On Monday I counted down 10 reasons to embrace the RIA, and the post generated some good comments. When I talk about RIAs, I often get a few of the same responses as to why my view isn't possible, and I understand where that comes from. But I also think it is misguided, and I want to talk about a few of the big ones and why now is different.
The Universal Desktop
The technology and business implications of the next generation of software, rich Internet applications.
In the past couple of months, we've gotten ever closer to high quality Rich Internet Application solutions. As the RIA becomes more and more of a reality, it's important to distinguish them from traditional web applications and figure out what benefits they provide. This is my list of 10 reasons you should be embracing the RIA whether you're working on the next great application from your garage or trying to convince your boss at a Fortune 500 company that RIAs are the way to go. There's something here for everyone.
Is Ray Ozzie already starting to change the direction of the ship? On Thursday Microsoft announced that they would begin support third party tools which will allow users of Microsoft Office to create and view ODF files. Let's step back for a moment and analyze this with the "sunglasses of RIA" (We have to use sunglasses because the future is bright).
One of the things I continue to struggle with is who will benefit most, financially, from Rich Internet Applications. On the one hand, the barrier to entry is almost non-existant, so that any person in their basement can build very functional applications and release them to the world. On the other hand, leveraging RIAs in the enterprise provides a lot of cost saving as well as a next generation solution that will streamline business processes.
Since the announcement that Ray Ozzie was taking over for Bill Gates, I've been doing some digging on Ray's background, some "ROzSearch" if you will. After looking at what he's written on his blog and the kinds of ideas he's championed, I'm really excited about what Microsoft is going to do. I also think he can breathe a ton of life into WPF and bring about its full potential.
Adobe released Flex 2 this morning at 12:01 and while the Adobe Blogsphere was buzzing about the release, the general consensus from the tech community at large was a collective yawn. The press release went out, but no one seems interested in talking about it outside of the Adobe zone.
I was doing some thinking this weekend about Web 2.0 and the crazy amounts of money that are being thrown at companies now. I, like most people I would assume, am worried about whether or not the trend is going too far. I don't want to see all of the progress we're making with Rich Internet Applications go down in a blaze of glory because the Web 2.0 bubble bursts. However, as I walked around Seattle this week, I realized that what's happening on the web doesn't have the traits of a bubble waiting to burst, it has the traits of a gold rush.
Kevin Lynch, the Chief Software Architect at Adobe has had a big impact on the evolution of Flash and the evolution of Rich Internet Applications in general. In the coming years, Kevin will have the opportunity to work with the people at Adobe and the developer community to bring more RIAs to life.
The Kiwi project takes microformats and collaboration and puts them into a Rich Internet Application. It shows off exactly the kinds of things that RIAs can be, and how they will fit into the wider world of the web.
Being from Wyoming, I listen to a lot of country music, and when I heard about the deal Google struck with Adobe to embed the Google toolbar in some of Adobe's programs, that's the song that came to mind. I get that this is going to be a big revenue move for Adobe, and that Google will benefit by having its tool bundled with Adobe's ubiquitous suite of players, but this boils down to a strategic move by Adobe.