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Google is the biggest known supporter of AJAX and has invested millions of dollars to advance it. Major Google products, such as Orkut, Gmail, Google Suggest, and Google Maps are AJAX applications. Amazon has also launched it’s own search engine, A9, on AJAX.
Ajax is not a single technology. It is a group of technologies. Jesse James Garrett, the one who coined the term, AJAX, lists the various technologies incorporated in AJAX:
- HTML (or XHTML) and CSS for presentation
- The Document Object Model (DOM) for dynamic display of and interaction with data
- XML for the interchange of data, and XSLT for its manipulation
- The XMLHttpRequest object for asynchronous communication
jQuery also makes HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax much simpler with an easy-to-use API that works across a multitude of browsers.
Some difference between Ajax and jQuery:
- AJAX cannot be used with HTML, as HTML does not allow the page to reload part of the page once the page has already loaded. jQuery however does not have any such restrictions. It can effectively interact with HTML.
- In addition to being a combination of technologies, Ajax provides new functionalities by combining the said technologies. jQuery cannot provide a new functionality by combining with other technologies.
- Ajax should be accessed in a proper procedure to retrieve data from the server. jQuery can be accessed through front-end.
- jQuery handles front end tasks while AJAX handles backend (server calls).
- jQuery does not require understanding of the complete procedure to setup a page.
- Heavy usage of Ajax may lead to overloading of the server due to the number of connections created. jQuery does not face such a problem.
- AJAX and jQuery are often used together.
- In order to use AJAX, one would need a client side scripting language that allows one to detect the actions of the user and modify elements on the page accordingly. jQuery does that.