What is AJAX? – Definition, Functions, Examples, And More
How does AJAX work?
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Practical examples of AJAX
Take as an example the autocomplete function of Google; This helps you complete your keywords as you type them. The keywords change in real-time; however, the page as such does not change. When the Internet was not as advanced, the same function would require Google to reload the page every time a new recommendation appeared on your screen. AJAX allows the data exchange and the presentation layer to work simultaneously without interfering with each other.
The AJAX concept has been around since the mid-1990s. However, it gained broader recognition in 2004 when Google began incorporating the concept into Google Mail and Google Maps. Now, it is widely used in various web applications to Streamline the server communication process.
Here are more useful examples of AJAX in our daily lives.
Voting and rating systems
Have you ever done online voting? Have you ever rated a product you bought online? Either way, both operations use AJAX. Once you click on the rating or voting button, the website will update the calculation, but the entire page will remain unchanged.
Some websites have a chat built into their home page, through which you can talk to a customer service agent. You don’t have to worry if you want to explore the page at the same time. [AJAX] will not reload the page every time you send and receive a new message.
Twitter Trend Notification
Twitter has recently added [AJAX] for its updates. Every time new tweets get created on specific trending topics, Twitter will update the new figures without affecting the homepage.
Simply put, [AJAX] makes multitasking functions easy. If you ever see a similar situation in which two operations work simultaneously, with one running and the other inactive, it may be [AJAX] in action.
How does AJAX work?
Keep in mind that AJAX is not a single technology, nor is it a programming language. As said before, AJAX is a set of web development techniques. The system generally comprises:
CSS for the presentation and HTML / XHTML for the primary language The Document Object Model (DOM) for dynamic data and its interaction.
XMLHttpRequest object for asynchronous communication.
Some technical knowledge is necessary to understand it fully. But the general procedure of how AJAX works is quite simple. Check out the following diagram and table for further explanation.
The definition aside, the most significant advantage of using AJAX is that it optimizes the user experience. Your visitors don’t have to wait long to access your content. However, it also depends on what you need. Google, for example, allows users to choose between AJAX and a standard version when using Google Mail. It is best to put the needs of users as a priority on your list and use AJAX accordingly.
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