I recently had to answer to the: “Should we go with AJAX” question and, for a developer, the answer to this question is not obvious. There are many benefits in using AJAX, both from the user or programmer’s perspective but this particular question is not technical. AJAX is not a programming language but a technique and this calls to a cost management conversation as well as the determination of ROI.

According to Wikipedia, AJAX is “shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is a Web development technique for creating interactive Web applications. The intent is to make Web pages feel more responsive by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes, so that the entire Web page does not have to be reloaded each time the user makes a change. This is meant to increase the Web page’s interactivity, speed, and usability.”
AJAX improves both performance and user experience (and often and desirably makes use of Service Oriented Architecture), makes a programmer life easier as it facilitates the development of wikis and the creation of dashboard applications which allows the user to become involved in building the final (tailored) user interface experience. The user actually controls an important part of the look and feel of the final product as well as determines the most important features (from those available) and arranges them to provide the most business value possible.
There are voices like John Crupi’s that say: “AJAX + SOA: The Next Killer App” and it is the direction on which Microsoft itself is moving. It is important as AJAX leads the “Web 2.0” revolution and brings desktop-like experiences inside the web browser.
To come back to the question that triggered this article, the Open Ajax Alliance website provides a great article on when AJAX Makes Business Sense. It’s a must-read as it provides the whitepaper to bring before the non-technical manager. As of why, a programmer can only say: “Let’s do it with AJAX”.

Exciting times folks, and the internet can only get closer to simplicity as web pages become richer and cleaner, but switching or even starting with AJAX involves thorough and honest internal evaluation and cost management.

Next Generation Applications have to be a part of this productivity improvement brought forth by those techniques as this platform-independent runtime technology is well-suited for next-generation SOA applications. What makes an answer to the above question, even though there is so much to say, is that AJAX enables a rich user experience with enhanced productivity at the cost of changing your optics and grasping the concept. I believe that those costs should be lower and development time should be reduced while the result is a rich user experience in a server-based application deployment that obviously provides lower maintenance costs as it replaces the desktop application.
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  1. Bogdan Badulescu
    Bogdan Badulescu says:

    What post Annique? Please add the link to it here so that we can read it and comment on it. Thank you for your comments. Subscribe to my newsletter or to the feed to keep in touch.

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