XMLHttpRequest Object in Ajax

XMLHttpRequest (XHR) is an API available to web browser scripting languages such as JavaScript. It is used to send HTTP or HTTPS requests to a web server and load the server response data back into the script. Development versions of all major browsers support URI schemes beyond http: and https:, in particular, blob: URLs are supported.

An object of XMLHttpRequest is used for asynchronous communication between client and server.

It performs following operations:
  • Sends data from the client in the background
  • Receives the data from the server
  • Updates the webpage without reloading it.

Properties of XMLHttpRequest object

The common properties of XMLHttpRequest object are as follows:

It is called whenever readystate attribute changes. It must not be used with synchronous requests.

represents the state of the request. It ranges from 0 to 4.
0 UNOPENED open() is not called.
1 OPENED open is called but send() is not called.
2 HEADERS_RECEIVED send() is called, and headers and status are available.
3 LOADING Downloading data; responseText holds the data.
4 DONE The operation is completed fully.

returns response as text.

returns response as XML

Methods of XMLHttpRequest object-

The important methods of XMLHttpRequest object are as follows:

void open(method, URL):
opens the request specifying get or post method and url.

void open(method, URL, async):
same as above but specifies asynchronous or not.

void open(method, URL, async, username, password):
same as above but specifies username and password.

void send():
sends get request.

void send(string):
send post request.

it adds request headers.

Despite its name, XMLHttpRequest can be used to retrieve any type of data, not just XML, and it supports protocols other than HTTP (including file and ftp).

Create an XMLHttpRequest Object-

To create an instance of XMLHttpRequest, simply do this:

var myRequest = new XMLHttpRequest();

Old versions of Internet Explorer (IE5 and IE6) use an ActiveX Object:

var xmlhttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");

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Asynchronous vs Synchronous Ajax

Synchronous – Script stops and waits for the server to send back a reply before continuing. There are some situations where Synchronous Ajax is mandatory.

In standard Web applications, the interaction between the customer and the server is synchronous. This means that one has to happen after the other. If a customer clicks a link, the request is sent to the server, which then sends the results back.

Because of the danger of a request getting lost and hanging the browser, synchronous javascript isn’t recommended for anything outside of (onbefore)unload event handlers, but if you need to hear back from the server before you can allow the user to navigate away from the page, synchronous Javascript isn’t just your best option.

Asynchronous vs Synchronous Ajax

Asynchronous – Where the script allows the page to continue to be processed and will handle the reply if and when it arrives. If anything goes wrong in the request and/or transfer of the file, your program still has the ability to recognize the problem and recover from it.
Processing asynchronously avoids the delay while the retrieval from the server is taking place because your visitor can continue to interact with the web page and the requested information will be processed with the response updating the page as and when it arrives.

Asynchronous vs Synchronous

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AJAX Introduction

AJAX allows web pages to be updated asynchronously by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes. This means that it is possible to update parts of a web page, without reloading the whole page.

AJAX = Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.

AJAX is a technique for creating fast and dynamic web pages.

How AJAX Works-

AJAX Introduction

AJAX is Based on Internet Standards
AJAX is based on internet standards, and uses a combination of:

  • XMLHttpRequest object (to exchange data asynchronously with a server)
  • JavaScript/DOM (to display/interact with the information)
  • CSS (to style the data)
  • XML (often used as the format for transferring data)

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