AJAX vs Silverlight

Difference between AJAX and Silverlight
Ajax (also AJAX; /ˈæks/; an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a group of interrelated web development techniques used on the client-side to create asynchronous web applications. With Ajax, web applications can send data to, and retrieve data from, a server asynchronously (in the background) without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page. Data can be retrieved using the XMLHttpRequest object.

Microsoft Silverlight is an application framework for writing and running rich Internet applications, with features and purposes similar to those of Adobe Flash. The run-time environment for Silverlight is available as a plug-in for web browsers running under Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. While early versions of Silverlight focused on streaming media, current versions support multimedia, graphics and animation, and give developers support for CLI languages and development tools. Silverlight is also one of the two application development platforms for Windows Phone, but Silverlight enabled web pages cannot run on Internet Explorer for Windows Phone as there is no plugin.
Technologied Involved:
In the article that coined the term Ajax,Jesse James Garrett explained that the following technologies are incorporated:
Technologied Involved:
Silverlight 1 is purely AJAX and JavaScript based. All the code has to be written in JavaScript and XAML.

With version 2, the programming logic can be written in any .NET language, including some derivatives of common dynamic programming languages like IronRuby and IronPython .
When was AJAX coined / developed ?
Nobody invented AJAX. But,the computer scientist Jess James Garret first coined the term "Ajax" in 2005.
Note: The key technology: XMLHttpRequest used in AJAX was developed by Microsoft for its Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows as an ActiveX object in 1999.
When was Silverlight coined / developed ?
Microsoft released its first version of Silverlight in 2007.

AJAX mainly relies on what technology / framework?
Ajax relies on the XMLHttpRequest object.Using it, Ajax typically retrieves data from servers and can do so asynchronously. This means Ajax can retrieve data without disrupting the behaviors and displays of existing WebPages.
Silverlight mainly relies on what technology / framework ?
Unlike Ajax, which relies on the XMLHttpRequest object, Silverlight relies on the .NET framework. This framework provides the common language runtime (CLR) run-time environment, enabling Silverlight for running code and providing services that simplify the developmental process. Specifically, Silverlight's .NET framework and CLR environment allow developers to execute the same compiled code on servers as well as clients.
What is the main purpose of AJAX ?
Developers typically use Ajax for creating interactive website features that end-users can access through Web browsers.
What is the main purpose of Silverlight?
In comparison, developers typically use Silverlight for creating image- and video-based social media content that end-users can stream -- or download in real-time. Developers can also extend the functionality or richness of their Ajax features by using Silverlight, but not vice-versa.
Whether AJAX needs to be installed in .NET ?
From ASP.Net 3.5 onwards, AJAX has been integrated into the .NET Framework. Hence, there is no need to install in .NET.
Whether Silverlight needs to be installed in the system?
Silverlight plugin needs to be installed in our system for better browsing experience.
When to use AJAX ?
Ajax can be used to make web applications perform better (if used in right manner) and to provide better user experience than conventional websites by avoiding full page refreshes.
When to use Silverlight ?
Silverlight can be used when we need rich UI (like adobe flex) and do not have heavy server dependency.
Development Benefits:
Ajax provides developers with access to JavaScript libraries, such as MootTools and jQuery. These libraries help developers create sleek and highly interactive website applications without having to pay for integrated development environments (IDEs). However, despite being lower in cost, Ajax is not easier to use than Silverlight.
Development Benefits:
Silverlight improves work-flow by separating the visual, user-interface aspects of website development from the back-end, business-logic aspects of development.

Whether AJAX provides Cross-platform support ?
Ajax is a cross-platform technique that can be used on wide range of different operating systems, computer architectures.
Whether Silverlight provides Cross-platform support ?
Silverlight is not fully platform independent tool. It only supports Windows OS, Linux OS using Moonlight and Mac OS.


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