Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Will Ajax Services Become the Norm?

Category: Editorial

As Ajax usage grows more and more, the older concept of web services seems to be fading back a bit, but is it fading away for good? Andy McKay doesn’t think so – he still sees a place in the world of the web for these valuable remote resources, just maybe not in their current forms.

A while back I posted on the end of web services. In this post I was proposing that Web Services as traditionally represented are dead and a new batch of Ajax based web services will arise.

The thing is most people don’t actually do “Web services”. Most of the time it’s used to improve the UI experience locally for users and the idea of consuming remote data doesn’t happen. This is because of a technical problem. A client can’t make a request to a remote server in Ajax.

His suggestion is that the Web 2.0 that everyone’s striving for isn’t looking for something as heavy as the traditional web service. They want to use something new, lighter, and simpler to fit their needs – making widgets for their pages a breeze. They want what Andy calls “Ajax services” – things like a pure Ajax feed reader, displaying a weather graphic, or even things like the Plone spell checker from ClearWind. These Ajax services are poised to bring new life into the more traditional concepts of web services, making them even more flexible than before.

Personally, I see both types of services having their place – those places just might not be the same. More often than not, accessing a traditional web service is a bit more resource-intensive task than something needed to add more “fluff” to a page. Yes, I realize that there are very powerful web services out there that respond nice and quick, but, on the whole, they are best served as data pulled in when the page loads (in the PHP script before the page is rendered, for example).

Web-based applications are a bit of an exception, though, since they are written specifically to make these requests back to themselves and have bit more control over the server end than external web service requests would have.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 10:33 am

3.6 rating from 12 votes


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[…] Damn those concepts! The big deal with Web services is that they work towards a loosely coupled architecture, and as we know, loosely coupled architecture scale very well. Performance and complexity. Too bad people don’t need that. As Andy McKay says, we want something simple and useful: “In this post I was proposing that Web Services as traditionally represented are dead and a new batch of Ajax based web services will arise.” Architecture concepts are great, but here’s another reminder that simple is better. (Via Ajaxian). […]

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Trackback by sjszzbmg — September 9, 2006

I have created a client side Ajax service using prototype.js feel free to check it out

Comment by Matt Foster — July 12, 2007

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