AJAX - XMLHttpResponse


AJAX - XMLHttpResponse

  • Returns a value such as ArrayBuffer, Blob, Document, JavaScript object, or a DOMString, based on the value of XMLHttpRequest.responseType. This property holds the entire response value. In case of invalid request this property returns null.
  • To get the response from a server, use the responseText or responseXML property of the XMLHttpRequest object.

XMLHttpRequest Object :

  • XMLHttpRequest is an API to deliver certain range of operations to transfer data between a client and a server behind the scenes. 
  • It acts as a source to do partial page updates without the need to perform full page refresh. 
  • This eases the task of handling data inputs and outputs in a web page without breaking user’s other tasks. 
  • It is used intensely in AJAX programming and is supported by all present date browsers such as IE7, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. 
  • This is one of the frequent learning ajax tutorial and provide lots of ajax basics. This will be best entry with ajax for beginners.

Sending an AJAX Request to a Server

  • Requests are made to web server with the open() and send() methods.

1. The open() method has three parameters:

    • First Parameter Value:  GET or POST
      • This is the type of request sent to server.
      • GET is simpler request but has size limitations and security issues.
      • POST is faster, can accept larger quantity of data and secure in a way than GET.
    • Second Parameter Value: The location of the server file. 
      • The server file URL needs to be called with a query string parameter along with it value. 
      • This value is taken from the variable “str”, which is a parameter for the function getData().
    • Third parameter value:
      • true – indicates that it is an asynchronous call to the server. If the value is false then it indicates a synchronous call. By default, the value is “true”.

2. send() – sends request to the server URL.

Sample Code :

<html>
<head>
<script>
    function loadDoc(url ) 
    {
        var xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
        xhttp.onreadystatechange = function() 
        {
            if (xhttp.readyState == 4 && xhttp.status == 200) 
            {
                document.getElementById("text").innerHTML = xhttp.responseText;
            }
        };
        xhttp.open("GET", url, true);
        xhttp.send();
    }
</script>
</head>
<body> 
    <div id="text"><h2>WikiTechy - Welcome you to learn Ajax</h2></div>
    <button type="button" onclick="loadDoc('WikiTechy_Employee1_Details.txt')">Employee1 Details</button>
    <button type="button" onclick="loadDoc('WikiTechy_Employee2_Details.txt')">Employee2 Details</button> 
</body>
</html>
  • The file content of - WikiTechy_Employee2_Details.txt


Code Explanation :

    <script> HTML element to contain ajax code.

    Create a function with name “loadDoc()” containing the url of the file as input.

    Declare and initialize the XMLHttpRequest object for browser other than IE5 and IE6 as xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();.

    Capture the state change of the created object. This occurs when the server receives a request and sends its response.

    Check for the readyState and status property values. It should be equal to 4 and 200 respectively. This means that response from the server has been received completely and assign the response text to a div element – text’s innerHTML attribute.


    Call the open() to send HTTP request to the server with ‘GET’ message type, text filename url as input, along with explicitly setting asynchronous property to true. The “true” value indicates that this data transfer to and from server without disturbing any parallel task that is happening in the HTML code.

    Finally call the send() to send the request.

    End the <script> element to indicate the end of ajax code.

    Define a <div> element with name “text” and type a header text.

    Add a button and in onclick() event call the ajax function loadDoc() and pass the file name “WikiTechy_Employee1_Details.txt” as parameter for the function.

    Add another button and in onclick() event call the ajax function loadDoc() and pass the file name “WikiTechy_Employee2_Details.txt” as parameter for the function.

Output :


    The header text inside the <div> element is displayed.

    Click the Employee1 Details button to call ajax function with a text file as input.

    Click the Employee2 Details button to call ajax function with another text file as input.


    As you can see the full page refresh has not happened here after the button click. Instead the partial page, that is the <div> element alone is updated and it means that things change without any effect on other elements of the page due to the implementation of ajax.

    Employee1 Details Button is clicked.

    Now the <div> element displays the text file content due to ajax request and response processes.