Monday, September 13, 2010

Cloud Computing Basics: What are Rich Internet Applications (RIA)?

With all the recent focus and talk about Cloud computing, people seem to be forgetting that the wood actually consists of trees. To follow the analogy, Cloud computing is dependent, in many respects on the ability to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications, or RIA.

RIAs are fully interactive, desktop-style, business applications that are installed at a single location and are accessible via any computer screen via the internet.
Depending on the platform, they can take advantage of the local computing power of a company’s hardware, but without requiring the complex installation and maintenance typical of the desktop, otherwise known as the “Fat Client”, ('Fat' because every single computer needs to be individually loaded with software programmes and then maintained).
From 'Fat' to 'Thin' to 'Fit'
Rich Internet Applications seek to overcome the limitations of both ‘Fat’ and ‘Thin’ Clients (The Thin client refers to individual computers served by a centrally loaded and maintained server via the internet, leaving each individual computer 'thin' on actual computing power).
To achieve this, RIA combines the best of both worlds into a so-called ‘Fit Client’ – essentially combining the richness of the desktop’s ‘Fat’ Client with the low operating cost of the internet’s ‘Thin’ Client.
Gartner Research is predicting that 60% of all software development projects will involve Rich Internet Applications within the coming three years.
Need to build and deploy a Cloud application? First find out how to build and deploy RIA..