Adobe have recently released its Spry Ajax framework for public beta-test by developers and I've been playing with this baby for a while. And here's some kind of report of what I have learned.
Spry is Adobe's Ajax library for manipulating XML data. It has some very unique and pretty useful functions like regions handling, related auto-updating data and stuff like that.
In his example he creates a simple backend script (PHP) that pulls out the data from MySQL and converts it to XML. With that to pull from, he creates, using Spry, functionality to read in the XML and display it in an HTML table. He also demonstrates how to sort the results automatically based on a certain column (the ID column, which he defines as a number using the setColumnType).