Windows Mobile and Ajax. Oh yes.

Every time I hear of "Ajax", I think of a kitchen cleaning product. Or at least, I did until a few months ago. Then I starting thinking "Asynchronous JavaScript And XML". And then I started thinking "I wonder if I can do this stuff on my Pocket PC?".


Well, let's start at the beginning. Ajax is the name given to a technique for delivering new content to web pages without having to refresh the entire page. By using some JavaScript code, some knowledge of IE's (and IE Mobile's) document object model, and of course a little XML when necessary, you can do some really neat stuff: essentially making your web pages more application-like. For example, even simple things like filling in forms can be a lot nicer when you use Ajax to help with prompts, or other real-time updates.


Now the very interesting thing about Ajax is that it actually makes a huge amount of sense of on a Pocket PC, where firstly, the user could also use a helping hand when filling in data with smaller screens and little keyboards, and secondly, over typical wireless connection speeds, everyone could benefit from sending smaller lumps of data to update a page, rather than generating an entirely new page and sending that.


In fact, the more I look into it, the more I think that Ajax is a wonderful new way of creating mobile applications for Pocket PCs and Smartphones. Ajax and mobile devices? It's a marriage made in tech heaven.


So, for MEDC, I started working with Randy the Ajax-guru here, and we pulled together some information and links, and put them on the Windows Mobile Developer Wiki. Also, in the UA team, Steve the IE Mobile writer, made a huge push to get the documentation object model completely written-up, and that makes a huge difference.


I hope you take a few moments to read about how Ajax is a pretty cool way of thinking of applications, and how it really is something worth exploring on a mobile device.


Here's the link.