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What Is AJAX? The Definition, Function, and How It Works

Last updated: Aug 25, 2023

Asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX)
Cover image: the illustration of AJAX, the abbreviation of Asynchronous Javascript and XML. Find the full definition and other common information about this term in our SEO terms

What Is AJAX?

AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XML, a web development technique to make websites more interactive. By using AJAX, web applications can run asynchronously (indirectly) so that websites can update and display data from the server without having to reload.

In AJAX, Javascript serves to manage website content and XML to bring data from the server to the browser. AJAX also allows web applications to send and receive data from the server more quickly. An example of using AJAX web development is the number of likes and comments on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


AJAX Function

Some of the AJAXweb development functions are as follows:

Increase Website Speed ​​and Responsiveness

One of the functions of AJAX is to increase website speed and responsiveness. This is because AJAX will only request the data needed to the server so that the process of sending data by the server can be faster.

With AJAX, visitors don’t have to wait too long to get the information they need when accessing web features such as comments, chat, and more.

Fetching and Sending Data from Server

In addition, the function of the AJAX is to exchange data asynchronously. It allows the browser to remain usable during a request to the server until the server sends a response to the browser.

Update Display Without Reload

AJAX exchanges data in the background which causes updates that occur will not reload the page. AJAX allows you to provide a better user experience without reloading the page repeatedly.


How AJAX Works

AJAX web development is a collection of techniques. In a web-based application, AJAX works as follows:

  1. To send an HTTP request to the server, the browser import AJAX Javascript to activate the XMLHttpRequest.
  2. Furthermore, the process of exchanging data on the server asynchronously will be carried out using XMLHttpRequest.
  3. When the server has received the data, the server will process it and send the data back to the browser.
  4. After the browser receives data from the server, the data can be displayed on the web page in response to user requests. Of course, this process can be done without reloading or creating a new page, because the process is executed asynchronously.


AJAX Advantages

AJAX has several advantages that you can consider before implementing it in your web-based application. Some of the advantages of AJAX web are as follows:

  • Supports Asynchronous Processing - user requests can be handled effectively because it uses XMLHttpRequest, so, dynamic content can be rendered with higher performance.
  • Optimizing User Experience - AJAX improves browser performance and makes websites run faster, thereby optimizing user experience.
  • Reduce Bandwidth Usage and Increase Speed ​​- AJAX web uses a client-side script to communicate with the browser and exchange data using Javascript so that web performance is faster and can reduce network load, as well as bandwidth usage.
  • Improved Compatibility - AJAX is compatible with almost all browsers such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, and others. AJAX is also compatible with ASP.NET, J2EE, PHP, and other programming languages.
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