Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Andreas Grabner, Tim Hinds, Alfredo Diaz, Kevin Benedict, RealWire News Distribution

Related Topics: AJAX & REA

AJAX & REA: Article

What Makes AJAX So Special? AjaxWorld Magazine's Executive Survey

Yahoo!'s Bill Scott & Eric Miraglia, Nexaweb's Coach Wei, Zimbra's Ross Dargahi, JSF/AJAX Experts Jonas Jacobi & John Fallows

 Jeremy Geelan's i-Technology Blog: "Truly, Madly, Deeply AJAX"

View on SYS.CON.TV: Real-World AJAX San Jose "AJAX Power Panel"

Not since the formation of NATO in 1945 have four letters been combined to such globe-spanning effect, nor has any 4-letter acronym since then been the subject of such hyperbole. (Quod erat demonstrandum.)

I refer of course to "AJAX."

What is it about AJAX that sets it apart from other programming acronyms and approaches? SYS-CON Media's AjaxWorld Magazine asked a number of its most active and industry-engaged contributors to offer their thoughts. Here are the results.

BILL SCOTT, an Interaction Designer and AJAX Evangelist at Yahoo! has no doubt what makes AJAX so special.
"Since the 80s, the desktop application world has had a rich a set of user interaction idioms and ways to get at large sets of data and present them in an almost unlimited type of ways (albeit usually bounded by platform specific style guidelines.)

Before AJAX became truly cross browser and ubiquitous, the classic web site was tied to the page refresh model. Want more information? Tear down the page and build it back up. This seriously affected both the programming model and the way sites were designed. The introduction of AJAX tears down this page boundary and opens a pipeline to just-in-time information, presentation or even logic to flow continuously into the page all the way across the user's interactions.

Instead of designing the user flow in chunks around the submit and hyperlink events, suddenly you are now able to design with the user in mind, respecting the true workflow process; keeping the user "in the flow". It has opened the potential for information in context all the time, in real time and just-in-time; just the way the user thinks about the problem. That is why AJAX is so special."
Scott is part of the newly formed Design and Practices Team working with teams throughout Yahoo! to create a rich experience on the web, so he knows whereof he speaks.

As does ERIC PASCARELLO, co-author of the bestselling book "Ajax in Action" and the author of "JavaScript: Your Visual Blueprint for Building Dynamic Web Pages."

Pascarello makes five incisive points about AJAX:

1 - Ajax is big for one main reason. It is not server platform dependent. I can write a JavaScript front end that can talk with PHP, Java, .NET, ColdFusion, etc. That is why Ajax is getting so much attention. You have all of these develop groups that usually taunt each other working in the same area! (I am a .NET developer moderating on JavaRanch.com, I get teased enough!) If it were just dependent on one serverside framework Java or .NET, I do not think it would have been so big.

2 - Ajax is innovation. We have been stuck in this mold that the Web page has two separate parts that interact will form submissions. We had to live with rendering of controls for small updates. We have to download any information on the page we may need to use. Ajax changed the way we do trees, tool tips, surveys, polling, etc.

3 - The XMLHttprequest object is more reliable (Well if we forget about ActiveX) manner to transport data to and from the server. Yes, we all have been using PopUp windows, frames, and iframes to do the same tasks, but now we can tell when we have an error more easily and we can determine if something is taking too long. (But we do have to worry about certain pop up blockers! I talk about that at the Real World Ajax Seminar in San Jose!)

4 - User task time is also reduced with Ajax powered components on a Web page. Simple controls like an auto complete textbox, linked selects (double combos), live searches, and server polling can eliminate key strokes and time waiting for the page to render. No more sitting in my cube hitting F5 waiting to get more spam in my web mail inbox! People always talk about not having enough time to do things, Ajax may change that. If Ajax could tell me where I left my keys, I would become even more efficient! Anyone have spare RFID tags, GPS, and the Google Maps API handy? I got an idea....

5 - Ajax is allowing people to get paid to code in JavaScript. Would you ever have guessed that?


NEXT PAGE: Eric Pascarello's co-author, DAVE CRANE, and AJAX experts JONAS JACOBI & JOHN FALLOWS


More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (6) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Page Three 04/27/06 09:42:52 AM EDT

>> Ajax-based RIAs enable companies to
>> dramatically improve the way they
>> communicate and interact with their
>> customers, resulting in higher online
>> customer conversion rates and "stickiness."

Jouk Pleiter makes a good point.

Page Three 04/27/06 09:42:35 AM EDT

>> Ajax-based RIAs enable companies to
>> dramatically improve the way they
>> communicate and interact with their
>> customers, resulting in higher online
>> customer conversion rates and "stickiness."

Jouk Pleiter makes a good point.

AJAX News Desk 04/20/06 08:02:21 AM EDT

Not since the formation of NATO in 1945 have four letters been combined to such effect, nor has any 4-letter acronym since then been the subject of such hyperbole. (Quod erat demonstrandum.)

AJAX News Desk 04/20/06 08:02:13 AM EDT

Not since the formation of NATO in 1945 have four letters been combined to such effect, nor has any 4-letter acronym since then been the subject of such hyperbole. (Quod erat demonstrandum.)

SYS-CON Australia News Desk 04/19/06 03:00:29 PM EDT

Not since the formation of NATO in 1945 have four letters been combined to such effect, nor has any 4-letter acronym since then been the subject of such hyperbole. (Quod erat demonstrandum.)

SYS-CON Brasil News Desk 04/19/06 11:34:14 AM EDT

Not since the formation of NATO in 1945 have four letters been combined to such effect, nor has any 4-letter acronym since then been the subject of such hyperbole. (Quod erat demonstrandum.)

Cloud Expo Breaking News
Next-Gen Cloud. Whatever you call it, there’s a higher calling for cloud computing that requires providers to change their spots and move from a commodity mindset to a premium one. Businesses can no longer maintain the status quo that today’s service providers offer. Yes, the continuity, speed, mobility, data access and connectivity are staples of the cloud and always will be. But cloud providers that plan to not only exist tomorrow – but to lead – know that security must be the top priority for the cloud and are delivering it now. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Kurt Hagerman, Chief Information Security Officer at FireHost, will detail why and how you can have both infrastructure performance and enterprise-grade security – and what tomorrow's cloud provider will look like.
The social media expansion has shown just how people are eager to share their experiences with the rest of the world. Cloud technology is the perfect platform to satisfy this need given its great flexibility and readiness. At Cynny, we aim to revolutionize how people share and organize their digital life through a brand new cloud service, starting from infrastructure to the users’ interface. A revolution that began from inventing and designing our very own infrastructure: we have created the first server network powered solely by ARM CPU. The microservers have “organism-like” features, differentiating them from any of the current technologies. Benefits include low consumption of energy, making Cynny the ecologically friendly alternative for storage as well as cheaper infrastructure, lower running costs, etc.
Cloud backup and recovery services are critical to safeguarding an organization’s data and ensuring business continuity when technical failures and outages occur. With so many choices, how do you find the right provider for your specific needs? In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Daniel Jacobson, Technology Manager at BUMI, will outline the key factors including backup configurations, proactive monitoring, data restoration, disaster recovery drills, security, compliance and data center resources. Aside from the technical considerations, the secret sauce in identifying the best vendor is the level of focus, expertise and specialization of their engineering team and support group, and how they monitor your day-to-day backups, provide recommendations, and guide you through restores when necessary.
Web conferencing in a public cloud has the same risks as any other cloud service. If you have ever had concerns over the types of data being shared in your employees’ web conferences, such as IP, financials or customer data, then it’s time to look at web conferencing in a private cloud. In her session at 14th Cloud Expo, Courtney Behrens, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International, will discuss how issues that had previously been out of your control, like performance, advanced administration and compliance, can now be put back behind your firewall.
Cloud scalability and performance should be at the heart of every successful Internet venture. The infrastructure needs to be resilient, flexible, and fast – it’s best not to get caught thinking about architecture until the middle of an emergency, when it's too late. In his interactive, no-holds-barred session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, will dive into how to design and build-out the right cloud infrastructure.
The revolution that happened in the server universe over the past 15 years has resulted in an eco-system that is more open, more democratically innovative and produced better results in technically challenging dimensions like scale. The underpinnings of the revolution were common hardware, standards based APIs (ex. POSIX) and a strict adherence to layering and isolation between applications, daemons and kernel drivers/modules which allowed multiple types of development happen in parallel without hindering others. Put simply, today's server model is built on a consistent x86 platform with few surprises in its core components. A kernel abstracts away the platform, so that applications and daemons are decoupled from the hardware. In contrast, networking equipment is still stuck in the mainframe era. Today, networking equipment is a single appliance, including hardware, OS, applications and user interface come as a monolithic entity from a single vendor. Switching between different vendor'...
More and more enterprises today are doing business by opening up their data and applications through APIs. Though forward-thinking and strategic, exposing APIs also increases the surface area for potential attack by hackers. To benefit from APIs while staying secure, enterprises and security architects need to continue to develop a deep understanding about API security and how it differs from traditional web application security or mobile application security. In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, Sachin Agarwal, VP of Product Marketing and Strategy at SOA Software, will walk you through the various aspects of how an API could be potentially exploited. He will discuss the necessary best practices to secure your data and enterprise applications while continue continuing to support your business’s digital initiatives.
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. What about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver on new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for application developers and slow performance for end users. Further, as data sizes grow into the Big Data realm, this problem is exacerbated and becomes even more difficult to address. A seemingly simple schema change can take hours (or more) to perform, and as requirements evolve the disconnect between existing data structures and actual needs diverge.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SherWeb, a long-time leading provider of cloud services and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. A worldwide hosted services leader ranking in the prestigious North American Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM, and Microsoft's 2013 World Hosting Partner of the Year, SherWeb provides competitive cloud solutions to businesses and partners around the world. Founded in 1998, SherWeb is a privately owned company headquartered in Quebec, Canada. Its service portfolio includes Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Dynamics CRM and more.
The world of cloud and application development is not just for the hardened developer these days. In their session at 14th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Development Community Advocate for SoftLayer, and Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, will pull back the curtain of the architecture of a fun demo application purpose-built for the cloud. They will focus on demonstrating how they leveraged compute, storage, messaging, and other cloud elements hosted at SoftLayer to lower the effort and difficulty of putting together a useful application. This will be an active demonstration and review of simple command-line tools and resources, so don’t be afraid if you are not a seasoned developer.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BUMI, a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 14th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 10–12, 2014, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Manhattan-based BUMI (Backup My Info!) is a premium managed service provider specializing in data backup and recovery. Founded in 2002, the company’s Here, There and Everywhere data backup and recovery solutions are utilized by more than 500 businesses. BUMI clients include professional service organizations such as banking, financial, insurance, accounting, hedge funds and law firms. The company is known for its relentless passion for customer service and support, and has won numerous awards, including Customer Service Provider of the Year and 10 Best Companies to Work For.
Chief Security Officers (CSO), CIOs and IT Directors are all concerned with providing a secure environment from which their business can innovate and customers can safely consume without the fear of Distributed Denial of Service attacks. To be successful in today's hyper-connected world, the enterprise needs to leverage the capabilities of the web and be ready to innovate without fear of DDoS attacks, concerns about application security and other threats. Organizations face great risk from increasingly frequent and sophisticated attempts to render web properties unavailable, and steal intellectual property or personally identifiable information. Layered security best practices extend security beyond the data center, delivering DDoS protection and maintaining site performance in the face of fast-changing threats.
From data center to cloud to the network. In his session at 3rd SDDC Expo, Raul Martynek, CEO of Net Access, will identify the challenges facing both data center providers and enterprise IT as they relate to cross-platform automation. He will then provide insight into designing, building, securing and managing the technology as an integrated service offering. Topics covered include: High-density data center design Network (and SDN) integration and automation Cloud (and hosting) infrastructure considerations Monitoring and security Management approaches Self-service and automation
In his session at 14th Cloud Expo, David Holmes, Vice President at OutSystems, will demonstrate the immense power that lives at the intersection of mobile apps and cloud application platforms. Attendees will participate in a live demonstration – an enterprise mobile app will be built and changed before their eyes – on their own devices. David Holmes brings over 20 years of high-tech marketing leadership to OutSystems. Prior to joining OutSystems, he was VP of Global Marketing for Damballa, a leading provider of network security solutions. Previously, he was SVP of Global Marketing for Jacada where his branding and positioning expertise helped drive the company from start-up days to a $55 million initial public offering on Nasdaq.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 14th Cloud Expo, Marc Jones, Vice President of Product Innovation for SoftLayer, will explain how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.