Yes, Ajax is a household product your Mom used to clean the sink. But in the Web 2.0 world, Ajax stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.” The term does not represent a technology itself. It is the combination of technologies that enhance the usability, speed, and interactivity of web pages.

Ajax represents a fundamental shift in the methods used by programmers to deliver web applications.

What does Ajax do?
In layman’s terms, Ajax uses the power of the “client” computer (your computer) to quickly provide all types of data. Using Ajax techniques allows small amounts of data to be delivered to your computer without the need for a full page refresh, which requires more resources and takes longer. Common uses include updating or deleting records, expanding web forms, simple search queries, and retrieving text.

Digg.com and Google Maps are two of a seemingly endless number of sites now using Ajax techniques.

Additional Resources

Ajax: a new approach to web applications
Feb. 2005: The term “Ajax” was coined by Jesse James Garner of Adaptive Path. The link above takes you to his site where you will find a comprehensive description of Ajax.

Ajax Tutorial – this site provides an extensive collection of Ajax info for the tech savvy.

Ajax on Wiki – exhaustive definition, history, and additional Ajax resources (tech heavy).

[tags] Ajax, Ajax tutorial, Adaptive Path, Digg.com, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]