Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Introduction to AJAX and Atlas with ASP.NET 2.0

Traditionally, web applications have left a lot to be desired from a user experience standpoint, due primarily to the "request/response" life cycle. Any interaction with a page typically requires a post back to the web server (a "request"), which then performs any server-side tasks needed and returns the updated page's markup (the "response"). Outside of intranet-based applications, such behavior adds a bit of a lag when interacting with a page. One approach to improving the end user's experience is to use AJAX. AJAX is a technique for using JavaScript and the XMLHttpRequest object to make light-weight HTTP requests back to the web server from client-side script. Once a response is received, the web page's layout can be seamlessly refreshed using JavaScript to message the page's Document Object Model (DOM) and CSS settings. AJAX-enabled pages provide a slick, responsive user experience, making web-based applications function more like desktop-based ones.
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