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What is AJAX?

AJAX is an acronym used for the phrase asynchronous javascript and XML. The term refers to a group of interrelated web development techniques used to create interactive web applications. Using AJAX, the created web application can retrieve data from the server asynchronously in the background without interrupting anything on the existing page.

Using AJAX has a number of advantages. In a lot of cases, related pages on a website contain numerous similarities in the content contained on them. Since AJAX runs in the background and leaves the existing page unaffected, the need for content to be reloaded on every request is not needed. AJAX will request only the data which needs to be changed, greatly reducing load time. Many users believe websites using AJAX to be generally faster, even if it has not changed on the server-side. AJAX results in pleasing web browsers and less strain on servers.

There are a few minor disadvantages, however. Since only the required amount of information is retrieved upon request, clicking the browser’s “back” button may not return the user to the actual page they are looking for. Additional programming is required to get around this. A problem similar to that is that it may be difficult for the user to bookmark the exact page they desire. Browsers which do not support Javascript will also not be able to utilize the functionality of AJAX.

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