What is AJAX, and How is it Used in JAVA?

AJAX is short for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX is capable of sending and receiving information in multiple formats, such as JSON, HTML, and XML. Making its first appearance in 1999, AJAX is a web development technique to create faster and more responsive web pages while optimizing the process of exchange of information. To put it into simple words, with the use of this, parts of content on a webpage can be altered without needing to reload the page at all.




How does this happen? To answer this, we will need first to address how web pages work without AJAX. Conventional web pages are set up synchronously. This means that there is a two-way line of communication between the user/client and the host/server. The user interacts with the page on the browser (for example, clicking a button) and the browser, in response, makes a request to the host server reciprocating the user interaction. The server then responds to the request by sending data back to the user, presenting it in a new form (for example, loading another webpage). This whole process is synchronous since there is a back and forth between the server and the user. AJAX, on the other hand, gives us the tools to put an asynchronous process into effect


What is an AJAX Call?

When AJAX is utilized practically, it is called an AJAX call. An AJAX call is an asynchronous request from the webpage to the server and does not result in the display for the user being altered in terms of page loading or transition. When a request is made on a webpage, an XMLHttpRequest object is created by Javascript. This object then sends a request to the webserver. Upon receiving it, the server processes the request, after which the server sends back a response to the webpage. This response is then read by JavaScript, and the appropriate change is made to eh webpage without the page reloading.
An example of an AJAX call in effect would be the comment section of most websites. Take YouTube, for example. When you write and post a comment in the comment section under any video on YouTube, the whole page does not need to refresh. Instead, the web page uses AJAX to send an XMLHttpRequest and update that portion of the web page to show the newly posted comment. Examples of the use of AJAX are littered across many websites and are integrated into our user experience seamlessly to keep the user interface working fluidly. This goes to show how necessary AJAX has now become in our daily use of the internet. Imagine how inconveniencing it would be if you posted a comment on a video and the whole webpage reloaded and started the video from the start.

Do You Need to Install AJAX to Use it?

In a word, no. You do not need to install it to make use of it. However, it is beneficial for you to consider the different methods of using AJAX and what they require. A widely used method is downloading a JavaScript library known as jQuery. It essentially makes it so HTML documents and the like are easily exchangeable. A prime selling point of the library is that you can get the same amount of work done in a lesser number of lines of code.
Additionally, animations are handled easily, and the use of AJAX is simplified with the smooth API (Application Programming Interface), meaning the data transfer between machines is made smoother. Another plus side of jQuery is that it works across many different browsers. You can download jQuery here

Is AJAX a framework?

AJAX can be categorized as a framework that works across different browsers to allow users of this framework to create dynamic and fast web applications. This framework comprises libraries written in either JavaScript or any server-based programming language operating on AJAX.
There are many types of AJAX frameworks, most of which are free. However, only a handful are widely used, and those fall into three types.



Types of AJAX Framework

XHTML/CSS Supplement Frameworks

Examples of this framework are jQuery and prototype. It is further categorized into four types; Pure Ajax Methods, Event Handling Systems, DOM/CSS Search and Selection Methods, and Visual Effects.

XHTML/CSS Replacement Frameworks

This type of framework provides a full Graphic User Interface Creation Toolkit, with tools such as buttons, windows, progress bars, and other features. They usually work in conjunction with Supplement Frameworks.

Server-End Technology Adapter Kits

These frameworks usually work as a component of server-specific technology, generally used to make XHTML/CSS and help with back-end database interaction.