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RIAs at the Enterprise Level

Posted by Sravan | June 18, 2009 .

The penetration of RIAs into the consumer world is beyond doubt. We have numbers supporting that time and again. To that extent, RIAs are here to stay. However, I sometimes wonder the scenario when it comes to enterprise apps.

Let us exclude AJAX for the sake of discussion because most GUIs these days are being built as web services for several good reasons and they often use AJAX for the ease and the instantaneous updates that became popular through Gmail.

It is very possible that Adobe uses Flex and AIR, Microsoft uses Silverlight, Oracle/Sun uses JavaFX internally. What about elsewhere?

It is well-known that Salesforce has a Force.com toolkit for Adobe Flex and AIR and that Oracle started using Adobe AIR for some CRM widgets, and I recently read that Samsung and China Mobile are using Silverlight but that article was actually about the low adoption-rates of RIA technologies at the enterprise level.

I also know that Symantec is using Flex on a HA/DR product (though the usage of AJAX is far more significant) and that the usage is slowly spreading to others products and services.

It is understandable for enterprises to be less proactive because of their inertia and because changing from one technology to another can be a slow and expensive process. Also, performance and scalability are major issues that enterprises keep in mind while taking such decisions.

What I would like to get an idea of, is the stand of enterprises when it comes to deploying RIA-based products on a large scale. If you are aware of RIA usage in any enterprise-level products, please let me know through a comment below.

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5 Comments so far
  1. ariel  June 19, 2009 1:16 am

    Another reason for slow adoption is that users in the enterprise are prisoners of their tools. Some idiot manager commissioned this crap piece of software despite existing commercial alternatives, the developing company has since gone under despite the cosy relationships between the CEO and the manager, and the users are stuck using software that is as user friendly as an oyster. But, their job depends on it, so they still do, and moreover sometimes it gets worse: some people derive their authority from the fact that they are power users of this program. All this kinda slows RIAs down in the enterprise… But it’s coming, not for ease of use but because the developers are pushing it.

  2. Sravan  June 19, 2009 9:40 am

    I understand exactly what you mean, Ariel. Very often, the manager who chooses the technology isn’t as aware of today’s tools as he is of the yesterday’s holy grail. Our world changes so much every day.

  3. Anonymous  June 19, 2009 11:07 pm

    For the one side: ask the boys at eBay. They have a high-performance, enterprise-production AIR version running a year long now.

    For the other, yes, i think adoption has been slow. I think performance is a big thug yet (even if machines are getting faster and faster), there have been more than a few time’s I’m watching app’s, or sometimes demo-ing them and clearly flash is much much more resource intensive, compared with very light ajax/javascript stuff (even if i don’t like them at all).

    For that, maybe there should be more consciousness about creating “light” apps, how to use better the resources, etc.

    The last point is that i think maybe it’s just because it comes from a land of “art/design” and not enterprise/back-end database nerd-land, as do most enterprise IT staff. It’s like what happened to Apple, in the sense that there’s simply NO WAY of making people understand that the old MacOS WAS for the art/design club, but now there’s a NEW rock solid engineering OS, unix-based, etc, where you could have the best servers … No way.

    Those tides are necessarily slow.

  4. key2flex  June 23, 2009 3:00 am

    Your analysis is very well put. At key2flex, we have taken a practical approach to this. When our development studio was contacted to assist in re-engineer a E.R.P. already installed in major global companies involved in the Supply Chain Management, we actually accentuated the unique advantages of Flex for their business application.
    This application is now in its last phase before deployment.
    For the clients we have Flex, BlazeDS and the cloud computing capabilities became the only way to go to improve productivity and reduce costs.
    Read more at http://blog.key2flex.com

  5. Sravan  June 23, 2009 5:19 am

    Thanks, key2flex. I will check out your blog.

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