AJAX on Classic ASP Back
AJAX is an acronym for ‘Asynchronous JavaScript And XML’ and is not a programming language but a technology that utilizes existing programming languages to set up a more dynamic relationship between web pages and the web server than what was the case with classic ASP web pages. The classic relationship reloads the entire web page every time something on the page changes, which places a huge overhead and burden on all the resources and causes frustration to the user.

AJAX, on the other hand, sets up a ‘chatty’ relationship with the web server and only asks for the information that changes, updating only those portions of the web page that require the new information. The rest of the page remains unchanged and does not reload, making web pages perform more like free-standing applications.

The ‘X’ in AJAX refers to XML data being sent to and from the web server, which is an excellent manner in which to set up communications between diverse, incompatible platforms, but its overhead is huge: sometimes the volume of data is 10 times the volume of the information that is communicated. With universality came overhead and, hence, a hit on performance.

While the overhead is acceptable when satisfying the need to communicate with a foreign platform, there is no reason for a web page not to speak to its own web server in its native tongue. It’s faster, can much easier be secured and any competent programmer can be taught to do it.

We can upgrade most classic ASP pages to AJAX at a fraction of what it would cost to invest in an entire new platform like .NET.