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How To Use AJAX

Article Description

AJAX, an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is very hot in the growing universe of Web development. While this new technology offers some great capabilities, it also sparks some unquestionable debate over issues with the Back button. Kris Hadlock explains how to use AJAX in a real-world situation and how you can assess its value in a project. By the time you finish reading this article, you'll know what AJAX is as well as where, why, and how to use it.

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Common Properties and Methods

Tables 1 and 2 provide an overview of the properties and methods supported by Windows Internet Explorer 5, Mozilla, Netscape 7, Safari 1.2, and Opera.

Table 1 Properties




Event handler that fires when the state of the request object changes.


Returns values that indicate the current state of the object.


String version of the response from the server.


DOM-compatible document object of the response from the server.


Status code of the response from the server.


Status message returned as a string.

Table 2 Methods




Cancels the current HTTP request.


Retrieves the values of all the HTTP headers.


Retrieves the value of an HTTP header from the response body.

open("method", "URL"[, asyncFlag[, "userName"[, "password"]]])

Initializes an MSXML2.XMLHTTP request, specifying the method, URL, and authentication information for the request.


Sends an HTTP request to the server and receives a response.

setRequestHeader("label", "value")

Specifies the name of an HTTP header.

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