Most of this book will be about the client side, as people think of Ajax as something that works specifically in the browser. Ajax definitely needs server support to work, though. So far, we’ve looked at the standards and technology that form the backbone of an Ajax web application, and how these applications moved away from the traditional web site model. Now, it’s time to turn our attention to the server side of things.
Servers still hand out all of the requested data to the client, so we cannot always focus on the client side. It is important to understand the different web servers, server-side scripting languages, and databases that are available to developers. How will you know which of these to choose? Well, the old saying “there is a place for everything, and everything has its place” has real merit here.
I cannot tell you which web server is better, or what language you should use, or which database is the best. Those are choices each developer must make. To make that process a little easier, I will provide information on all of these choices and how they relate to Ajax web applications, with the hope that you will be able to back up with hard facts whatever choice you make.