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All three of the frameworks examined in this chapter have their strengths; the main factor in deciding which to use is almost certainly governed by what your web server is running at the moment. All three languages—PHP, Java, and .NET—have myriad web-based resources and books devoted to them (although Java probably comes slightly ahead of the others on this point). Ajax.NET probably scores highest for ease of use when it comes to making methods available; adding one line to an existing procedure and one line in the page load handler is certainly very simple, although with DWR there is no internal modification of the class at all, enabling you to re-use classes from elsewhere more easily. JPSpan's strength lies in the fact that, because both it and JavaScript are weakly typed, there is less effort involved in coercing types between the two languages.

Having completed this chapter, which covered a lot of ground on three different Ajax frameworks, you have accomplished a number of different tasks.

For JPSpan, you have installed PHP, created a class, and connected to a database.

With DWR, you set up a new web server that could handle Java servlets and JSP pages, and then created a Java class using a basic text editor before compiling it using command-line tools. You also learned how to modify the XML config files to allow the class to be used from the client.

For Ajax.NET, you learned how to modify the web.config file to override the built-in page handler and how to install Ajax.dll and add a reference to it. You then created a class that could retrieve information from a database and utilized this class using JavaScript on the client.

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