Enterprise RIA Adoption Today Though still in an
evolutionary stage, RIAs have been adopted and proven at many leading
organizations over the world. Many companies have adopted RIAs as the
foundation for their business applications and achieved great success.
How broadly have RIAs been adopted? Though there are no
industry-recognized statistics available, numbers from RIA solution
vendors provide some insight. For example, Adobe claims that Flex has
about 300 customers. Nexaweb claims that its platform has been deployed
to over 4,000 enterprises.
It is also meaningful to look at which industries are adopting RIA.
According to a market study done by Nexaweb in October 2005, RIA
adoption spans a wide range of industries, with no single one
dominating. Financial services leads with a 17% share, followed closely
by healthcare, hospitability, and consumer products. (Figure 9)
From an application profile perspective, companies adopt RIA solutions
for many different kinds of applications, including internal IT
applications, B2B applications, B2C applications, and B2C Web sites.
According to the same Nexaweb research, 48% of the RIAs deployed today
are enterprise business applications, either B2B or internal, while 45%
of them are deployed as consumer applications. (Figure 10)
To leverage the Internet for competitive advantage and lower operating costs, businesses need RIA solutions to
overcome the inherent limitations of the Web as a platform for developing, deploying, and maintaining business
There are different approaches based on Java, .NET, AJAX, and Flash for
RIA solutions, and each approach has its strengths and weaknesses.
Given the diverse application requirements in enterprise environments,
no single approach will be able to span all enterprise environments. In
the end, all four approaches will co-exist serving different
Though different RIA solutions may be based on different technology
approaches, the programming model centered on a declarative UI is
common. The real differentiator is application logic development, which
is determined by the RIA approach used by the chosen RIA solution. In
the end, the application logic development determines application
maintenance and scalability.
Cross-technology RIA solutions are exciting new developments. Such
solutions should enable enterprises to adopt a common model and
framework to meet different application requirements, while still
enabling innovation and accommodating different developer skill sets.
Though relatively young, enterprise RIA solutions have already been
adopted by many companies in many different industries led by the
financial services. As RIA solutions are further developed, RIA
adoption in enterprise environments will continue to grow.
M. Driver, R. Valdes, and G. Phifer. "Rich Internet Applications
Are the Next Evolution of the Web." Gartner Research Note. G00126924.
May 4, 2005.
About Coach Wei Coach Wei is founder and CEO of Yottaa, a web performance optimization company. He is also founder
and Chairman of Nexaweb, an enterprise application modernization software company. Coding, running,
magic, robot, big data, speed...are among his favorite list of things (not necessarily in that order. His
coding capability is really at PowerPoint level right now). Caffeine, doing something entrepreneurial and
getting out of sleeping are three reasons that he gets up in the morning and gets really excited.
Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1
Jeff commented on 14 Jun 2006
Coach, please look more into the Flash technology from Adobe in regard to Flex and ColdFusion, Java, .Net backend. It is 100% OOP. Please do a bit more research before you write something in regard to a technology such as ActionScript/Flash and it's capabilties. IMHO Flex 2.0 will leave AJAX, a RWA (Rich Web Application) solution behind due to its abilities to run outside the browser as well as in, a characteristic of a true RIA. Good luck to you.
A facinating article; I have worked with both web and desktop Java applications I'm presently working with Swing clients and taking advantage of some of the new work coming out of the SwingLabs projects (JDNC, Databinding etc.) - but this article has given me considerable pause for thought.
It looks like we are in for some interesting times ahead - and making the right choice of technology today will bring significant rewards for the future.
One thing is certain if Java is to maintain it's share of the marketplace, it must continue to grow and work such at that underway on JSR 295: Beans Binding and JSR 227: A Standard Data Binding & Data Access Facility for J2EE will become increasingly important.
Mark commented on 9 Jun 2006
I'm sure that you are going to receive hundreds of emails from people all letting you know which framework that you missed. Ajaxian does a framework review periodically and I think that they are well over 100 different frameworks...
I do think that you neglected to mention some of the next generation frameworks that are emerging to address the hodgepodge of technologies that you have to manage and integrate in the enterprise RIA space.
For internal development, the GWT is an excellent option, but if you are looking for an open source solution, you should check out Echo2. (http://www.nextapp.com/platform/echo2/echo/). Essentially the same thing, interfaces can be built on the server in Java and rendered into the browser with AJAX, etc. I believe the UI can be tweeked with CSS as well. Check out the demos.
Unfortunately I'm unsure of any .Net frameworks... I believe that Atlas is supposed to be the GWT / Echo2 alternative for .Net AJAX developement...
Thanks for a great article!
AJAXWorld News Desk commented on 8 Jun 2006
Enterprise Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) are the next evolution of business application development. There are four different approaches to RIA development - AJAX, Java, Flash, and .NET - and many different RIA solutions available today. This article answers the following questions: What are enterprise RIAs? Which approach should you use? Which solutions are appropriate for you? And how are RIAs being adopted today?
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