Monday, January 07, 2008

Rich Internet Application - RIA

An interesting thought on "RIA" came on my way back home (in a long transit in Singapore).

To me applications by ages are three,

1.Traditional Applications

These are the olden day applications, before the server-client & Internet applications broke the earth. Here the application user uses a single terminal to do anything and everything in the world. The advantage out here is, he need not move back and forth and wait for network traffic and so on so forth. But the disadvantage is, data is not centralized and a single user system.

Note: But, Still the application user experience(UI) or thick client is excellent by the fact, everything is local, no session,no threat, and data is ready to be served and etc..

2.Modern Applications

The modern application is the outburst of the Internet and the middleware distributed applications, Which started solving the single user,de-centralized data, distribution, security and so on and so forth. But all these are achieved with various levels of layering, sessions and network calls and etc.

Note: What we lost or didn't try to learn, from the transition of traditional to modern application is the User Experience (UI) (Intuitive, Effective experience). These modern applications doesn't solve the problem of having the data readily available, no user wait time, No refresh which is a default behaviour of a thick client.

3.Future Applications(RIA)

Future applications are the rich Internet application(RIA), which has been a buzz word from the start of 2005 and from the start of google's (gmail). Which is when the whole development community started to look back on User experience which is supposed to be the "primary satisfaction factor from a user standpoint".

This wasn't an easy problem to solve with a "no state" protocol of HTTP, with cryptic syntax of javascript, whose maintainability is a question.

1."AJAX" wasn't a new finding to me, as i remember using the XMLHttpRequest in way back 2000 as Microsoft ActiveX component, to communicate asynchronously using XML. Ajax is nothing but a sandwich of XMLHttpRequest and asynchronous Javascript and support for leading browsers. There are lot of open source AJAX frameworks to name few GWT, DOJO and etc.

2. Adobe Flex, Flex is one of the RIA application licensed to adobe. This gives a good flash kind of look and feel with better integration between the front end, middle tier and the back end. Also, provides support for coding in java and so on to make it usable.

To me RIA or Future applications are the make up for "not learning goods from bad(Traditional Applications)". RIA are much more needed as we move forward, to make the user & the system more usable, and cost for time.

Have to hurry now to catchup my flight, see you in my next blog. Thanks for stopping by.

All the content on this article is my own views and understanding, and doesn't reflect my past, present or future employers view point.

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