A Comparison of Push and Pull Techniques for AJAX

Engin Bozdag, Ali Mesbah, Arie van Deursen

Engin Bozdag, Ali Mesbah, Arie van Deursen, A Comparison of Push and Pull Techniques for AJAX, Delft University of Technology, Software Engineering Research Group, Delft, Netherlands, TUD-SERG-2007-016a, 2007.

AJAX applications are designed to have high user interactivity and low user-perceived latency. Real-time dynamic web data such as news headlines, stock tickers, and auction updates need to be propagated to the users as soon as possible. However, AJAX still suffers from the limitations of the Web's request/response architecture which prevents servers from pushing real-time dynamic web data. Such applications usually use a pull style to obtain the latest updates, where the client actively requests the changes based on a predefined interval. It is possible to overcome this limitation by adopting a push style of interaction where the server broadcasts data when a change occurs on the server side. Both these options have their own trade-offs. This paper explores the fundamental limits of browser-based applications and analyzes push solutions for AJAX technology. It also shows the results of an empirical study comparing push and pull.


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