AJAX for an Interactive User Experience

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a method of building interactive applications for the web that process user requests immediately. AJAX combines several programming tools including JavaScript, dynamic HTML (DHTML), Extensible Markup Language (XML), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), the Document Object Model (DOM), and the Microsoft object, XMLHttpRequest.

AJAX is a web application model which uses the advantageous features of different technologies, each performing different functions to produce dynamic and interactive web applications.

AJAX allows content on web pages to update immediately when a user performs an action, unlike an HTTP request, during which users must wait for a whole new page to load. AJAX will give a respite by allowing web pages to load in fraction of a second. More and more websites nowadays, especially heavy websites, are implementing this method.

AJAX has been given a thumbs-up by many big web enterprises including Google. Google Maps is one well-known application that uses AJAX. The interface allows the user to change views and manipulate the map in real time. AJAX applications do not require installation of a plug-in, but work directly with a web browser. Because of the technique's reliance on XMLHttpRequest, early applications worked only with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, but most other browsers now support AJAX.

Applications created with AJAX use an engine that acts as an intermediary between a user's browser and the server from which it is requesting information. Instead of loading a traditional web page, the user's browser loads the AJAX engine at the start of the web session, which renders the interface and displays the page the user sees, which also communicates with the server on the user's behalf. The engine continues to run in the background, using JavaScript to communicate with the web browser. User input or clicking on the page sends a JavaScript call to the AJAX engine, which can respond instantly in many cases. If the engine needs additional data, it requests it from the server, usually using XML, while it is simultaneously updating the page.

AJAX is not a proprietary technology or a packaged product. Web developers have been using JavaScript and XML in combination for several years, and more are into AJAX development services. AJAX development can also be outsourced for saving development cost. Many web application development companies offer interactive and dynamic web applications development based on AJAX technology. With a tradition for serving clients, professional AJAX development companies can provide a customer-oriented service which is both reliable and cost-effective.