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Building the User Interface for an AJAX-Based Network Processor

AJAX has permitted the development of web-based applications that mimic the performance of desktop applications. This is thanks in part to HTTP requester objects. In this three-part series, you'll learn how to build a networking processor which will help you perform a variety of useful operations. This first part covers the creation of the graphical user interface.

Author Info:
By: Alejandro Gervasio
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December 19, 2006
  1. · Building the User Interface for an AJAX-Based Network Processor
  2. · Creating the application's graphical user interface
  3. · Writing some functional client-side code
  4. · Polishing the networking application's look and feel
  5. · Listing the full client-side code that corresponds to the networking application

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Since the introduction of AJAX as part of the vast array of technologies available for creating web-based applications, undoubtedly many developers have found new and creative ways to enrich the experience of web site visitors, either by improving the functionality of existing applications, or developing brand new ones.

In either case, it must be admitted that AJAX-powered programs have evolved noticeably in such a way that they're now capable of emulating real desktop-like applications. This was unimaginable not too long time ago. If you're armed with a decent background on the already popular HTTP requester objects, in addition to knowing the basics of how to use their methods and properties, I'm pretty certain that you'll be able to develop AJAX applications that offer considerable complexity without having to scratch your head very often.

The versatility brought by AJAX is one of its most useful features. It plays a relevant role when it comes to creating applications that closely resemble the functionality of true desktop programs. Naturally, if you've been using AJAX frequently for building web applications, this won't be new to you. However, for those developers that are just taking their first steps in this huge area, the experience can be really instructive and, why not, enjoyable too.

Bearing in mind the remarkable set of neat features that come packed with HTTP requester objects, in this three-part series I'm going to show you how to build a highly-expandable networking processor. You'll be able to use the processor for performing all sorts of useful operations, like finding out the IP address of a given host and vice versa, executing "ipconfig" and "netstat" commands on Windows-based systems, searching for DNS records, scanning TCP ports, and much more.

As you can see, the AJAX application that I plan to develop here looks really appealing, since it can be used in real networking environments and requires only the interface provided by a common web browser. Pretty good, right?

Now that you know what you're going to learn over the course of this series, it's time to commence developing the graphical user interface that corresponds to this AJAX-driven networking application. Are you ready to tackle this challenge? Let's get started!

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