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Get acquainted with Jaxer, the first true Asynchronous JavaScript + XML (Ajax) server. Jaxer makes it possible to execute JavaScript code, Document Object Model (DOM), and HTML on the server side as well as giving you the ability to access server-side functions asynchronously from the client side. This article describes the features of Jaxer and shows the great potential that Jaxer has to offer, even in its infancy.

Traditionally, to provide richer client features to Web-based clients, you had to create Web-based applications that are comprised of a homogeneous system from various technologies, which may include:

* Server-side Web or application server, such as Apache HTTP Server, Microsoft® Internet Information Services (IIS), Sun Java™ Web Server, IBM® WebSphere®, or BEA WebLogic
* Server-side scripting or processing language, such as Java, PHP, JavaServer Pages™ (JSP), or Active Server Pages (ASP)
* Client-side scripting and formatting, such as HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), JavaScript, or DOM
* HTTP communication protocol or application program interface (API), such as XMLHttpRequests or JavaScript Serialized Object Notation (JSON)

Now, however, you can use Jaxer, a new Ajax server that not only integrates all of these technologies into one deployable server, but also provides server-side scripting and processing using some of the same client-based technologies (such as JavaScript code, DOM, and more). Jaxer is free open-source code that you can use as is, or extend further using its JavaScript framework.

Imagine being able to use JavaScript code directly in your HTML pages and simply stating that the code should execute on the server side before returning the HTML on the client side. This would allow further communication with the server directly from the client without refreshing the page. Furthermore, the resulting HTML could be based on JavaScript code executed on the server side. This would lessen the number of technologies and amount of code you have to write, providing a better overall experience for both the developer and the user.

For the user, you can now provide Ajax-based functions that are closer to a rich native application. Jaxer makes it possible because it is actually the first true Ajax server. You don't need to determine what browser your Ajax code is running in. You also don't have to write protocol code to perform the server communication. By calling simple Jaxer APIs, you provide robust Web applications with minimal fuss. Even more importantly, you no longer have to expose all of your code using embedded JavaScript. You can actually use Jaxer to unify client code with server code, hiding strategic code securely behind your firewall while allowing it to still be accessible from your client.

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