Overview of AJAX and REST [Dev Concepts #12]

Learn all about AJAX and REST in this Dev Concepts lesson!

In this episode, we explain the gist of AJAX and REST, which are widely-used technologies in Web programming. We demonstrate how to use the JavaScript Fetch API to call back-end services and interact with server-side components.

The lesson also includes a live code demonstration of AJAX and REST, so that you get a deeper understanding of their application.

What exactly is AJAX?

AJAX stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML“.
This acronym doesn’t describe its nature well, but this is for historical reasons, from the time when XML was popular.
A better description of the AJAX technology is the following:
AJAX is a technology for asynchronous execution of HTTP requests from client-side JavaScript code. JavaScript front-end apps use AJAX calls to access the back-end services and APIs and consume data from the Web server over the HTTP protocol.
In most scenarios, the AJAX technology is used to consume RESTful APIs from the back-end server.
 
RESTful APIs are Web services, invoked through the HTTP protocol.
A “Web service” is remote functionality, that can be invoked over the Internet.
REST stands for “Representational State Transfer“. It is an architectural concept and industry standard about how to build Web services.
RESTful services typically implement the CRUD operations (create, read, update, delete) over а certain data collection.
The HTTP methods GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE are used to retrieve, create, replace, modify and delete data.

Lesson Topics

In this video we review the following topics:

  • AJAX and RESTful APIs
  • Live Demo – AJAX and REST

Lesson Slides

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