DEVELOPER: Industry Standard
Getting Rich with AjaxBy Rich Schwerin
Ajax is a combination of technologies used to build highly interactive, browser-based user interfaces (UIs), and it substantially enhances the interactivity, performance, and usability of Web applications. This article outlines the core fundamentals of Ajax, what you can do with Ajax today, and how Oracle supports Ajax.
Remote Scripting Redux
Before Ajax and its clever uses of remote scripting, Web applications often required a full-page refresh when the user changed anything on an application page, such as selecting a category and expanding or collapsing a form. The application user often had to wait for complete page refreshes several times on a single Web page—not very sophisticated compared to today's rich user experience. "With Ajax you get much better interactivity and you can stay on the same page longer, unlike with traditional Web applications, where you're always navigating between multiple pages, refreshing entire pages each time," explains Schalk. "Ajax has also become synonymous with rich-client architecture in general, so things like sliders and accordion panels can interact with the UI in a much more interactive way without requiring full-page refreshes each time."
Oracle JDeveloper and Ajax Render Kit
For more-detailed information on the programmatic workings of Ajax, see "A Hype-Free Introduction to Ajax ."
Most application development technologies benefit greatly from well-defined development frameworks, and Ajax is no exception. One such Ajax-related framework is Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) Faces, the ADF view technology based on JSF. Oracle ADF Faces provides a rich set of various JSR 127-compliant UI components with built-in functionality, such as data tables, hierarchical tables, and color and date pickers that can be customized and reused in applications. This means that developers can take advantage of Ajax without necessarily having extensive knowledge of underlying Ajax technologies.
Oracle Backs Open Ajax
Although Oracle recently joined the Open Ajax initiative to promote Ajax, Farrell explains that Oracle's support for Ajax isn't new—Ajax technology has been part of the Oracle Fusion Middleware architecture for more than two years. "Oracle is strongly committed to Ajax technology, and many of our products, including Oracle JDeveloper 10g Release 3, utilize Ajax standards," says Farrell. "As a result, Oracle is making it easier for developers to reap the benefits of Ajax today and in the next generation of application development."
The initial supporting members of the Open Ajax initiative include BEA, Borland, Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Openwave, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo!, Zend, and Zimbra. The initiative promotes Ajax's promise of universal compatibility with any computer device, application, or operating system, and easy incorporation into existing and future software programs.
Rich Schwerin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a product marketing manager with Oracle Technology Marketing.