Chapter 6. Working with AJAX Data

In This Chapter

  • Understanding the advantages of server-side programming

  • Getting to know PHP

  • Writing a form for standard PHP processing

  • Building virtual forms with AJAX

  • Submitting interactive AJAX requests

  • Working with XML data

  • Responding to JSON data

AJAX and jQuery are incredibly useful, but perhaps the most important use of AJAX is to serve as a conduit between the Web page and programs written on the server. In this chapter, you get an overview of how programming works on the Web server and how AJAX changes the relationship between client-side and server-side programming. You read about the main forms of data sent from the server, and you see how to interpret this data with jQuery and JavaScript.

Sending Requests AJAX Style

AJAX work in other parts of this book involves importing a preformatted HTML file. That's a great use of AJAX, but the really exciting aspect of AJAX is how it tightens the relationship between the client and server. Figure 6-1 shows a page called AJAXtest.html, which uses a JavaScript function to call a PHP program and incorporates the results into the same page.

This page gets data from PHP with no form!

Figure 6.1. This page gets data from PHP with no form!

Sending the data

The AJAX version of this program is interesting because it has no form. Normally an HTML page that makes a request of a PHP document has a form, and the form requests the PHP page. This page has no form, but ...

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