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Polaris demos Ajax for OPAC

Smart Libraries Newsletter [March 2006]


Continuing with the OPAC-improvement theme, Polaris Library Systems is one of the first ILS vendors to demonstrate an online catalog based on the trendy AJAX technology.

Recently, AJAX (which stands for “Asynchronous Javascript And XML”) has been adopted by many Web interfaces as a way to provide users with features beyond what's possible with standard HTML as well as to enable faster response to users' queries.

One of the key features of AJAX involves the ability to make requests to the server for “data snippets,” a way for users to get updated information without them having to refresh the entire page. A typical AJAX environment consists of the usual HTML and CSS Cascading Style Sheets) for the basic page layout and presentation, plus the use of a client-side scripting language such as JavaScript. Scripts can issue “XMLHttpRequest” directives to make requests to the server for data snippets as needed by the applications, which the server sends as XML files. The script then parses and displays the data on the existing page, without the need to request the server redisplay the entire page.

As with most technologies, AJAX also has its downside. AJAX requires a Web browser of fairly recent vintage. If users turn off Javascript in their browsers—and many do—the developer must provide a non-AJAX alternative. AJAX also tends to confuse the “back” button, which many users utilize frequently in any Web-browser application.

View Citation
Publication Year:2006
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Smart Libraries Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 26 Number 03
Issue:March 2006
Publisher:ALA TechSource
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Company: Polaris Library Systems
Products: Polaris
Subject: Product announcements
Record Number:11857
Last Update:2022-12-05 16:26:50
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00