Search Flex Components Free

Custom Search

December 5, 2007

What is an RIA?

Back in the late nineties, "browsing the web" meant going online to read text and view static images. But that model was limiting. As more people and businesses connected to the web, we all wanted a richer more responsive user experience.
In 2002, Macromedia coined the term rich Internet application (RIA). RIAs combine the flexibility, responsiveness, and ease of use of desktop applications with the broad reach of the web. RIAs provide a dynamic web experience that is rich and engaging, as well as interactive.Many web designers and developers use
Adobe Flash or Adobe Flex to build RIAs. Adobe Flash is an authoring environment for creating rich, interactive content for the web that is deployed using Adobe Flash Player or the Adobe AIR desktop runtime. Adobe Flex is a cross-platform development framework for creating RIAs. Content created with Flex also is deployed using Flash Player or Adobe AIR. To learn more about RIAs, explore the resources below.

Ingredients for RIAs
RIAs may look rather sophisticated, but you don't need to be an expert Flex, Flash, or Adobe AIR developer to build one. You can build RIAs using a variety of tools, techniques, and technologies.
If you're a coder interested in building complex interactive web apps such as branded, multimedia-rich enterprise, e-commerce, or productivity apps, you can use Adobe Flex and Adobe ColdFusion.
If you're more into creating animations, games, or branded interactive marketing content, you can use Adobe Flash. Alternatively, you can take advantage of Ajax frameworks, including Ext and the Spry framework for Ajax, to build HTML-based RIAs, using tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Aptana.
To extend your JavaScript- and Ajax-based web apps easily, you can use the Ajax Data Services library or the Flash Ajax video component. These libraries and technologies enable rich media support, data services and synchronization, and server technologies for rapid development and deployment of RIAs.
To take your Ajax, HTML, Flex, or Flash apps to the desktop, you can use Adobe AIR. With Adobe AIR, you can build and deploy your RIAs to the desktop using the tools, technologies, and development models you employ today when developing for the browser.

An integrated development environment (IDE) or authoring tool such as Flex Builder, Flash, Dreamweaver, Aptana, Eclipse, or a simple text editor
A software development kit (SDK) such as Flex SDK or Adobe AIR SDK
Images or other rich assets such as Flash content
A web host or server space

Related Flex Tutorials