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Introduction to AJAX for Web Application Developers

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML and is nothing new; it was previously known as "remote scripting." Microsoft's Remote Scripting (or MSRS) was introduced in 1998. The term 'Ajax' was coined on 2/18/2005 by Jesse James Garrett from Adaptive Path.

The use of AJAX allows the development of web applications that are highly interactive without the need to reload the whole page all the time as in traditional HTML (Web 1.0) web applications. With the help of AJAX are simply selected sections of a page modified and refreshed with new content from the web server via requests that are initiated by client side script code (JavaScript) that is executed in the background on the users machine without the user noticing much of it.

The format initially used for the transport of data in the upstream and downstream communication between the web server and the script code executed on the clients machine was XML at the beginning. With the evolvement of Web 2.0 applications did the type of requests and responses change to make the use of XML less favorable. XML is because of its descriptive nature creating much more code to wrap around the actual information than needed most of the time.

Formats like Json or proprietary formats developed for the different AJAX frameworks require less code and are more comon for the use of AJAX enabled web applications today. XML (respectively SOAP) based communication is largely limited to the use within companies intranet applications where bandwith and volume of overall data is not such a big problem.

Below are resources for web application developers to learn more about AJAX and AJAX frameworks to create content rich, multi-media enabled, interactive and user friendly websites and to aid in the development of them.

You might also want to check out the JavaScript and XML related resources here on this website. Additionally might also the resources to web services and APIs, including protocols such as SOAP and REST, of interest to you.

AJAX Articles

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Learning AJAX a JavaScript/AJAX tutorial Mamun Zaman by at
Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications by Jesse James Garrett/Adaptive Path coined the term AJAX in 2005
How To Use AJAX - Asynchronous JavaScript And XML (Remote Scripting)
Call SOAP Web services with Ajax, Part 1: build the web services client by James Snell, Software Engineer @ IBM
Call SOAP Web services with Ajax, Part 2: extend the web services client by James Snell, IBM Software Engineer
Starting with PHP and AJAX a simple tutorial to get started at PHP Learn It!

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AJAX Resources

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AJAX Impact - Resources Portal for everything AJAX
AJAX Resource Center at Deitel provides useful development resources for AJAX developers.
50 Ajax Resources for web developers compiled by PC Fastlane

How to Develop Web Applications with Ajax by Jonathan Fenocchi
AJAX Virtual Tradeshow - View Sessions for free (requires registration)

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AJAX Frameworks

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Google Web Toolkit is a proxy framework by Google to build AJAX web applications in the Java language
ASP.NET AJAX / ATLAS is the free AJAX Framework for Microsoft ASP.NET
Direct Web Remoting (DWR) is a proxy framework for applications that were written in JAVA.
XAJAX is a server AJAX framework for PHP hypertext preprocessing web applications.
SAJAX is also a server AJAX toolkit with support for web applications written in a large number of programming languages. It supports: ASP, Cold-Fusion, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails among others.
DOJO Toolkit is a client framework to support development of AJAX web applications. Since it is client side, is it possible to use it with any server side scripting language on the web server.
JQuery is a client framework that aids the development of AJAX applications by providing methods to manipulate elements in the DOM much easier.
Backbase is a professional AJAX framework - A free demo version is available for download.
Prototype Javascript Framework that aims to ease development of dynamic web applications
Ajax.NET Professional is a free library for the Microsoft .NET Framework

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Books to AJAX - Asynchrone Javascript and XML

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Professional Ajax Professional Ajax
(Programmer to Programmer)
by Nicholas C. Zakas,
Jeremy McPeak, and Joe Fawcett

buy Professional Ajax
Ajax Patterns and Best Practices Ajax Patterns and Best Practices
(Expert's Voice)
by Christian Gross

buy Ajax Patterns and Best Practices
Ajax in Action Ajax in Action
by Dave Crane ,Eric Pascarello
and Darren James

buy Ajax in Action
Foundations of Ajax Foundations of Ajax
by Ryan Asleson , Nathaniel T. Schutta

buy Foundations of Ajax

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