While RIA – meaning more than just HTML/CSS enabled presentation – is certainly the way to go, can we come off the acronyms and technology buzz? Please?
What is RIA about? Giving the user what he needs, and the most important thing is to be able to adapt his user interface to his personal working style. Browsers don’t really do that. Portals do that to some extent, hard-coded GUIs don’t do it either. So RIA has the opportunity to make this huge step forward. When you look however what development effort is needed to get Adobe FLEX to work and that it is hard-coded into an application, I SEE NO BENEFIT for the user. You can do the same in many other ways, for example with Ajax or Java applets.
I am talking about more than just skins. Give the user the ability to browse his workspace, select views, organize his presentation and save contextual layouts under control of role/policy based security. Provide a collaborative approach to business processes and use the graphics ability to provide operational business intelligence in the process context. NOW WE ARE TALKING …
If you are looking for professional business applications that support RIA then look no further. ISIS Papyrus Software recently shipped its Papyrus EYE graphical front-end (enabled in native Flash) that is managed through the application life-cycle repository and enables SOA applications through its federated meta-data model. Papyrus does not need backends to be SOA enabled to deliver its benefits to the users.