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What is AJAX? A not so technical answer

Ajax‘ is thrown around a lot, but there’s still a lot of confusion about exactly what it is, especially in non technical circles. So here is a quick run through for those of you who aren’t deep in weeds technically.

Ajax stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XML, but what it really means is a way for web pages to query the server without reloading the entire page. Without Ajax, submitting information back to the server involves submitting the entire page back to the server and refreshing the entire page in the browser. But with Ajax, the entire page doesnt need to be submitted. In javascript the browser can make a request in the background to the server. The Asynchronous comes from the fact that the request happens in the background while the user is looking at the page. When the javascript web request finishes it returns data to the browser, sometimes as XML. Its not always XML, a lot of times its JSON or text, but XML was first and that was how it was named. The browser then manipulates the data returned and uses DHTML to display it.

For an example of AJAX put your mouse over here AJAX

In short: Ajax is a way for a web page to communicate with the server without having to reload the entire page.

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August 28, 2008 Posted by | Browser, Internet, Technology | , , , , | 1 Comment