3 reasons to use Ajax in your web application

You must have seen lot of web applications where you enter your username and password to login, and if your password is wrong, it tells you so without reloading the page. This effect is produced using Ajax which stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. Ajax makes your webpage more interactive by allowing you to develop your application using existing technologies, by making your web application to work just like desktop application and by reducing the time it takes to load pages. This article will help you to understand how Ajax can make your web application more interactive.

The important thing while considering the use of any new technology is the time it would take to learn and understand it. However, Ajax is different as it is not a new technology. Ajax is simply a new term for group of existing technologies like JavaScript and XML. These technologies have been used well before the term Ajax was formed. The only difference is, instead of making a HTTP request directly, in Ajax you use JavaScript to make that request and to display the result. Apart from this, Ajax reduces the time it takes to load the page.

In normal situation, whenever you submit a form or click on any link, the new page is loaded. In this case, the server sends out entire page including header, navigation panel, main content and footer. In other words, the browser needs to load the whole template along with all the images and items that are used in it. This takes a bit of time. Using Ajax, the whole page needs to be loaded only once and then use JavaScript to fetch the content and update the required part of the page where that content should appear. In this way Ajax reduces the time it takes to load a page and makes your web application look like a desktop application.

When you use any desktop application, and move between the tabs, you don’t see whole desktop getting refreshed. Moving between tabs, doesn’t affect menus, toolbar or status bar. Changes are made to your work area only. This is the main difference between a desktop application and a web application. Using Ajax, it is possible to achieve the same effect in web applications too. Just load the main page once and let JavaScript fetch the content from the server and update only the required page area, just like any desktop application.

Most of the web applications have already implemented Ajax. Use of JavaScript libraries or frameworks like prototype helps in rapid development of Ajax applications. By loading web pages quickly and by making your web application look like a normal desktop application, Ajax makes your web site more interactive and usable.