manipulates the data that’s onscreen; where and what it does.
  • The XMLHttpRequest – This program sets up an asynchronous (any data that occurs in increments instead of a steady stream) communication between servers.
  • JavaScript does the real work of making all these programs work together and most webpages are built using this programming language.

When the user creates a request, JavaScript will send it to an XMLHTTP Request Object. From there it’s sent to the server that interacts with that webpage. Once the server connects with its database, then the information gets sent back using a callback feature. After this the updated information will finally appear on the webpage for the user to see. So while the AJAX application is meant to increase user accessibility to its maximum, this is not a beginner friendly program.

An Introduction to AJAX

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AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, but that’s a bit misleading since knowledge of XML is no longer needed in order to understand AJAX. Its purpose is to create a fast and interactive website that’s easy to use. Over the years the use of AJAX has increased and major companies use it. Google is probably the most well known. Their services make full use of what AJAX offers; the speed with which it communicates with servers. The name was first used by Jesse James Garrett in an essay when it first became available to the public. He used it as a simple acronym and it caught on.

A brief overview of how AJAX works:

  • An event triggers the JavaScript engine. This could be the request to connect to a URL or interact with data on the page.
  • Once the request is processed, the server will create a response and send it back to the client side server. The entire user will see is what was updated.

AJAX uses a XMLHttpRequest, which was created by Microsoft, to communicate with servers so quickly. The Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera browsers all come with a built in XMLHttpRequest Object. If the browser doesn’t support it then an ActiveX Object needs to be created.

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By using JavaScript and DOM, it’s able to display and use data. JavaScript is also allowed to deal with server responses as they’re ready, while still executing other scripts. AJAX works independently of the web server; that way users don’t have to stare at loading screens or buffering. Data validation, some navigation, and editing data memory can all be handled on its own engine. If AJAX does need to contact a server, it can do so without interrupting any other functions. How can you use this if you’re creating an AJAX compatible application? JavaScript libraries like jQuery (controls document transfer and manipulation, animation, AJAX, and event handling), Prototype (adds browser extensions and makes the AJAX interface easier to use), or the YUI library which is a free open source for JavaScript and CSS control the client-side server.

Google led the way in taking advantage of the AJAX technology’s (the autocomplete feature in its search engine, Google Groups, Maps, Gmail) but other consumer sites like Flickr and Amazon are getting on board with it too. AJAX is flexible enough to use on large or small website and that works out well for users. It means their experience online is so simple and the process appears effortless to them. In reality, for AJAX to be compatible with so many browsers the code is notoriously complex. That makes bugs hard to find and the code harder to maintain. This may appear to make it unstable but the programs that form AJAX are fully mature and have been in use for years. JavaScript has been in use since 1995.

AJAX cannot be downloaded. It’s simply a new format for how data is transferred. The reason it works so well is because several preexisting programs are used; AJAX improves upon them to create the experience PC users, and to an extent mobile users, expect today. Prominent companies in the digital world have finally figured out the most effective way to use this technique.  It’s not common yet but some people are even finding ways to incorporate AJAX with flash sites. Though it’s been around for eleven years, it didn’t take off right away. So even now we’re still seeing just how AJAX is capable of improving our digital lives.

The Things That AJAX Does To Help Your Internet

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AJAX can seem really confusing, but the truth is that our modern internet wouldn’t function without it. We take advantage of the technologies that make up AJAX every day, either through gaming or other functionality that allows the internet to become a source of instant communication. After all, that’s what AJAX does, informs people when changes happen by allowing servers to directly communicate with web browsers and allowing web browsers to update each individual part of a webpage as needed without a person initiating the process. It’s something that I couldn’t picture living without.

1.     AJAX allows for interactive UI’s

I know that I’ve seen the horror of dealing with some User Interfaces on websites. It can be a real pain. AJAX allows us to work on that and change the website without having to be refreshed. That allows for the website to accurately track a package or pizza delivery without ever having to refresh the page. These UIs allow for the user to identify and manipulate the website in real time, changing what’s happening without having to go to a different webpage. This means that the website doesn’t have to have a different address each time you need to change a little information on it. This server communication actually helps the internet function smoother. I know that I’m thankful for that.

2.     Increased Efficiency for Web Forms

I wouldn’t want to have upload every bit of information that I put into a browser. AJAX allows for the browsers to refresh and update themselves, thus making it so that the browsers can be modified without having to change anything else about the page. That allows the information to be inputted a lot more efficiently. I like the word efficiently, it means that I can update my social media without having to struggle through various webpages just to share pictures of my dinner.

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3.     Partial Page Updates

Checking email has never been easier. If I walk away from my computer and leave the page with my email up, any new emails will automatically update. It’s a great little bit of technology that helps me out because I won’t remember to refresh the page as often as I should. I tend to forget about that a lot, partially because I tend to get distracted easily.

4.     Customizing Server Controls

Traffic on the internet is different from hour to hour, or even minute to minute. There are certain times that webpages need to change quickly to take care of client needs. This allows companies to take care of their clients in a more automated way. That gives us quicker response and communication with any company that we may be working with. Giving clients the ability to manipulate and control servers within certain parameters without needing permissions. That control allows companies to be more responsive to their clients without having to hire additional personnel.

5.     Supported by the Popular Browsers

The fact that AJAX isn’t a programming language helps it work with many different browsers. The fact that is a group of different programs that provide needed upgrades to existing websites means that the programs help the browser communicate more effectively with the servers that house the various websites helps the internet work more efficiently. Popular browsers such as Mozilla and Chrome take full advantage of the technologies that make up AJAX.

I used to wonder exactly what AJAX meant to me, but as I started to learn about it I began to realize exactly how important it is to everything that I do on the internet. It has ushered in a new level of convenience, making information easier to share. I, for one, am grateful for the upgrades to the way that the internet works.

What Is Ajax?

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Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a client-side program that communicates from server to database without postback (the process of submitting an ASP.net to servers) and without needing to refresh the page. It was created because previously webpages would resend all the page information even though only some of the content had changed. Ajax is really just a generic term for multiple JavaScript or HTML processes that are used to connect to servers without opening more than one webpage. Some companies that use this program are Google and their services (Gmail, maps, etc.), Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. The Ajax program allows you to send only relevant information instead of sending the whole page; because of this, the application works faster. In an area with a restricted network, not sending a full postback is very beneficial since it improves network performance.

It’s a more complicated application and a user must have knowledge of JavaScript programs (HTML, Dom, CSS, and XML but knowledge of this program isn’t required). Ajax also requires automatic testing, which makes the application difficult to test and maintain. A program using the application (too many to list) would be difficult to maintain because bugs are hard to get rid of. And the main purpose of Ajax is to make a site faster and able to do more in fewer steps, for instance letting users rate a show/book/movie/video without going to a new page to do the same thing. Any problem with the application dramatically affects usability. Despite this, Ajax has been a popular program for eleven years. If it’s not updated, it will cause accessibility issues.

How It Works

  • The user creates an “event”. The HTTP request (supported by all modern browsers) is then sent to a server.
  • The server will process the request before creating a response and sending it back to the browser. 
  • Using JavaScript, the browser processes the new information and updates the webpage.

There are two types of requests a user can send, a POST and a GET (when the intention is to retrieve data, this request can only send a limited amount of data). If sending a file that isn’t cached or includes user information a POST must be used because it’s more secure.

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Where Is Ajax Likely To Be Used?

  • It’s most likely to be used in cases where information needs to be saved or changed; like drop down lists or autocomplete features (which sends out a callback to seek out all values that begin with those same characters.)
  • If a server repeatedly times out because of limited bandwidth or page size, which makes it hard to retrieve and display data, Ajax can be used so the server can handle the request.
  • It’s used to send asynchronous messages; communications between two applications or systems where a message can be placed in a queue, the client side system does not need a response before processing the message. Asynchronous replication can send data copies to another website as long as it’s stored on a primary site. This comes with the risk of losing data if the primary site goes down.
  • Ajax doesn’t require a submit button for users to send information. If you do have knowledge of XML, you can send an XMLHTTPrequest (another scripting language like Javascript that allows HTTP or HTTPS requests to be sent to different servers. It also loads the server response back into the script) object to communicate with servers.

Ajax is dynamic and feature rich. With data being transferred between servers while JavaScript manipulates the application’s interface allow more streamlined applications, using less processing power and faster data transmission. All applications are performed in one webpage; including keyboard short cuts, click and drag, etc.

Six Things that AJAX Could Lead to

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The internet is constantly evolving and changing, and as a result technologies have got to evolve as well. AJAX has ushered in a new era in how our internet works and it’s just going to improve more and more. AJAX is going to continue to improve in function and form, making information more accessible to everyone and I’m excited to see where it’s going to go.

The ideas are endless and ever changing. As people begin to learn more about the internet and how it works ideas are going to flow easier and things are going to improve faster and faster.

1.     Increased Functionality

This may seem like kind of a cop out, but the internet can only increase in functionality and usability for all people. The ability for AJAX to continually improve is just going to make the internet better for everyone that uses it. If the internet is able to change and adapt quickly enough that means that information will become easily accessible.

2.     Increased Reaction Times

As AJAX technology improves its going to continue to upgrade and change. One of the things that this is going to lead to is quicker communication between servers and browsers, allowing webpages to update faster as time goes on. This is going to mean better and more efficient communication between all people, all over the world.

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3.     Increased Education

Information is getting easier and easier to access. This means that the people that are interacting with each other on computers. As the interactions increase so does the internet’s ability to handle those interactions. That means that education is going to become more available to everyone. Everyone should have a right to an education, and this is only going to get easier as time goes by. AJAX is something that is only going to make this easier as the programs get improved on.

4.     Gaming Potential

This may not seem as important as the other issues covered here, but it makes a difference in a lot of people’s lives. Gaming has become more and more popular as time goes by, and this is only going to improve as the technology improves. AJAX is going to play a huge role in this, either directly or as inspiration for the way that games work. It can only go up from here.

5.     New Ideas That Weren’t Possible Before

I know that as the functionality of AJAX continues to improve it’s going to give way to a lot of new possibilities, some that people haven’t even thought of yet. This leaves it open for everyone to improve the internet in new and interesting ways. Increased communication is going to lead to new ideas being shared and now those ideas are just going to improve the world that we live in.

6.     Increased Military Capabilities

The military can seem like a strange place for this technology to affect, but as we begin to improve our communication it’s going to help our troops in all of their various endeavors. This is going to improve security and any combat issues. Along with Wi-Fi this can only make things easier for the men and women on the front line. From communication with their loved ones to faster and more efficient orders is can only improve the lives of our soldiers. I look forward to seeing where these implications improve.

I hope that the technologies that make up AJAX only get better from here and from where I’m sitting that’s what looks like is going to happen. I look forward to seeing the future arrive one moment at a time.