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RIA technology evaluation & comparison

Mandar Thosar Jul 01, 2009

ria comparison web application Technology evaluation

The web world is becoming more and more demanding. Now, 7 out of 10 projects demand rich internet application (RIA). Since RIAs are bridging the gap between desktop and web applications they have become the topic of talk. RIA has taken web applications to a new level where it is difficult to distinguish web and desktop application interface. The user feels like he is using his desktop application.

The RIA frameworks that has made this possible are Flex, JavaFX, Air, and Curl. At e-Zest we work in all of these technologies. Recently, we have evaluated feasibility of these technologies for the development of rich internet application project.

Here is the brief and crisp finding of our feasibility study.

When it comes to a UI controls Flex, Air and Curl have it built-in. Swing comes to rescue when you want to use JavaFX for UI controls. In Flex and Air you can have your own controls. Eclipse can be used as IDE for all these technologies.

To be able to run your application at client user needs to have plugins and extensions. For Flex you require Flash plugin which is available readily on 90% of browsers relieving user from downloading and installing plugin for application use. JavaFX requires Java plugin with JavaFX extension to run application. For AIR, user requires to download Adobe Integrated Runtime environment to be able to use application in online and offline mode. For CURL a CURL runtime engine is required.

BlazeDS, a free and open source Java solution, can provide higher performing approach to connection Flex applications to back-end services. BlazeDS includes both Flex Remoting, which provides binary, serialized data transport, and Flex messaging services, offering real-time data push.

The JavaFX platform provides an essential set of tools and technologies that enable developers and designers to collaborate, create, and deploy applications with expressive content to browsers and desktops. Mobile application developers can use the JavaFX Mobile Emulator to preview applications for mobile devices using the JavaFX platform.

AIR are actually desktop application using system resources but they have all necessary ingredient to be called as feature rich RIA. AIR is becoming popular for social application extensions. When it comes to business and enterprise solution CURL applications tend to work well as they have excellent data-handling capabilities and good information presentation features. In addition, while Curl isn't as focused on animation and graphics as some other RIA platforms are, it does do a good job when it comes to data analysis and reporting graphics. Since Curl has been around for 10 years, it has a well-established base of users and support, too.

We are still evaluating Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP). Once we do that we will post about that.

e-Zest is a leading digital innovation partner for enterprises and technology companies that utilizes emerging technologies for creating engaging customers experiences. Being a customer-focused and technology-driven company, it always helps clients in crafting holistic business value for their software development efforts. It offers software development and consulting services for cloud computing, enterprise mobility, big data and analytics, user experience and digital commerce.