AJAX is a smorgasbord of web technologies put together to allow dynamic client-server interactions to occur in web applications without requiring pages to reload or refresh. AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML.* AJAX itself is not a technology — it is a combination of technologies used in a certain way. AJAX uses the following:

  • XHTML (or HTML) and CSS to create an interface and visually style information. The XHTML and CSS elements can be dynamically modified to display new information or styling. These changes are typically done using the Document Object Model.
  • JavaScript is used to manipulate the interface elements and is also used to establish a communication with a web server through XMLHttpRequest. This allows data (typically in XML format) to be transmitted between the client and the web server without requiring page reloads or refreshes.

Ajax allows feature-rich, dynamic web applications which use server-side processing without requiring the traditional “submit data — retrieve web page” methodology.

From: Accessibility of Ajax Applications

*Note: The term Ajax was coined by Jesse James Garret


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