Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rich Internet Applications for the Enterprise (speaker Christophe Coenraets)

All in all, this also felt like a product plug like the GWT but with the difference that this product (Flex) is not open source and will generate money for Adobe, for whom Christophe works.

RIA are, according to the speaker, applications that can be characterized by the following aspects: expressiveness, performance, realtime, rich media, and desktop/offline use.

The latter is a bit difficult for normal Ajax applications but with Flex you can use the Flash runtime to run your Flex application offline.

Christophe mentioned the trend we see in applications as they went from developer centric to data centric and now, with RIA, to user centric. To me, that sounds strange as the data of a company will probably be longer around than the average employee.

He continued by showing some really cool UI demos, no denying that, and told the audience that Flex can also target a locally available JVM.

Since Flex uses Flash, it is worth noting that Flash 9 is largely rewritten to support (better) JIT compiling and binary sockets, all of which is available to application written in Flex.

Sockets is typically one of those things that are virtually impossible to do in “ordinary” Ajax.

To sum this entry up, one nice data-management-thingy is, that with Flex you can configure when changes are persisted: realtime, leaving the field or per form.

My take on this session: really groovy looking demos by a guy who has been around long enough developing software to get some credit but at the end of the day, the feeling I got was that someone was pushing their product on me. Too bad that a friend of mine wasn’t here as he is very interested in buying / working with Flex.

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