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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

IE7 Change: Native XMLHTTPRequest

The IE Blog notes a very important change in IE7: support of a native XMLHTTPRequest object.

This is good news for developers and site owners as it means that AJAX-style applications no longer need to use ActiveX objects for their IE visitors. ActiveX objects are often avoided when developing web applications for a variety of reasons, so this brings good consistency to the industry.

The other good news is that we're going to see many more AJAX apps in the future, creating all sorts of analytics challenges and opportunities.

Oh, and yes, Firefox supports the XMLHTTPRequest object too.


  1. The main issue for the Web Analytics companies (as well as for the Web performance industry where I work) is that the whole concept of the page gets thrown into the bit bucket with AJAX and other asynchronous HTTP request methods.

    What can be counted now? What is a distinct process/transaction? Is it valid to count an Ajax request as its own distinct step, or is it a sub-request of the initial page request?

    As you say, many interesting questions now begin to arise that are going to be a challenge for us all over the next few years.

  2. Agreed. It strikes me that we will be spending much more time evaluating each site when scoping the analytics efforts. Or whenever possible, let's help the web producers define their analytics needs in advance, so they can tell the developers what's important to track.



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