• Directory of Internet terms
  • Ajax — Acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX is a Web programming tool (or rather a set of tools) that makes it possible to create interactive Web applications that work in much the same way as computer applications on your computer's hard disc, i.e. more responsive, more spontaneous, so that when you click on something on the Web page there is very little time delay - as in your word-processor, for example. While you are browsing a Web page AJAX is working behind the scenes. AJAX allows your browser to fetch data from the Web and use it to update a fragment of the page without refreshing the whole page so that you don't have to wait for the whole Web page to refresh or reload each time you click on a button or initiate an action in some other way. This increases the Web page's interactivity, speed, functionality, and usability. Google Maps is a typical example of a Web application incorporating AJAX. Scroll around the map and watch it update itself with relatively little time delay. AJAX is a programming tool that is used extensively in what are known as Web 2.0 applications. See Section 2.1, Module 1.5, headed What is Web 2.0?