The internet users are getting more and more sophisticated with the time. To attract people to your site would will most likely need to offer them multiple effects – sound, video, contextual help – to make their online experience more comfortable and much like real. And definitely more online shoppers convert to buyers and casual users turn into permanent visitors if they their experience with the web-service goes smooth – no “error” or “your browser does not support this feature” notifications on the way.
While it’s still difficult to build a web-application that would work correctly on every screen, with rich internet applications (RIA) it’s no longer a problem. RIA products are usually delivered over the web but at the same time have some characteristics of desktop applications. They exploit new media types and combine classical data screens with multimedia and a high-end look and feel. Compared to HTML/XHTML pages , RIAs possess the functionality that allows to interact with data not purely visualize or present it.
RIAs boost margins, offer greater interactivity, and allow delivering variety of features to the users. To cut it short, RIAs are aimed to make a user’s life better. What about the life of a software development company?
Fortunately, the developers don’t need to sacrifice their time, nerves and excess efforts to offer RIA to the users. From the developer’s point of view it is as good as from the user’s.
There are different options of RIA frameworks, but all of them allow to promptly create, develop and modify applications. It’s a cross-platform technology, easily adapted to all popular technologies and protocols. All these factors combined allow making smooth integration with the existing applications. Once you develop a rich Internet application it will work on PCs, Touch Screens’, CATs, InfoKiosks, PDAs – all kinds of devices. No more troubles with customization to mobile devices, no routine work with endless testing it in Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer. RIAs reduce time-to-market and saves your personal time. And you hopefully have a better idea of how to spend an evening instead of fighting with bugs, don’t you?
As a rule developers do not deal with design and simply tune interfaces produced by creative team to the applications. However, Flex framework with its Flex Builder makes it possible for a developer to work with graphics and make it interactive. Flex’s ActionScript syntaxes is much alike Java – clear and familiar for developers. And MXML, that can be compared to HTML, makes it easy to convert graphic files to RIA.
Well, regardless of the framework and development scenario chosen, the final product should combine a high quality user interface and immaculate background software part. It’s a kind of a challenging task that requires a great synergy between design and development, as well as close collaboration with the customer. Effective communication and finely tuned processes are the keys to success in RIA development.
Two more vital points in RIA lifecycle are the possibility to provide extendibility and implement new changes in RIA within a really short period of time. Working online means being ready to react to the situation immediately. Keeping RIA up-to-date and making sure that it complies with user expectations are the tasks that require regular attention. For this reason many companies choose to outsource RIA projects to professional developers, highly experienced in technologies as well as SaaS and complex solutions. What are the advantages of this approach? Learn more in Software Outsourcing in the Times of Economic Downturn article.
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