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AJAX accelerates Web applications

Jan 16, 20062 mins
Development ApproachesEnterprise Applications

* AJAX: Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

AJAX accelerates Web applications

By Alexei White

As IT increases its dependence on Web-based systems to deliver business applications, it sacrifices end-user productivity and real-time updating of information. Web browsers have always been good at delivering software to remote users inexpensively, but they haven’t offered the rich-client functionality of desktop applications.

Enter AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), a Web development technique that uses tools built into most Web browsers that enable rich-client interactivity and real-time data micro-updates, or incremental updates, without the need for proprietary plug-ins. AJAX consists of three building blocks: JavaScript (or ECMA Script) for computation, Dynamic HTML for presentation and XML HTTP for client/server communication.

The key component of AJAX is XML HTTP, which allows a Web page to communicate quickly with a server after it has been downloaded to a client browser. This is a dramatic departure from the traditional page-based model, which requires that an entire Web page be reloaded for the information to be communicated between the client and the server.

While seemingly simplistic, AJAX opens doors for Web-application developers that had previously been shut. It relies on nothing but the built-in browser internals. No extra software needs to be distributed to users, making AJAX an attractive option for companies that are concerned about the security and logistical implications of distributing installed software to users.

For more on AJAX, please go to:

White is a product manager for eBusiness Applications Ltd. He can be reached at