Ajax (shorthand for asynchronous JavaScript + XML) is a group of interrelated web development techniques used on the client-side to create interactive web applications.

With Ajax, web applications can retrieve data from the server asynchronously in the background without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page.

The use of Ajax techniques has led to an increase in interactive or dynamic interfaces on web pages. Data is usually retrieved using the XMLHttpRequest object.

Despite the name, the use of JavaScript and XML is not actually required, nor do the requests need to be asynchronous.

Ajax was positioned to revolutionize web development in the same way the "dot.com" boom did in the early 90's.
Ajax's primary contribution to web pages is user-experience improvement.