An Introduction to Ajax, RPC, and Modern RIAs


If this is your first experience with Ajax, and even web development in general, this chapter will serve as a good introduction to get you up to speed for what is to come. If, however, you are a relatively experienced developer, and especially if Ajax is not new to you, feel free to skip most of this chapter, as it will likely be just a review for you (although I do suggest reading the section introducing DWR near the end, since that’s presumably why you’re here!). This chapter explores the wonderful world of Ajax by examining how applications in general, web applications in particular, have been developed over the past decade and a half or so. You’ll discover an interesting cycle in terms of the basic structure of applications. We’ll look at our first example of Ajax in action and talk about why Ajax is important and how it can fundamentally alter how you develop applications. We’ll also briefly touch on some of the alternatives to Ajax, and some of the existing libraries and toolkits that make Ajax easier. Last but not least, I’ll give you a first quick look at DWR, just to whet your appetite for what is to come later.


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© Frank W. Zammetti 2008

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