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Lessons Ajax using jQuery Bookmark and Share
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Lesson 27
Asynchronous JavaScript And XML or AJAX for short, allows us to load data in the background and display it on our webpage, without refreshing the whole page. This enables us to create websites that are more interactive and offer desktop applications-like experience.

Popular web applications like Gmail, Google Maps, Yahoo Mail, etc. use AJAX extensively.

Doing AJAX using pure JavaScript is a bit cumbersome, because of the fact that various browsers have different implementations to support AJAX. As a consequence of this we need to write code that needs to respond differently, depending on the browser and its support level. Fortunately, jQuery has done this all for us, allowing us to use AJAX functionality with very few lines of code.

Before going further and using jQuery to perform Ajax related jobs, it would be good to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of using AJAX in our web applications.

Advantages of using Ajax
  • Our page would be more interactive and would offer desktop applications-like experience.
  • Parts of a webpage can be updates without a whole page reload/refresh.
  • As an Ajax enabled webpage loads only the data needed to update tha page, instead of a whole page refresh/reload, it saves us bandwidth.
  • It also helps in reducing burdon on server.

Disadvantages of using Ajax
  • As the small updates are done by the JavaScript, the various states of the webpage cannot be saved in the browser history. This makes using the back and forware buttons of a web browser, impossible. For the same reason, a specific state cannot be bookmarked by the user.
  • Data loaded through AJAX is not and cannot be indexed by any of the search engines.
  • Some users prefer to disable JavaScript and some users might be using some outdate version a web browser. Such users will not be able to use the Ajax related functionality of our web application. We have to consider the above when designing our application.
In the coming lessons, we will be learning to use various AJAX related methods of jQuery.
Next >>> Lesson No. 26: jQuery Ajax: load()





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