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Intro to AJAX


... web toolkit widgets w/goggle. ASP.NET Ajax was Atlas, MS's ... Email, maps, photo storage utility (gmail, goggle maps, flickr) Leverage it for your clients ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Intro to AJAX

Intro to AJAX
  • by Paul Davis

About Me
  • Paul Davis
  • Kaosweaver

What is AJAX?
  • Asynchronous JavaScript And XML
  • AJAX is designed to make web pages feel more
    responsive by exchanging small amounts of data
    with the server behind the scenes, so that the
    entire web page does not have to be reloaded each
    time the user requests a change. This is intended
    to increase the web page's interactivity, speed,
    and usability.

What is AJAX? (cont)
  • AJAX uses a combination of
  • XHTML (and HTML)
  • CSS
  • DOM JavaScript
  • XMLHttpRequest
  • XML, JSON, EBML, text, etc
  • AJAX is not a technology in itself, but a name
    for a group used together.

  • The main reason AJAX is being explored and used
    today (after the legacy browsers have all but
    been relegated to obscurity) is overcoming the
    page loading requirements of the HTML/HTTP web
  • Web pages are fire once and not like a native
    application on a machine which can change
    according to user interaction.

Why not Flash?
  • It is true, Flash did (and does) interact with
    the user and can stream content as well as
    interface changing and all. The reasons against
    Flash vs AJAX
  • Flash requires a plug in
  • Flash has a much larger footprint
  • Flash is more complex to develop in
  • Flash would take over the entire interface

AJAX Advantages
  • Comes with all modern browsers
  • Better user interface, responds to user
  • Low bandwidth, even lower then regular HTML/HTTP
    server applications
  • Separation of data, format, style and function
    (AJAX coding doesn't require this, but is makes
    it a whole lot easier to do when it is separated)

AJAX Disadvantages
  • Harder/impossible to bookmark AJAX updated page
  • Network latency delays impact the application's
  • Search engines won't crawl AJAX generated
  • Relies upon JavaScript, which some users turn
  • Browser compatibility issues

AJAX Options
  • Frameworks
  • Direct AJAX frameworks
  • AJAX component frameworks
  • Server driven AJAX frameworks
  • Create your own
  • Smaller code
  • Specific code
  • Maintainable code
  • Less apt to be hacked

AJAX JavaScript Frameworks
  • Apache XAP for large applications
  • Clean AJAX message based engine
  • Dojo Toolkit component based
  • Helmi Rich Internet Application tools
  • Jmaki lightweight stubs for SSC
  • Jquery lightweight browser package
  • Mootools compact, modular OOP
  • prototype harvested toolkit
  • Spry Adobe's ajax library

Other AJAX frameworks
  • WT, C webtoolkit
  • DWR, Java remoting toolkit
  • Echo, pure Java toolkit
  • Google web toolkit widgets w/goggle
  • ASP.NET Ajax was Atlas, MS's stuff
  • Zope 3 Python framework
  • Symfony PHP framework
  • CFAjax Cold Fusion framework

How does it work?
  • A request is made to communication between the
    browser and the server via the XMLHttpRequest
  • IE vs the world...
  • A response is received through the
    onreadystatechange and when the readyState
    property is 4
  • A request is made which returns the data from the
    server to the browser

What about the ....
  • The fancy window affects of stuff moving, drag
    and drop, flashing, animation, etc is all merely
    a flashback to DHTML from the 90's, but
    repackaged and called AJAX. Most of it is all
    client (browser) side and doesn't depend on the
    server to browser communication to function.
    This is the primary reason I wrote my own AJAX

What can you do with it?
  • Form validation
  • Instant search updates
  • Content management on the fly
  • Check in stock items
  • Image galleries
  • Instant chat
  • Email, maps, photo storage utility (gmail, goggle
    maps, flickr)

Leverage it for your clients
  • Form validation that tests the input verse the
    server side requirements for the field
  • Check email addresses to see if the client
    already signed up.
  • Check a date to see if a reservation would be
  • Check a zip code to see if it is valid.
  • Give the visitor feedback before the form is

Make search a snap
  • Have the results change as the user entered
  • Have the product/services list change when the
    user selects categories.
  • Use multiple search criteria to make the results
  • Give the user the power to change the order of
    the results to suit their needs

Instant CMS
  • Create a login for your client and then have an
    edit link on all of the editable areas they
    click on it and the content is replaced with a
    text area they can edit the content, they submit
    it and it is updated on the spot.