The W3C specification now offers the means by which cross-origin AJAX requests can be achieved. Leveraging network and application network services in conjunction with application-specific logic improves security of allowing cross-domain requests and has some hidden efficiency benefits, too.

access-control The latest version of the W3C working draft on “Cross-Origin Resource Sharing” lays out the means by which a developer can use XMLHTTPRequest (in Firefox) or XDomainRequest (in IE8) to make cross-site requests. As is often the case, the solution is implemented by extending HTTP headers, which makes the specification completely backwards and cross-platform compatible even if the client-side implementation is not. While this sounds like a good thing, forcing changes to HTTP headers is often thought to require changes to the application. In many cases, that’s absolutely true. But there is another option: network-side scripting. There are several benefits to using network-side scripting to implement this capability, but more importantly the use of a mediating system (proxy) enables the ability to include more granular security than is currently offered by the Cross-Domain Request specification.