Pre-AJAX AJAX Applications

OK, so this title does not make a lot of sense … I’ll explain:
There’s a lot of hype around AJAX ( Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which, in laymen’s terms is a set of technologies that allow web applications to have the look’n feel (and speed!) of desktop applications.

Traditional “web behavior” has been one of the main reasons for user reluctance against hosted Enterprise Applications, and innovative companies have come up with AJAX-style solutions for quite a while. Norway-based 24SevenOffice, a provider of hosted, modular All-In-One applications (ERP, CRM, email, calendar ..etc) has had an AJAX-like UI for a year and a half or so. Of course the term AJAX did not exist, so they had to explain at length the benefits of a faster, friendlier, easier-to-use Web Application.

It took a brand like Google, and the gliding-sliding oh-so-beautiful and fast Google Maps for AJAX to become a “household” name and one of the hot IT trends this year. Now longer do we need the long explanation, AJAX is chic du jour, all new web apps have it, and the major hosted Enterprise App’s also go the AJAX way: see NetSuite’s announcement. They claim to be first major business application with broad support of AJAX, but as stated above, they are a little late to the party… Late or not, it’s nice to see mainstream adoption and friendlier Web-apps finally.

For more technical info, as well as a good compilation of reference material, check out Rasmus’ 30 second tutorial. (via Jeff Nolan).