Ajax is a powerful collection of languages that, when brought together, create extremely intuitive user interfaces and client-side interactions. Although this is true, there are many developers who get so excited by the hype surrounding it that they simply throw the code into their applications without measuring the benefits of using it beforehand. Not every web application has a need for Ajax, but there are many parts of an application that can be enhanced by utilizing its benefits. In this book, we will cover usability patterns that will handle feedback, server-side form validation before we even submit the form, and Ajax-enabled components that can enhance sections of our web applications without overdoing it. Ajax is also great to use if you would like to make a server-side connection and possibly a database interaction without refreshing the browser. This is what makes Ajax so powerful because it allows us to interact with the server, receive HTTP status codes, save data to a database, and determine what to present to the user without ever refreshing the page. This request/response pattern can continually persist as a desktop application does, but Ajax-enabled web applications are, well, on the Webaccessible by anyone with a connection, without any downloads or shipping costs for delivering large fancy boxes. The Web is the new desktop, and we are on the verge of a major software shift that we can actively participate in as the pioneers of on-demand information.
Ajax can be a valuable connection between the interface and back-end logic, allowing the back end to be robust and powerful with a simple yet intuitive interface that provides on-demand feedback to users. It also provides ways to exchange data with server-side languages and store it in databases without disconnecting the user from the application like standard applications do when refreshing the browser window. After reading this book, you will have the information needed to create fully functional Ajax applications.