Understanding RIA Basics

RIA or Rich internet applications , basically are web applications which work like full fledged desktop applications. They are actually delivered to the user through a site specific browser either through a plugin or a virtual machine, which means that the user has to install a specific software framework in order to run these applications. With heavy internet usage and the migration of more and more services to Cloud, RIA development is in great demand.

But how exactly are these RIAs take over the traditional applications ?

Traditional Applications Limited to form fields, radio buttons, checkboxes etc.

RIA Applications Give more flexibility to the users allowing them to drag and drop items,in-line editing and direct interaction with the elements.

Popular browser based RIAs include Flickr,Google Maps and eBay. Sumopoint is a popular web based tool for editing images which is similar to photoshop.

With the increasing penetration of social web among the masses, RIAs dominate in the online gaming industry as well as in applications such as video sharing and recording. Also, with the increasing dependency on building and developing content for browsers,desktops and mobile platforms, this sort of talent is being soght after with great demand by all modern IT and web companies.

What is the signifcance of frameworks ?

Frameworks are the platforms on which a RIA is built and deployed.There are lot of RIA frameworks.One of the biggest such platform for RIA development is offered by Adobe which includes Adobe Flash, Flex and AIR. Another such framework by Microsoft is Silverlight, which is available for multiple browsers, including Firefox, Safari and the Windows and Mac OSX operating systems.There is also an open source Silverlight project for Linux operating system.Curl is another RIA framework designed for business use.Curl doesn't focus on Graphics and Advertising, rather on applications that integrate with business data systems. Cappucino provides a rich component model to build applications.

Applications can be run from the browser or as standalone applications. Though there are lot of debates over using which framework but still for general web applications javascript library like jQuery,YUI or ExtJS would be good choice.For building heavy graphic applications, flash are considered to be appropriate. Apart from these, other important RIA frameworks include Google Web Toolkit, JavaFX, Mozilla Prism and Open Lazlo. Irrespective of which RIA technology the developer might be using, be it Flex,Ajax,JavaFX,Silverlight or any other RIA technology, there is a similarity in the architecture.

Success in designing and building an RIA would depend a lot on how well in understanding the concepts. RIAs not only enable better configurations but also allow firms to embed video and other contextual help content applications.Youtube is one of the biggest exaples of the success of RIA technologies.Youtube has also to offer copy protection for some videos,like YouTube Rentals. Learning RIA technogies has never been easier. With all these companies trying to promote the use of their own technologies, there are innumerable resources available online either by Adobe, Microsoft or other open source communities.

With the right creative and technical knowledge getting hired in this area could be very easy and exciting.

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