Real-World Ajax

Interested in the upcoming book “Real-World AJAX” from SYS-CON Books? If so, there’s a nice fat excerpt available online — specifically, from Chapter 11 (“Enterprise AJAX”). Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:

The benefits of AJAX to the enterprise are clear and include:

The ability to leverage the same interface technology whether you’re dealing with local or remote sites or applications. What’s key about AJAX is that many enterprises can agree that it’s the standard interface technology and, as such, standardize on it as a common platform-agnostic user interface. It doesn’t matters if the AJAX interface is delivered on Windows, Linux, or the Mac. This makes deploying service-oriented enterprise applications that much easier, avoiding platform localization and testing issues.

The ability to leverage Web Services using a more dynamic and rich interface than traditional browser technology. While a browser is functional for Web-based applications, the lack of interactive and dynamic behavior limits its use in the enterprise. AJAX doesn’t use the same “pump and pull” model that traditional HTTP-driven browser-based applications leverage. AJAX provides native-like application interfaces and performance, functioning as good as or better than native interface APIs, such as Win32.

The ability to create mashups to solve specific business problems quickly using standard dynamic interfaces that front services. Mashups are powerful ways of taking existing applications and services and creating something even more useful. AJAX provides better enabling technology to facilitate creating mashups and combining dynamic applications into a single interface with additional binding logic. Using this paradigm, enterprises can quickly create such useful mashups as integrating Google Maps with their delivery system.

And, for those who can’t wait, here’s the conclusion as well:

Summary
AJAX is a mere instance of a rich client interface for both SOA and the enterprise. It’s the momentum behind AJAX that will insure its place in most enterprises looking to employ rich clients, which are most enterprise-class businesses. However, this technology isn’t always a slam-dunk. You must first address your requirements before leveraging AJAX or, for that matter, any other technology.

At the end of the day, AJAX is just another part of the SOA solution and it needs to exist with other robust technologies that solve the problems at hand. Therefore, you must consider using AJAX holistically and in the context of other enabling technologies, standards, and the ultimate architecture.

Unlike traditional application development, where the database and application are designed, SOAs are as unique as snowflakes. When all is said and done, no two will be alike. However, as time goes on, common patterns emerge that let us share best practices when creating an SOA. We still need to travel further down the road before we can see the whole picture.

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