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Better World Books betterworldbooks Search within store. Originally posted by Valentin Crettaz Great, thanks a lot. I was going to order it tomorrow first thing Email on its way. Jeanne Boyarsky. I like To ensure the quickest response, please provide the following: Your name first and last - preferably the one you use on Javaranch Address Phone Number Also, please include the following as the subject of your Email.

Thanks and congrats to all the winners. Valentin Crettaz. Congratulations to the winners and thanks to the authors for spending their time with us. Well then, it seems to be me Great, thanks a lot. Dynamic Styles. Event Flow. Event Binding. Cross-Browser Events. The Event Object. Client-Server Messaging. Dealing with Data. Impact on the Server. HTML Standards. Document Type Denitions. Box Models. Browser Tricks.

AJAX Model. AJAX View. AJAX Controller. Aspect Oriented JavaScript Summary. Declarative Components. Alternative Approaches. Custom Declarative Component. Behavior Component. Declarative Component. The Declaration. Building the Component. Basic Functionality. Connecting to the Server. Closing the Loop. Chapter 5 Design to Deployment. Verifying Design Decisions. Test-Driven Development. JavaScript Compression. Image Merging. Protecting Intellectual Property. Server Push. Tracking Requests. Caching: Approaching Data. Basic Caching. Caching in the Component. Caching in the Browser.

Caching on the Server.

Caching in the Database. Updating the Server Model: Concurrency. Pessimistic Locking. Read-Only Locking. Optimistic Locking. Conict Identication. Conict Resolution. Automated Conict Resolution. Load Balancing and Clustering. Ofine AJAX. Firefox Ofine Storage. Chapter 7 Web Services and Security. Web Service Protocols. Web Services. Choosing the Right Tool. SOAP on the Client.

Internet Explorer. Cross Domain Web Services. Server Proxy. URL Fragment Identiers. Script Injection. Cross-Domain Vulnerabilities. Cross-Site Scripting. Cross-Site Request Forgery. JavaScript Hijacking. SQL Injection. Prepared Statements. Stored Procedures. XPath Injection. Data Encryption and Privacy. The Back Button and Bookmarking. Page Weight. Screen Readers and Accessibility. What Not to Do for Screen Readers.

Keyboard Accessibility. Usability Testing. Quick-and-Dirty Testing. Recruiting Participants. Designing and Running Tests. Software-Assisted Testing. Tools for Testing Usability. The Back Button. Chapter 9 User Interface Patterns.

Animation Patterns. Interactivity Patterns. Basic Interactivity Patterns. Drag-and-Drop Resources. Progress Bar Resources. In-Place Editing Resources. Drill-Down Resources. Live-Searching Resources. Live-Forms Resources. Chapter 10 Risk and Best Practices. Technical Risks.

Marketing Risks. Browser Capabilities. End Users Expectations. Search Engine Accessibility. Risk Assessment and Best Practices. Visual Cues and Affordances. Avoid Gold Plating. Plan for Maintenance. Adopt a Revenue Model the Works. Include Training as Part of the Application.

Search Engine Optimization. Screen Capture Tools. Chapter 11 Case Studies. Department of Defense Re-Arms with Web 2. The Challenge. The Solution. Technologies Used. The Outcome. You may have even done some preliminary research online, checked out Ajaxian. If not, then youre like an even larger group of talented people who just want to break into AJAX and want to get started. In one respect or another, weve all been there. The good news is that as a community of developers, were nally starting to gure this thing out.

In the end, its not that hard. We decided to write this book because we were frustrated that there was little information available for the more advanced topics in AJAX development. This was mainly because people in the industry were still writing the book on some of these topics, and despite a couple of years in mainstream use, AJAX was just creeping into the enterprise software stack.

We wanted to create a resource of information that would be of interest to enterprise developers in this space. To that end, we have tried to bring together current development approaches with JavaScript and the other technologies that comprise AJAX and present it in a way that would be familiar and amenable to any enterprise developer. Most of this content has been derived from our years of rst-hand experience in building AJAX applications and user-interface components at Nitobi www.

We feel that this represents an excellent crosssection of the knowledge we acquired during this time and should serve as a useful resource for developers hoping to include AJAX in their development projects. If you are interested in becoming more skilled in the areas of JavaScript development, troubleshooting Ajax quirks and performance problems, and in designing usable software from the ground up, this book should serve as an excellent resource. Weve given a considerable amount of time to discussing how to write JavaScript code in a way that should be familiar to Java or C developers to get you up and running quickly.

In doing so, we describe AJAX development with familiar software design patterns at the forefront of our minds and include information on some of the hottest topics in AJAX development, such as security and ofine storage. We also present real solutions to building high-performance AJAX applications, not only through code optimization, but also through taking advantage of Internet infrastructure mainstays, such as caching. This book takes a slightly different approach than other AJAX books in that we try to present a well-rounded discussionone that includes of course a lot of advice about programming and a fair amount of discussion on issues such as application usability, accessibility, and internationalization.

It also includes a framework for assessing risk in an AJAX development project, and it spotlights some developers who use AJAX in real enterprise applications to see what can be learned from their experiences. Readers would benet from a basic understanding of software design patterns, or at least an interest in learning more about them because they are applied throughout the book. We hope that delivering AJAX in a familiar way using patterns can help the more experienced developer understand the concepts and ideas more easily.

Furthermore, we expect that you are experienced with serverside programming in an object-oriented language such as Java, C , or PHP. After reading this book, developers should be familiar with the constituent parts that make up the AJAX technology stack and be familiar with. Similarly, you will have a good knowledge of the tools available to aid in developing AJAX applications and a good knowledge of various AJAX issues, such as security, usability, and accessibility.

We also discuss the evolution of the web application and some of the reasons that AJAX is becoming the preferred solution for web-based applications. This includes critical information about the right way to program JavaScript, and we pay special attention to object-oriented JavaScript development, the Document Object Model, cascading stylesheets, events, and XMLHttpRequest object, as well as other issues relating to transferring data from the client to the server. In particular, you see how to write a client-side Model in JavaScript, how to generate HTML views from data, and how to connect the Model and View using a JavaScript-based Controller that relies on a publish-subscribe event system.

In particular, we examine the differences between an imperative and declarative approach, and we look at some of the caveats of a declarative approach while presenting a complete example of building an AJAX-based data-grid component. At this point in the book, we look at some of the overarching goals and problems with AJAX development. Chapter 5, Design to Deployment, specically looks at issues throughout the software development lifecycle that are unique to AJAX, from application design to testing to deployment. You should leave this chapter with a good idea of various AJAX performance problems as well as many of the tools that are useful from the start to end of any AJAX development project.

This includes investigating asynchronous messaging patterns and approaches to server communication such as server push, caching, scaling, and ofine AJAX. Although many of these are common to any web-based application, we approach these issues with a unique AJAX perspective.

Chapter 8, AJAX Usability, starts the nal section of the book by exploring some pertinent topics in usability, specically where they apply to building AJAX applications for everyday users. Of interest in Chapter 8 are complete solutions to common problems such as the Back-button problem and approaches to addressing accessibility and internationalization.

Chapter 9, User Interface Patterns, is a hands-on exploration of some powerful AJAX user-interface patterns including in-place editing, master-detail, live forms, and drag and drop. These are some of the core user-interface design patterns that developers should be aware of when building almost any AJAX application. This is likely the least explored topic in AJAX books but is equally important to the technology itself when considering building a new application. We speak to the developers and hear what they did right or wrong and what they would do differently next time.

All in all, we hope this gives you a new perspective on AJAX development, and most of all, that you come away with some new skills to bring to your development projects. We apologize in advance for any inaccuracies. In addition, you will nd all the source code from this book on the website for convenient download. All the source code is available under a GPL license.

Were also eager to get feedback on the book, code samples, and so-on for the next edition. Please direct this feedback to enterpriseajax nitobi. We would like to thank our publisher Prentice Hall, and especially Mark Taub who kept the whole thing on the rails. Wed also like to thank our supportive team at Nitobi who picked up the slack when we were off writing chapters and who contributed technical and editorial know-how: James Douma, Jake Devine, Joel Gerard, Mike Han, and Brian Leroux.

Dave Johnson: Of course, I would like to thank Alexei and Andre for their help on getting this project complete as well as a few other people who help us behind the scenes, such as Jordan Frank. Kristin, of course, has been monumental in keeping me sane, and I have been sure to always trust the words of Jack.

Alexei White: In addition to the people already mentioned, Id really like to thank my co-authors, Dave and Andre, and the many other contributors to this project who all lent their expertise in one way or another. I also want to thank Lara for encouraging me to sit down and work when all I wanted to do was play Frisbee. Andre Charland: Id rst like to thank Dave Johnson and Alexei, my coauthors, for allowing me to help with the book. Its been an honor and very rewarding. Id like to thank my Mom and Dad and Jonny for pushing me through when I wanted to quit. Dave spends most of his time on architecting and building high performance AJAX components for use in web-based applications.

A core focus of Nitobi is building AJAX components and user interfaces that deliver real value to customers through increased productivity and higher efciency. Dave has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of British Columbia and is completing his Ph. Alexei White Alexei is a developer, designer, and user-experience advocate. As product manager for component tools at Nitobi and a long-time developer of AJAX components and applications, he tries to nd ways to build web applications that are faster, cheaper, and that users love.

He is the primary architect of RobotReplay www. At Nitobi, he has been involved in the design and development of many mission-critical and largescale web applications with an emphasis on rich, AJAX-driven interfaces. Alexei has a bachelors degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia, and he lives in Vancouver. Andre Charland Andre Charland co-founded Nitobi in after working for several other Internet startups. As president and CEO, he is directly involved in software development and has successfully executed more than development projects.

He was also an early proponent of the building blocks of AJAX. Andre has spoken widely on AJAX, blogging, and web usability. Although useful, these applications are, for the most part, built largely depending on traditional web-application stalwarts of HTML forms and whatever preferred serverside programming to do the heavy lifting. In these traditional web applications, the user interface UI is commonly rigid and noninteractive with any data entered by the user requiring a complete web page refresh to have that data submitted to the server.

The combination of an unfamiliar HTML forms-based UI with the lengthy delay associated with refreshing the entire web pagedata, style, structure, and allcan result in a thoroughly tedious experience for the end user. Its spawning a new breed of web applications that can expand the possibilities of what users can accomplish inside a web browser. AJAX is not only improving upon stale and archaic web architectures, but it also enables web-based applications to rival or surpass the importance of desktop applications in terms of usability and user experience.

AJAX even allows powerful new application workflows and visualizations that currently have no desktop software-based equivalentnot necessarily because of a technological shortfall on the part of desktop developers but certainly because AJAX has put Rich Internet Applications RIA within reach of most web developers. From that perspective, AJAX has already changed and will continue to change the way users view traditional web and desktop applications alike. Although AJAX recently garnered widespread acclaim from its use in the popular Google web applications such as GMail and Google Maps, it has actually been around, along with the constituent technologies that.

Most of the technologies and techniques associated with AJAX are well understood. Although AJAX is particularly en vogue in public web application development, it is also starting to make headway in the enterprise setting. This book introduces AJAX to developers who are accustomed to working with traditional web applications in the enterprise, be it anything from CRM to e-commerce application development. We present AJAX techniques giving a firm grounding in the technical details that can enable you to build advanced AJAX applications that improve application usability and, therefore, impact the business bottom line.

The question begs to be asked, however, What place does a rich-client technology like AJAX have in the enterprise? You can think of the benefits in at least three ways:. AJAX can improve and empower the user experience for end users, making them more effective and satisfied. AJAX can reduce the demands on network and server infrastructure, saving money by reducing maintenance and even bandwidth, and improve quality of service for all users.

AJAX can create the possibility for new kinds of functionality not possible or practical in a traditional application model, giving users new tools to achieve their goals. To understand why all this can be true, you need to appreciate how incredibly limiting the traditional web application model is and how AJAX makes more from the sum of its parts. Theres no question that the enterprise AJAX marketing machine is in top gear. Enterprise vendors are supporting AJAX in many forms. Microsoft released ASP. Underneath it all, however, is a genuine and compelling need to improve the way enterprise web applications are designed.

The main drawback at that time was that it was not possible to use XHR in any other browser, and there was strong reluctance in the community to locking into yet another Microsoft tool or platform. This is evidenced by the slow adoption of XHR in mainstream development until recently.

With the eventual introduction of XHR remote scripting in Firefox and Safari, it became possible to construct rich asynchronous communication in a cross-browser fashion. Implicitly, this meant that XHR could be deployed to wide and diverse audiences without much risk. Unlike many other rich client techniques or technologies, discussed in a later section, AJAX is based on open standards supported by different browsers and operating systemsvirtually eliminating the fear of vendor lock-in and increasing the opportunities for portability.

Everything in a traditional application revolves around the web page being a static view into an application that is based entirely on a web server. The only possible user interaction is to enter data into a web form or click a linkboth of which result in the entire page being refreshed whether it was to update an entire customer record in a CRM application or to change the application state between viewing a customer record to editing it.

In some respects, the traditional web application leaves much to be desiredsuch as when entering large amounts of data. At the same time, there are many situations in which the traditional web application excels; applications such as search engines or document repositories have long been useful and successful examples of traditional web applications. Furthermore, the strengths of the traditional web, for example, the HTTP protocol and resource caching, are strengths that are also used by AJAXbased applications. Unlike popular AJAX mapping or email applications, most enterprise web applications are built around data entry, data editing, or data reporting.

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The most common data entry applications consist of a list of data such as customer records or sales information in a CRM application where items can be added to the list, deleted, or edited. Lets look at how the user interaction might play out in a traditional and an AJAX-based web application when a hotshot salesman is asked to use the new, but painfully slow, online CRM tool to track his meetings, contacts, and progress in the sales process. Sore Points of Traditional Web Applications As the salesman logs in to the application, hes confronted with a web page containing a list of ten potential customer records.

The salesman now wants to update a record with some new information.

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The first task is to locate the record. If its not in the first ten items, he will have to search, which involves navigating through the data in the list by paging to the next ten items and waiting for a page to refresh. When he locates the record, he clicks the Edit button. Clicking the Edit button sends a request to the server; then, a new page is sent up to the web browser with a number of form fields on a page. Most of the form fields are text fields; some provide check boxes, drop down lists, or simple data validation like checking to ensure a local telephone number has seven digits.

After the data is edited, the user clicks the Save button at the bottom of the page, which sends the data to the server so that it can validate the data and commit it to the database.

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Another page is sent back to the browser to confirm the save. If an error occurs in the data, the user gets a visual cue on the form page that needs to be sent back to the browser, makes the appropriate edit, and clicks the Submit button again. A fairly slow and tedious process if you have to do this same operation many times a day. Rather than having a separate form for editing data, the data listing web page can be updated to an editing page where each data record can be edited at once. After all the changes are made, they can be submitted to the server to be saved.

In the name of usability, this is the type of UI that many traditional web applications might use rather than the single record editing scenario previously described. When the user decides to save the. This means that all the data must be sent to the server in one large batch, which can result in one of several possible outcomes:. Concurrency or validation issues force all the data to be redisplayed in a busy and hard-to-understand format prompting the user to fix multiple problems with the data at once. Momentary network or server errors can cause the data to be corrupted or lost completely with little aid for the end user to resubmit the data.

User authentication fails and all the changes are lost. Whatever the outcome, it generally results in several, long page refreshes as the server persists the data to the database and redirects to a new web page causing a great deal of frustration and anguish for the end user. The interactions between the user and the application are illustrated in the sequence diagram in Figure 1.

Of particular note are the regions where the user sits idle waiting for the response from the server. This time is often spent playing Solitaire. Figure 1. HTML forms do make sense for certain types of data, especially for novice users or infrequent operations; however, for applications with lots of complex data that has to be navigated through quickly and edited onthe-fly, they are painful. If a user needs to copy data from a spreadsheet or email into the application, it means retyping everything or copy and pasting each individual piece of data.

Usability experts sometimes refer to this as swivel chair integration, and it doesnt take a usability expert to figure out that this is not an efficient way of working and is a tedious experience. AJAX Painkillers Unlike the traditional web forms approach to a high-volume data entry application, an effective application needs to be responsive and intuitive.

To that end, the impact on the users workflows should be minimal; for example, the users need to scroll through thousands of prospective customer records as though the data was accessed right from their local computer, as opposed to paging through ten records at a time.

They also need to continue entering data into the application while data is saved to the server. And the UI conventions and interactions of the application must be as close to desktop applications as possible, reducing time spent as the user switches their thought process from desktop to web. An ideal interface for rapid data entry needs to be something that resembles a spreadsheet but has each column bound to a particular field in a database table.

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If errors occur during the saving process due to concurrency issues in the database, this information would be dynamically displayed in the interface showing which data was in error as the errors occur. Similarly, after editing the data and pressing the Enter key, the focus would automatically move to the next record, which immediately could be edited by pressing any keyboard key, again as one expects from desktop spreadsheet applications, as shown in Figure 1.

You can see that by using AJAX, there is no time that the user is forced to sit idle while waiting for the server to respond. Instead, the user can continue to edit data before the response from the save operation returns to the browser. This is what enables the user to edit a customer record on in the web browser without any requests to the server until the data is ready to be saved. Even then, the web page is not refreshed because only the edited data is sent to the server behind the scenes, asynchronously, using AJAX functionality.

See Figure 1. Furthermore, server-side data validation can be used so the user can get real-time feedback on the availability of a username or email address in the database and, therefore, further reduce the number of page refreshes. It can be frustrating to spend time filling out a long HTML form only to lose your connection and then not being able to commit your actions or data entry back to the server or database.

With AJAX, you can constantly send data back to server asynchronously. This also allows you to keep the server side and client side data in sync at all times. Although you wouldnt want to unnecessarily commit changes to a data base on every keystroke, you can push data up to the server or even store it locally to protect the user from losing the data due to network outages or client system problems.

JavaScript itself has a history of being banned in some cases from use in corporate web development because of irregular support among browsers and security concerns. The modernization of JavaScript in Firefox and Internet Explorer finally gave developers a reliable platform on which to create rich applications, and the coining of the term AJAX gave a common vernacular.

In addition, A mere 9. In Figure 1. This demand is driven by organizations that feel pressure to modernize their approach to application development for sound economic reasons. These drivers include the need for greater usability, improved use of network infrastructure, and better data architectures. Drivers for AJAX Adoption Enterprises application development has no room for superfluous use of risky or unnecessary technology. Development is centered on helping employees do their jobs better and helping enterprises reduce costs, gain a competitive advantage, or simply to make money.

Any investment in a new technology must be justified along these guidelines. As developers, you need to be mindful of the drivers for adoption of AJAX in the enterprise if you are to be successful at developing enterprise-quality software. Usability Although its clear that AJAX is first and foremost a tool for user experience, we still havent explained why this is so important.

Does it actually matter if our software is nicer to use? How large or small is the user experience opportunity? Jakob Nielsen, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition Some of the benefits associated with good user interfaces are qualitative and difficult to measure precisely. This isnt to imply they are not of financial value, but many business benefits are hard to quantify, and seasoned IT managers know intuitively they can translate into significant bottom-line savings. When we look at streamlining a user interface, we can measure success by looking at factors like the following:.

Fewer errors mean cost savings down the road when these errors would have to be manually corrected. The benefits of offering users a similar or even a familiar user interface to what they use on the desktop means lower training costs, fewer errors, and greater out-of-the-gate productivity. Improved application responsivenessMore responsive applications can improve productivity not only by reducing wait, but also by promoting a more fluid, uninterrupted workflow.