All the cool kids are talking about AJAX


It seems that everywhere I look today people are talking about AJAX. For a variety of reasons, web apps with highly responsive UIs have been of interest to a few of us on the Team Foundation team on and off for a while. When Google Suggest came out we were all over it, trying to work out how it was done. Last night BryanMac, one of my leads, told me that it had a name “AJAX” and the pattern was described in some detail here at adaptivepath.com


Well, today Scoble blogged about a Microsoft use of AJAX he’s seen internally recently Virtual Earth: MSN’s answer to Google Maps and I’ve seen a bunch of other posts like this one – a Greasymonkey script which can be used to sniff into AJAX applications.


Because Google is all over AJAX, some folks seem to think we’ve been left behind. Actually, that’s not true. Bryan found me this cool article from August 2004 on MSDN: Script Callbacks in ASP.NET. It might not be called AJAX, and it’s not quite identical, but the fundamental principles are the same – responsive UI using asynchronous events without having to wait for full server postbacks. Pretty cool stuff. Actually the SpeechControls we used for Microsoft Speech Server also did something very similar for controlling the flow of spoken dialog with the user – but in this case the XML packets with recognition results in were sent back as asynchronous events from the Speech Server, rather than the web server.

Comments (4)

  1. Like Scoble mentioned, OWA is a great AJAX app (too bad it isn’t as nice in Firefox as it is in IE). I would also bring up webmessenger as another example of AJAX from MS…

  2. Over three years ago, I developed using Microsoft Web Telephony Engine which worked great with javascript DOM changes via Microsoft.XMLHTTP (AJAX) events. It would dynamically alter the voice browser’s dialog via asynchronous webservice calls without the need to reload page. Name dialing using DTMF was a released feature using this techinque which worked exactly like Google Suggest but for the phone.

  3. Over three years ago, I developed using Microsoft Web Telephony Engine which worked great with javascript DOM changes via Microsoft.XMLHTTP (AJAX) events. It would dynamically alter the voice browser’s dialog via asynchronous webservice calls without the need to reload page. Name dialing using DTMF was a released feature using this techinque which worked exactly like Google Suggest but for the phone.

  4. Craig Humphrey says:

    I seem to recall a collegue (<a href="http://www.isbn.nu/aisbn/humphreys%20aidan">Aidan Humphreys</a> – no relation) and I, did some work in 1998/1999, that used JavaScript on the page to do dynamic updates of dropdown-lists.

    All using Perl CGI backend into a propretry stock tracking system.

    Maybe not as well defined as AJAX, but I’m sure we weren’t the first in this arena.

    We were working for <a href="http://www.c-s-k.de/">CSK</a&gt; in Frankfurt at the time (I see they’re now called Imagnos), using their <a href="http://slingshot.csksoftware.com/">Slinghot</a&gt; product.