Rick is wondering about where to put Ajax technology in something like the West-Wind store.
I’ve been reading a lot of the Michael Mahemoff‘s posts about Ajax as well as I become more and more familiar with Ajax.
Certainly, it makes certain things easier to work with but it is just an approach that reduces screen redraws and server trips.
That said, where could it be used in an e-commerce approach?
1. Searching for products in a large inventory. As it finds new items, they get added to the list of what’s available.
2. Recommended items based on what a user has chosen.
3. Reducing the way “pages” are handled in a web -based application. Instead of having to go back to the server for each page, it could “flip” automatically.
Sure, these are things that can be done today with a traditional approach but they all require server round-trips. You order an item and then once it’s been processed, it makes some suggestions. When I am just looking at a product, it would be cool if it could make recommendations without requiring an obvious trip back to the server.
Take a read through Rick’s post, though – as he makes some valuable points about the impact Ajax may have on scalability.
In the end, I think the AJAX approach will be just that – an approach to making web applications work better. It changes the expectation that users have about web applications – web apps don’t have to be slow and cumbersome – they can be instant and fast just like their desktop counterparts.
(Of course, if developers just made their desktop apps slower, then we wouldn’t have this problem would we?)