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Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX by Matt Gibbs, Dan Wahlin, Bill Evjen, Dave Reed

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1.3. Who Benefits from AJAX?

AJAX offers benefits to both end users and developers. For end users, it reduces the "rich or reach" conflict; for developers, it helps in overcoming the constraints raised by HTTP such as the dreaded page postback.

1.3.1. Why End Users Want AJAX Applications

Users tend to view desktop applications as a commitment. They install a program, usually from a disk pulled from a costly shrink-wrapped box. The program consumes hard disk space as well as a position in the program menu. The user may need to update the program periodically or perform an upgrade later on to get new features. If the program is proactive about updating itself, the user is confronted regularly with dialogs about accepting patches or downloads. In exchange for this investment of time, money, and energy, the user is repaid with an application that is able to leverage the operating system and machine resources. It is a rich application. It has local storage capabilities, offers quick response times, and can present a compelling and intuitive graphical user interface.

More and more applications are becoming accessible from the Web browser, where the full resources of the hardware and OS are not available, but the user commitment of a desktop application is not required. Over the years, interacting with a Web application has meant a predictable pattern for users. They click a link in the page, and the browser flashes while the user waits until the page is repainted (the dreaded page ...

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