Role of AJAX in Web Development

  • Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) is defined as a programmatic approach used to develop highly interactive and responsive web applications by exploiting a set of technologies. 
  • This article explains the core principles and workflow of AJAX.

What Is AJAX?

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) develops highly interactive and responsive web applications by exploiting a set of technologies. It allows developers to update individual web page components in real time without reloading the entire webpage.

Before AJAX, whenever a part of webpage content needed to be changed or altered, the process would reload and refresh the whole webpage from the web server. The result of such a method was that it would create large portions of duplicated data in every instance. This problem was resolved with the introduction of AJAX, which allowed web parts to be updated asynchronously without reloading the entire page. This method ensured that updates were displayed almost instantaneously to end users.

AJAX relies on the following technologies to carry out smooth data interchange between a browser and web server:

    • XHTML and CSS: Data presentation
    • HTML Document Object Model (DOM): Enable dynamic user interaction while displaying the updated content
    • XMLHttpRequest object: Move, manipulate, and update data to and from the server
    • XML, HTML, XSLT, and JSON: Manage data exchange with the server
    • JavaScript: Couple data requests with the content display on the user side

The combination of these technologies is crucial in establishing seamless client-server communication without page reloads. As a result, users can interact better with the web application as this method can reload partial updates. Moreover, the technique gives users the power to control their computing environment, much like in traditional desktop applications.

Additionally, while the web server processes the necessary updates on webpages, users can continue to interact with the web application, unlike traditional applications where user interaction is stalled until the HTTP transport to and from the server is complete.

Webpage content can be updated using AJAX in the following scenarios:

    1. User-initiated events: For instance, if a user clicks on a specific button or hovers over a specific text, AJAX can come into
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