Web development: Ajax

Ajax allows for far more user friendly web interfaces by using Javascript to communicate between the browser and the server asynchronously (ie without reloading the page).

This combined with Javascript effects and wizardry makes the web browser a powerful platform for developing applications that are more human friendly.

Some examples of how we've used Ajax are:


While the administration backend of  Wir Sprechen Deutch uses Ajax extensively, we've also used it in the public site. As you click through categories and areas the list of companies and info pages filters down. The same applies to the search - as you type it is filtering results.

The area with the map is also all Ajax, from populating the dropdown box to zooming the map in the selected area, we are using Javascript to constantly send data silently to the server and then alter the page depending on the results.

This is far more user friendly than 'click -> reload, click ->reload'

 

Package One Inc is a small site that also didn't want the conventional 'click -> reload, click ->reload' and so we used Ajax to fetch the content of each of the top tabs from the server and display them with a fade in, fade out effect.

Apart from the above examples, most of our administration features uses Ajax, from the Mindset e-learning systems to much of the interface in getClosure! - and many more.