Multimedia Internet Development

Year: 3

Rich Internet Applications

To: James Williams

From: Julian Moruzzi

Table of Contents

Table of Figures

1.0 Introduction

Originally the target of this report was to create a Rich Internet Application for an organisation which could be fictitious in nature. The application could be developed using one of the following ways:

  • Using Flash 8 & Action Script 2.0 programming to connect with some basic server side script, e.g. PHP.
  • Using Flash CS3 with Action script 3.0 to create a multimedia based application
  • Using Flex with MXML to achieve similar results

Due to time constraints on the report and due to other priorities of the author, the second bullet point above was chosen as a focus and not based around any particular organisation.

What was proposed, instead of building a fully functional application, was a template to allow the building of a full CS3 based web application. It will be the basis of a site for any information to be processed into.

As well as the implementation of the application a concepts section contained in the report explains about Rich internet applications and the development of such in industry.

2.0 Concepts

2.1 RIA explained and contrasted

This concept section has been written in order to explain the following points

  • To compare and contrast approaches to building RIAs.
  • To describe and illustrate a Distributed Rich Internet Application.
  • To evaluate the latest industry developments and emerging RIA technologies.

Rich internet applications are web applications that now incorporate in retrospect features that current desktop applications have. Rich Internet applications abbreviated as ‘RIA’ require a web browser for access to the content unlike a desktop application.

‘Unlike traditional applications software installation is not required’ [http: 1].

Depending on the machine that is being used to view the RIA however might need Activex, Flash, Java or a similar plug-in installed.

There are many different types of RIA development packages available. Adobe believes that RIA: -

‘offer a rick, engaging experience that improves user satisfaction and increases productivity using the broad reach of the internet’. [http: 2]

This is merely saying that Adobe are enabling developers to build applications that can do so much more than just view HTML data and lets the user be in control whilst also sharing the experience over the internet.

‘RIA’’s can be deployed over browsers and desktops’ [3]

There are a number of main RIA development types that range from open source development packages to expensive detailed multimedia based packages.

An RIA enables a developer to display web services and enable content to be processed on multiple servers; the front end is an RIA while the back end could be a number of things. The different development packages for creating combine different techniques to give the user a unique experience.

Adobe seems to be the leaders of the technology in RIA development giving the whole experience of creation using their development packages.

Creating an RIA needs a selection of technology to build them:

Building Tools: Adobe C3S / AS3.0, Adobe Flex builder 3.

Clients: Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Air

Frameworks: Ajax, Adobe Flex 3

Servers and Services: Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Flash media server, etc

Using the previous technology would give an effective Rich internet application, or the foundation to building one, this is using the Adobe software development tools

‘Use Adobe tools, clients, frameworks, servers, and services as a complete solution for building RIAs, or use them in combination with other familiar web technologies.’ [http: 4]

Figure: 1 Adobe platform for RIAs


There are other technologies that can be linked in with some of the above technology to help in creating RIA’s also:

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Open Laszlo: This is an open source platform for creating web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software. This is an open source program (free) but is written in XML and java script and then compiled to Flash. This is a cheaper way of constructing RIA without the need of Adobe software just the flash player.

Ajax: This is a group of inter related web techniques for creating interactive web applications. This is a cross platform technique which can be used on many different operating systems, web browsers and computer architectures; it is based around open ...

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