In the world of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), the battle for hearts and minds -- not to mention eyeballs and desktops -- heated up this week when Adobe Systems took the wraps off its Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).
Adobe announced the beta last fall in lieu of a promised alpha release, and, at the time, I said I hoped the company would move more quickly on completing their work on it, as the RIA market seemed to be catching on quickly. There's talk of a Linux version.
Everyone from the New York Times to niche bloggers are buzzing with trying to handicap the horse race that's now developing among the top contenders, including Adobe's latest entry, and offerings from such other RIA powerhouses as Microsoft's Silverlight and Mozilla's Prism.
Adobe is already planning to make its own applications available in an
Those interested in a more grassroots approach can find over 120
While the spotlight seems to be on
I recently saw a demo of Workday's human resource management applications build using Adobe Flex, and the ability for users to navigate and customize their work on the fly was very impressive. Workday has artfully crafted on-demand business applications that rival any client-server applications. I expect this to become the standard for online productivity applications, and for AIR to grease the skids for wider adoption of these compelling UIs. [Disclosure: Workday is the new parent of Cape Clear Software, a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
These UIs also make excellent front ends for service oriented architecture-generated composite applications, combining the best of user flexibility and back-end flexibility. It's a powerful tag-team that I also expect to become a standard approach, first by service providers and over time seeping across enterprise applications and services.
Flex 3.0 has added a slew of new functionality to the 2.0 version, as well as enhancing some of the earlier capabilities. Among the new functions:
- Drag and Drop support
- Local File system access
- Local SQLite database storage
AIRdebugging and profiling AIRapplication packaging and signing
There are more at the Flex Web site.
While Flex may tickle the fancy of developers, it's
The developer will sign