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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) - Part 1

Ajax is to update the web page, using data fetched from the server/internet, without reloading the whole page in the browser.  

  • Ajax applications are browser,and platform-independent.
  • JavaScript code is the core code running Ajax applications and it helps facilitate communication with server applications.
  • DHTML helps you update your forms dynamically. ie., div, span, etc
  • Document Object Model(DOM), will be used to work with both the structure of your HTML and XML returned from the server.
  • With Ajax, the JavaScript does not have to wait for the server response.
  • With Ajax, execute other scripts while waiting for server response.
  • With Ajax deal with the response when the response ready.

Ajax Flow
1)Create a XMLHttpRequest object from browser.
2)Send a HttpRequest from browser.
3)Server process a HttpRequest.
4)Server create a response and send data back to the browser.
5)Browser process the server response returned data and update to the page content.

Property Description
responseText Get the response data as a string. Read-only.
document.getElementById("divEmployee").innerHTML=xmlhttp.responseText;
responseXML Get the response data as XML. Read-only.
var xmldoc = xmlhttp.responseXML;
var empList = "";
var emp = xmlDoc.getElementsByTagName("Employee");
for (i=0;i<emp.length;i++)
{
  empList = empList + emp[i].childNodes[0].nodeValue;
}
document.getElementById("divEmpList").innerHTML = empList;
onreadystatechange Contains the name of the event handler function to be called when the value of the readyState property changes. Read/write. The onreadystatechange event is triggered four times, one time for each change in readyState.
readyState Contains state of the XMLHttpRequest. Read-only.
0: Un initialized
1: server connection established - Loading
2: request received - Loaded
3: processing request - Interactive
4: request finished and response is ready - Complete
status Contains the HTTP status code returned by a request. Read-only.
200 OK
201 Created
204 No Content
205 Reset Content
206 Partial Content
400 Bad Request
401 Unauthorized
403 Forbidden
404 Not Found
405 Method Not Allowed
406 Not Acceptable
407 Proxy Authentication Required
408 Request Timeout
411 Length Required
413 Requested Entity Too Large
414 Requested URL Too Long
415 Unsupported Media Type
500 Internal Server Error
501 Not Implemented
502 Bad Gateway
503 Service Unavailable
504 Gateway Timeout
505 HTTP Version Not Supported
statusText Contains the HTTP response status text. Read-only.
"OK" - 200
"Page not found" - 404

Method Description
setRequestHeader(headerName, headerValue) Sets the name and value of an HTTP header.
abort Stops the HTTP request and resets its readyState back to zero.
getAllResponseHeaders Returns all the HTTP headers.
getResponseHeader(headerName) Returns the value of an HTTP header.
open(method, url, asynchronous flag, username, password) Opens a request to the server.
send(string) Sends an HTTP request to the server.

The XMLHttpRequest Object
It is used to communicate with the server.
xmlhttprequest = new XMLHttpRequest(); //Latest brower
xmlhttprequest = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP"); //Old IE uses an ActiveX object

var xmlhttprequest = null;
if (window.XMLHttpRequest)
{
  // latest browser - IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
  xmlhttprequest = new XMLHttpRequest();
}
else
{
  // old browser - IE6, IE5
  xmlhttprequest = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
}

To send a request to a Server, use the open() and send() methods.

open(method, URL/FILE [,async] [,username][,password])
Items in [] are optional.
method - used to open the connections, the type of request: GET, POST or HEAD.
URL/FILE - requested url(like asp,php,jsp or servlet) or file(like txt, xml) on the server.
async - a boolean value, true (asynchronous) or false (synchronous), default is true.
username - username of your account.
password - password of your account.

send(string) - string is used for only POST requests.
xmlhttp.open("GET","listmember.php",true);
xmlhttp.send();

//To avoid to get a cached result, add a unique ID to the URL.
xmlhttp.open("GET","listmember.php?rand=" + Math.random(),true);
xmlhttp.send();

//Pass querystring to the URL
xmlhttp.open("GET","listmember.php?fname=Kader",true);
xmlhttp.send();

GET method Requests
It is simpler and faster than POST, and can be used in most cases.
POST method requests POST method is more robust and secure than GET method.
POST method has no size limitations.
Sending user input.
Sending a large amount of data to the server.
A cached file is not an option (update a file or database on the server).

POST Requests
xmlhttp.open("POST","listmember.jsp",true);
xmlhttp.send();

xmlhttp.open("POST","listmember.jsp",true);
xmlhttp.setRequestHeader("Content-type","application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
xmlhttp.send("mid=1&mlname=Kader");

asynchronousFlag is true
The function to execute when the response is ready in the onreadystatechange event
xmlhttp.onreadystatechange=function()
{
  if (xmlhttp.readyState==4 && xmlhttp.status==200)
  {
    document.getElementById("divEmpList").innerHTML=xmlhttp.responseText;
  }
}
xmlhttp.open("GET","listmember.jsp",true);
xmlhttp.send();

asynchronousFlag is false
The function will not continue to execute, until the server response is ready.
If the server is busy or slow, the application will hang or stop.
When you use asynchronousFlag is false, do not write an onreadystatechange function, just put the code after the send() statement.

xmlhttp.open("GET","ajax_info.txt",false);
xmlhttp.send();
document.getElementById("myDiv").innerHTML=xmlhttp.responseText;

A Callback(Anonymous) function is a function passed as a parameter to another function. Anonymous function without any name.
function CallbackFunction()
{
  loadXMLDoc("listmember.aspx",function()
  {
    if (xmlhttp.readyState==4 && xmlhttp.status==200)
    {
      document.getElementById("divEmpList").innerHTML=xmlhttp.responseText;
    }
  });
}

function GetXmlHttpObject()
{
  var objXMLHttp=null
  if (window.XMLHttpRequest)objXMLHttp=new XMLHttpRequest()
  else if (window.ActiveXObject) objXMLHttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP")
  return objXMLHttp
}

function customerCoinList(oby,pag)
{
  xmlAddCoin=GetXmlHttpObject()
  if (xmlAddCoin==null)
  {
    alert ("Browser does not support HTTP Request")
    return;
  }
  var url = "ajCoinsList.jsp?pag=" + pag + "&oby=" + oby + "&sid="+Math.random();
  xmlAddCoin.onreadystatechange=getCustomerAddCoin;
  xmlAddCoin.open("GET",url,true)
  xmlAdmAddCoin.send("");
}

function getCustomerAddCoin()
{
  if (xmlAddCoin.readyState==4 || xmlAddCoin.readyState=="complete")
  {
    document.getElementById('spanAddCoin').innerHTML = xmlAddCoin.responseText;
  }
}

Array of XMLHttpRequest Objects
var xmlhttprequest = new Array();
var index = 0;
if (window.XMLHttpRequest)
{
  xmlhttprequest.push( new XMLHttpRequest());
}
else
{
  xmlhttprequest.push( new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP"));
}

index = xmlhttprequest.length - 1;
if(xmlhttprequest[index])
{
  xmlhttprequest [index].open("GET", dataSource);
  xmlhttprequest[index].onreadystatechange = function()
  {
    if (xmlhttprequest[index].readyState == 4 && xmlhttprequest[index].status == 200)
    {
      obj.innerHTML = xmlhttprequest[index].responseText;
    }
  }
xmlhttprequest[index].send(null);

Send XML value to the XMLHttpRequest Objects
function AddCoinUpdate(oid, view, table)
{
  var xml = "test1;
  xmlHttpOrders=GetXmlHttpObject()
  if (xmlHttpOrders==null)
  {
    alert ("Browser does not support HTTP Request")
    return
  }
  var url = "ajStoreCoinUpdate.jsp";
  xmlHttpOrders.open("POST",url,true)
  xmlHttpOrders.onreadystatechange= function getUpdate()
  {
    if (xmlHttpOrders.readyState==4 || xmlHttpOrders.readyState=="complete")
    {
      document.location.href=window.location.href;
    }
  };
  xmlHttpOrders.setRequestHeader("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
  xmlHttpOrders.send(xml);
}
Passing variables into stateChanged
function AddCoinUpdate(oid, view, table)
{
  var xml = "test1;
  xmlHttpOrders=GetXmlHttpObject()
  if (xmlHttpOrders==null)
  {
    alert ("Browser does not support HTTP Request")
    return
  }
  var url = "ajStoreCoinUpdate.jsp";
  xmlHttpOrders.open("POST",url,true)
  xmlHttpOrders.onreadystatechange= function () {
   getUpdate(oid);
  };
  xmlHttpOrders.setRequestHeader("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
  xmlHttpOrders.send(xml);
}
function getUpdate(oidval)
  {
    if (xmlHttpOrders.readyState==4 || xmlHttpOrders.readyState=="complete")
    {
      document.location.href=window.location.href;
    }
  };

AJAX, Send/Receive XML Request/Response using JAVA - Part 2

8 comments:

Syed Asim Mahmood Bukhari said...

waoooooo that's great thanks

Marie Pierre Salem said...

@Mohideen. thx fortheblog, any interesting more blogs on Ajax ?

Daynight said...

Thanks marie, Just return from vacation.yes, sure i will write more blog for ajax.
Thanks syed.

Bobby Cottle said...

Nice description. For the table where you list the properties, it would be helpful to put a caption explaining that you are describing the Ajax request object.

dsbeam said...

I liked this entry. It is mainly a re-iteration of the W3C working draft, but their literature is not always the easiest to understand. I don't often see blogs with this kind of depth, so thanks for the time and effort!

JavaScript Examples said...

that's all cool & great ajax tutorial, thank you very much for sharing.

Can you give me favor to share this post on my JavaScript codes dowload?


Awaiting your response. Thank

eric bianchetti said...

Nice article, for beginners in Ajax.

Old hands will notice some oddities, such the list for readyState(); that is infact un complete because that is not consisten amongst various browsers , not amongst various release of the same browser. And so can be said about the last snipet.

I would have love to see some warnings, such : do not try to change a DOM structure before the initial have finish to be render by the browser (an early AJAX with an heavy page may have problem, so newbies should be warned)

Anonymous said...

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