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June 10, 2009

What is a rich Internet application?

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 business productivity or e-commerce 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 Studio.
  • To extend your JavaScript- and Ajax-based web apps, 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 useAdobe 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.
  • And to create prototypes of your web or AIR apps that help communicate your ideas, you can use Adobe Fireworks.


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

    See RIAs in action



    Edit your images online with the powerful RIA features in FotoFlexer, built with Adobe Flex.

    Nike Air

    Nike Air

    Experience the feel of the Nike brand in this Adobe Flash site built by Big Spaceship.

    Tour de Flex

    Tour de Flex

    Explore what you can do with Flex in this Adobe AIR application.

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