ISV’s embracing RIA

More than Enterprise IT,  it’s the ISV’s that are actively seeking to deploy Rich Internet Application in their new versions. Any user interface must be rendered on the Web platform and it better have the latest Web 2.0 technologies. While wikis, blogs are fine, the application-level interface is using mashups, tags, links, and podcasts wherever appropriate, for  a pleasant user interface.

But using technology for the sake of technology is the wrong approach. For example, the travel sector is branding Travel 2.0 as the next wave, implying the use of Web 2.0 technologies in travel sites. That makes sense, as travel sites offering airline tickets, cars, and hotels need to provide linked information of hotel and location details. Some clever mashups of maps and weather would make a lot of sense. The measure should be the total number of clicks required for the user to complete a transaction. The less clicks, the better for the user.

But applications also need complex two-way interactions with the user and rich graphics presented in a user-friendly way. The current crop of Web 2.0 technologies does not address the RIA aspects very well. Creation of complex graphics, animation, and handling large volumes of data still requires development tools beyond what is available from the scripting landscape.  Providing online-offline facilities for the road warriors is also a key feature. Developers should check Curl (origin from MIT research) which provides a very rich “content language” that spans from text, graphics to computation. It provides significant programmer economy compared to other products such as Apollo or Silverlight or Ajax.

Jnan Dash

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