Rich Internet Applications - An Overview

Rich Internet applications (RIAs) offer superb experience to the user and does have a powerful engaging quality. Due to the extensive reach of the online world, RIAs can now be deployed across different types of browsers and even on desktops.

Desktop applications usually are known for better user interactivity than web applications. But they require distribution with software updates. Web applications, on the other hand, can be accessed online and hence is free from the problems pertaining to software distribution and multiple updates which haunt the desktop world. But their sore point is their lack in user interactivity.

RIAs offer the best of both worlds: desktop and the web. They are distributed online and boast of immensely rich user interactivity. Since the inception of Ajax, a method which is used for web apps to make server requests with Jscript without having to reload a web page, new technologies have seen the light of the day to contribute to the RIA movement.

Software experience is now becoming like the natural world and has the users hooked on to it. One of the most powerful concepts in computing is the notion and idea of desktop filled with files and folders. This idea was translated in the operating systems and the users accepted it because their natural world experience was replicated in the virtual world.

Developers are closely following user interfaces which replicate the natural world experience. Since the year 2002, such types of software applications which are modeled after the real world are known as "Rich Internet Applications", or RIAs. Latest breakthroughs in technologies other than Ajax include Flex, Silverlight, etc. which are part of the revolution and growing in popularity ever since.

There are some of the fundamental characteristics that the term 'RIA' encompasses.

As evident from the phrase "Rich Internet Applications", the parts of "Internet" and "Applications" are self defined and convey their meaning. The "Rich" aspect here is what attracts attention and it is this aspect of richness that requires a better clarity. The best definition can be that RIAs are capable of delivering stupendously rich user experience. Here the richness is used in tandem with the enhancements within the application which makes it more natural. The applications also look more connected, more refined, more responsive and effective.

RIAs offer a proven and a very cost-effective way to handle the corporate world problems with practical solutions to different organizations and provide them with real business benefits.

The scope of a Rich Internet Application Development is virtually unlimited. Just look at web based applications such as Google Docs and Xero. The bottom line is that if you can imagine it.
Silverlight - Flex - AJAX These are the three main platforms available for rich Internet app design.


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