AJAX certainly has its appropriate uses and I’m not talking about cleaning your toilets. Launching in a few weeks is a cool project my team has been working on for about a month for JPMorgan Chase. It’s a web application intended to help reduce the FedEx fees (which just went up this month btw) our client incurs by mailing application forms and documents back and forth. Simply put it’s an online application management system, not terribly exciting at first glance but enter AJAX.
Upon launch Chase users will be able to complete their entire application process online by filling out forms and uploading their required docs like business licensees, bank statements, etc. then clicking submit. Designed with everyone in mind topLingo accommodated even the less technical user who is unable provide their documents in a digital format by leveraging a fax solution.
In this scenario the user clicks to download a Fax Cover sheet that contains a unique encrypted bar code faxes it to our fax server where it’s then decrypted, PDF’d and properly routed to that users queue. It sounds technical but to the end user they simply print and fax and by the time they walk from their fax machine back to their computer a big red X denoting a missing document will have changed to a green checkmark with a link to view and download the actual fax. Actually, I wanted a happy face or thumbs up symbol but creative shot me down on that one.
Anyway, the impressive AJAX part of my long-winded rambling is that the browser never needs to be refreshed, or more importantly no interaction from the user is required. There are no buttons that say “Check for the Fax” the graphics magically and immediately change from missing to received. The code is AJAX, the programming is ours and the client is happy! Ta da!