>Rich Internet Applications

>Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) offer an experience that is engaging and well…rich. These applications can function like a traditional desktop application but don’t require an entire installation. Most of the time there will be a browser plug-in that would need to be installed but that is all that would be needed. When developing RIAs there are choices in what technologies to use. Some of the more popular and widely known choices are:

Adobe Flash
The technologies that are a part of the Adobe suite are widely used today. Companies such as eBay, Mini, FedEx, Nick.com, AOL and many others, utilize Flash technology to give their customers a better and more engaging experience.

JavaFX
With JavaFX you can create applications on mobile devices, desktops, televisions and other products. Some key features include: broad market reach, broad access to mobile devices, lower implementation cost, operation outside of the browser and many more. There are also choices in tools to use with JavaFX. There is the developer bundle, designer bundle and the Stand-alone. Each of these can be explained in more detail on the website.

Silverlight
Some of the main features of Silverlight include, cross-browser and cross-device functionality, smooth streaming, out of browser functionality, pixel shading effects and many others. Silverlight also takes advantage of Microsoft’s .Net framework. Many .Net applications today utilize the Silverlight technology.

Google Webkit/Gears
Google Gears lets your web browser interact with your desktop, allows data to be stored locally as well as JavaScript can be run in the background to help improve performance. Gears is a free download available from Google. The Google web toolkit is also a useful tool from Google for developers to use. This toolkit allows developers to create complex JavaScript applications through the Java language. The toolkit will take the Java code and transform it into a high performing JavaScript application.

This is by no means and exhaustive list of technologies used in creating rich internet applications. There are many other technologies available to help developers create a highly interactive website. There are many benefits to creating a RIA. They can boost productivity by displaying information in a more meaningful format, they can boost performance and they can also help to keep your users coming back to your website by engaging the user.

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