After having seen a couple of months with the word Ajax buzzing everywhere, I believe it’s time to clear a few things out.
In other words, it’s a combination of various technologies from every web developer’s toolbox. These items have been around for a while and they are certainly not new kids on the block.
XMLHttp was first introduced to the world as an ActiveX control in IE 5.0, allowing pages to send XML via the HTTP protocol. XMLHttpRequest was originally invented in 1998 to create a web-based version of Outlook, so it’s not exactly new.
It has taken a while for the industry to grasp the power of Ajax, and the foremost reason why it’s suddenly so hot right now is that we’ve started to do smarter web applications featuring rich user interfaces built on Ajax.
Google Maps is perhaps the most well-known Ajax application and definitely one of the things that started the hype.
Another well-known feature is displaying when the browser is working. With Ajax you will have to take care of that yourself (which some developers probably will forget or simply ignore to implement).
There are a lot more things to consider with Ajax development, but enough of all this negative thinking. I think that Ajax is a very useful technique and we will see a lot more of it in the near future.