Using AJAX Requests

AJAX is a technology that allows updating page content without reloading the page. CS-Cart uses AJAX very extensively.

AJAX Basics in CS-Cart

CS-Cart uses its own extensions for the jQuery ajax method. They reside in the js/tygh/ajax.js file. Here are these methods in the order they are called:

  • submitForm (only for forms)—extracts form data and prepares it for sending.
  • request—sends an AJAX request to the respective controller (parsed from dispatch). Uses jQuery ajax method.
  • response—called upon the successful execution of a request. Handles the actual server response and displays the result.
  • inProgress—determines whether or not the AJAX request is in progress.
  • clearCache—clears response cache.

During the processing of an AJAX request on the server, the initialization of the AJAX request handling subsystem is performed by the fn_init_ajax (app/functions/fn.init.php) function:

  • an object of AJAX class (app/Tygh/Ajax.php) is created;
  • it performs necessary transformations before and after AJAX request;
  • it also generates JSON array for further transfer to response.

The AJAX_REQUEST constant is set to true for its use in PHP code.

Using the AJAX_REQUEST constant in a PHP file, you can specify the code that must be executed only on AJAX request.


if (defined('AJAX_REQUEST')) { fn_set_notification('E', fn_get_lang_var('warning'), $msg, true, 'insecure_password'); }

When the execution of the AJAX request script is completed or when the termination function exit() is called explicitly, the destructor of AJAX class (app/Tygh/Ajax.php) is executed. The destructor passes the information that should be displayed in the document to a JSON array, and then passes the array to the response JS function (/js/tygh/ajax.js).

A controller returns a response in the following format:


Invoking AJAX with Microformats

AJAX requests can be sent by links and forms. In both cases, the cm-ajax microformat should be assigned to the respective element.


If a form has class cm-ajax, its content will be sent as an AJAX request to the URL defined in its action attribute.

Such a form should also have a hidden input element named result_ids. It should contain the identifiers of the elements to be updated with the AJAX data.

Here is the example of an AJAX-powered form:

<!-- Form with the class cm-ajax; defines that AJAX requests should be sent to index.php -->
<form class="cm-ajax" action="index.php" method="post" name="product_form_817">

<!-- Hidden input field with the identifiers of the HTML elements to be updated -->
    <input type="hidden" name="result_ids" value="my_id" />

<!-- When this submit button is clicked, an AJAX request will be sent to index.php -->
     <input id="button_cart_817" type="submit" name="dispatch[checkout.add..817]" value="Add to cart" />

Additional Microformats

The cm-ajax microformat is mandatory for AJAX forms and links. But there are many optional microformats that give developers more control over AJAX in CS-Cart.

Using AJAX Requests Directly

Explicit method calling is not recommended by CS-Cart coding guidelines. All JavaScript functions should be placed in separate files and assigned to HTML elements using CSS selectors (id, class etc.).

Still, an AJAX request can be sent via the direct inline calling of the $.ceAjax() method:

<input id="enable_block_1" type="checkbox" name="enable_block_1" value="Y" onclick="$.ceAjax(‘request’, '{$index_script}?dispatch=block_manager.enable_disable&amp;block_id=1&amp;enable=' + (this.checked ? this.value : 'N'), {literal}{method: 'POST', cache: false}{/literal});" />

Reloading Containers via AJAX

You can reload the content of a container dynamically as follows:

The container must be formatted properly:

  • id must be the last attribute in the opening tag.
  • A “magic comment” with the id must precede the closing tag.

For example:

<div class="foo" data-ca-bar="bar" id="foobar">
    This content will be reloaded by AJAX