Rich Internet Applications & The Service-Oriented Client
Adobe/Macromedia’s Kevin Lynch began with a recap of the AJAX rich internet application paradigm and some of its limitations (sockets, cookie storage, vector graphics etc.) before leading into the announcement of a Flash+AJAX web application model – only recently adopted by the AFLAX and Dojo.storage frameworks.
Interestingly, Flash is the most widely distributed client in the world, more so than even browsers, and is constantly refreshed and updated to ensure each client is running the latest code. Flash, Flex and the Flex+AJAX bridge are now the core of Adobe’s RIA strategy.
Lynch demonstrated an application that utilised a Ruby-based AJAX form to populate a Flash-based carousel of Flickr images. Notably, embedded Flash movies now include a View Source command to support remixing and reuse of Flash applets.
Lynch notes that though server-side development has shifted to an SOA and ESB-based models, but client development remains fragmented; a Service Oriented Client could be a solution to this problem and actually make client code more portable and consistent in use of local computing resources.