If you don’t properly handle the inevitable errors in your web applications, you can expect your users to eventually react about like this guy. Since they typically squelch any server-side errors, AJAX service calls are especially problematic. In fact, they rarely even throw a client-side error when they fail.
Even when a client-side error is thrown, most users won’t notice it and the ones who do notice won’t know what the error means or what to do next. In fact, I’ve found that even many developers don’t notice client-side scripting errors that occur while they’re debugging their own applications!
To help you remedy this problem in your own applications, I want to show you one way that I handle AJAX service call errors with jQuery. To do this, we will build an error-prone web service, make an AJAX request to it via jQuery, handle the resulting server-side errors gracefully, and use a jQuery plugin to attractively present those errors.
Building an erroneous method
To experiment with error handling, the first thing we’ll need is an error. We could use throw() to raise a synthetic error, but let’s build a page method that’s apt to throw a couple of real errors: