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Rich Internet Applications

Wikipedia defines Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) as "Web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications." Until recently AJAX, Flash and Flex have been the primary technologies used to create RIAs, but this is changing. Here's a quick summary of the available technologies:

Which is best? Frankly, we're biased. We're Flex developers and believe that Flex offers compelling advantages. If you're trying to gain an understanding of the relative advantages of the above options, we suggest that you use this site as a resource for gaining an overview of what Flex, Flash and RIAs in general can do. In particular we suggest that you take a look at the RIA Examples section below. We've also included a few articles on this page that may be helpful, and would welcome suggestions for other resources that would help our readers objectively compare the various RIA platforms.


Anthony Franco :: Flex And AJAX, Friends or Foes?

Christophe Coenraets :: Google Maps Collaboration using Flex, Flash Media Server and AJAX

Dave Wolf :: Living in DENIAL with AJAX

Ely Greenfield :: What Is the Flex-Ajax Bridge?

Jesse James Garrett :: AJAX: A New Approach To Web Applications

Comparisons & Benchmarks

Alexey Gavrilov :: BubbleMark

James Ward :: Ajax and Flex Data Loading Benchmarks

RIA Examples

Also see our Flash RIA examples page and our Flex RIA examples page.

Gapminder :: Very cool tech, and extremely important content. Shows how the world's countries have fared over the last 30 years, as measured by per capita income, infant mortality, and numerous other measures :: One minute demo


Adobe's Flex-AJAX Bridge