The Hebrew University Magnes Press


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C H A P T E R Asynchronous

by Mike Faust
C H A P T E R Asynchronous JavaScript and XML One of the few shortcomings of JavaScript is its lack of sup-port for standardized data- access APIs like ODBC or JDBC. Fortunately, there is an alternate means for giving a client- side JavaScript routine access to server data. Asynchron-ous JavaScript and XML, or AJAX, gives you the ability to read data from a variety of sources. This data can be XML data, HTML data, or even a simple text file. This truly powerful capa-bility further extends the usability of JavaScript as a main-stream development language for business programmers. In this chapter, you’ll explore what AJAX is and how to use it to read server data into a JavaScript routine. AJAX: It’s Not Just for Cleaning Anymore Pardon the pun, but I thought we needed to get that one out of the way right away. The technology behind AJAX has actually been around for several years. This technology was developed by Microsoft and was initially known as remote scripting. The key component that makes AJAX possible is the XMLHttpRequest object, which is currently supported by all modern web browsers. Microsoft Outlook Web Access, a popular solution for accessing business e- mail remotely, is an example of an application built using the XMLHttpRequest object. AJAX is also the key to dy-namic web sites such as Google’s G- Mail and Google Maps. AJAX allows you to create programs with a user interface that is more like a standalone application than a browser- based applica-tion. This is because the JavaScript application is able to send 6

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C H A P T E R Asynchronous JavaScript and XML One of the few shortcomings of JavaScript is its lack of sup-port for standardized data- access APIs like ODBC or JDBC. Fortunately, there is an alternate means for giving a client- side JavaScript routine access to server data. Asynchron-ous JavaScript and XML, or AJAX, gives you the ability to read data from a variety of sources. This data can be XML data, HTML data, or even a simple text file. This truly powerful capa-bility further extends the usability of JavaScript as a main-stream development language for business programmers. In this chapter, you’ll explore what AJAX is and how to use it to read server data into a JavaScript routine. AJAX: It’s Not Just for Cleaning Anymore Pardon the pun, but I thought we needed to get that one out of the way right away. The technology behind AJAX has actually been around for several years. This technology was developed by Microsoft and was initially known as remote scripting. The key component that makes AJAX possible is the XMLHttpRequest object, which is currently supported by all modern web browsers. Microsoft Outlook Web Access, a popular solution for accessing business e- mail remotely, is an example of an application built using the XMLHttpRequest object. AJAX is also the key to dy-namic web sites such as Google’s G- Mail and Google Maps. AJAX allows you to create programs with a user interface that is more like a standalone application than a browser- based applica-tion. This is because the JavaScript application is able to send 6
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MC Press Online - 978-1-58347-070-1


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