First step in Ajax – Choosing the right framework

If you are going for a framework or a commercial AJAX IDE then first of all you should compare the different frameworks and IDE’s to make sure the availability of all the necessary widgets and functionality which would form a part of your application. There are a lot of frameworks which can help in your frequently used functionalities. For a start, you can choose from the immensely popular ones like DOJO, Prototype, Rico (which is based on Protoype),, etc

All the frameworks compete with each other in their implementation as well as the methodologies of request/ response. You might be less considerate on this aspect of technicalities but the thing which might be of more consideration is the number of rich features which they provide. The rich features comprise of the widgets like, an auto completing text box, a customizable calender, fade effects, an accordian , a dynamic menu etc which is most commonly required by a web application. The frameworks which I mentioned might provide some or the other combinations of these widgets. So for settling on a particular framework, you will have to work out all your features meant to be implemented in your application and only then finalize.

My own example
For an application I had chosen the DWR framework. The DWR framework allows an easy technique to expose your JAVA program function as JavaScript calls on the client side. The call made through JavaScript is requested on the server side through the DWR framework and the output coming from the Java function is passed on to the requesting client through it. I was happy working with DWR until I was having JAVA functions. When I was given the task of doing the client side request for bringing in a JSP output from the server side with the help of AJAX I was not having any option to do so with DWR as the framework only supported only exposure of Java functions and not JSP/ Servlets. This made me to change my framework to DOJO which made it possible to get content from JSP/Servlets, but it didnt expose normal Java functionalities like DWR did, anyways I didn’t require it. But the point I am trying to make here is that I had to remove all the dependencies in my application which were concerned with usage of DWR just to make everything work with DOJO.

Think Twice
You must not combine a multitude of frameworks if you like features from many of them. All of the frameworks come with their own rich features as well with their own drawbacks. In order to finalize on a particular framework always compare and contrast the features of the frameworks so that you don’t have to jump to another one in the middle of your developmental efforts when you don’t find the current framework much of use.

Avoid the unnecessary pain that can be caused due to hasty decision of choosing a framework. You should not chose one just because the other guy told you that he found it cool. It might have been for his particular reasons but that isn’t the same for you always. Just choose one framework which best suits your needs. Its easier to maintain and use.

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