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Ajax newbie question: Where do I start?

Posted on 2006-06-28
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Hello -

I am completely new to programming the browser based front-end though I've written many traditional GUI applications.
Being a server-side Java engineer, I'd like to learn - using a tutorial - how to write Ajax code for (say) BEA WebLogic application server. I looked at BEA's website and couldn't find a tutorial-like section that gives me a step-by-step introduction to Ajax coding with their app server. Hence I am looking for a website that could help me build a simple "Hello World" style form with Ajax that takes (say) the name of a person as a String from the user, passes it to the back-end that returns the reversed name back to the browser.

Any pointers on this will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Question by:baigmz
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bpmurray earned 65 total points
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You've actually hit the nail on the head: the problem  with AJAX is that there's no well-defined solution on the server side. While libraries like scriptaculous/protoype/dojo are great for the client-side, they don't help with the server.

To address server-side issues, you need to decide a number of things: are you going to use a traditional app server or a portal server? If the latter, then you've got a whole nother set of issues to address. Then you have to look at your server-side framework. If you use JSF, you have to interject your solution into the lifecycle; or perhaps you can resolve callbacks in a special server. Then you have to decide if you're going to send ready-formatted markup back to the client, or if you'll only send XML and massage that to generate your UI.

There are some good books around - AJAX in Action is one I like, but there are a bunch of them, although I have to admit, that Google is your best friend here!
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Check out http://www.zapatec.com; they have some real cool stuff about AJAX there.
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