AJAX is new technology. There aren’t very many tools supporting it compared to Java or .NET. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any good tools to develop AJAX applications however. Here are a few of my favorites which have helped me out:
Development – Eclipse + Aptana
Eclipse can be downloaded from http://www.eclipse.org. Drop the archive anywhere on your system and run it. If you are an Ubuntu user, Eclipse is in the universe for your pleasure.
Aptana can be installed from within Eclipse if you add http://update.aptana.com/install/3.2/ as a remote site. Restart Eclipse and you are good to go.
Basic Testing – Firebug Extension for Firefox
Production Testing – Apache Jakarta JMeter
How do you test if your shiny new application can hold up against thousands of simultaneous users at once? JMeter is a profiling tool from Apache that lets you setup cases to stress test your application. It even provides important data like how long it took to serve a page with 50 simultaneous users, so you can fine tune your app for speed.
Deployment – FireFTP Extension for Firefox
AJAX applications live inside an HTTP server. FTPing your website is easy with FireFTP. It features a two-pane view so you can transfer your website over quick.
As AJAX becomes more popular better tools will be developed making the software process a little bit easier. The above tools mentioned are very robust so put your thinking hats on and start developing applications for the Web 2.0 generation.