Microsoft is finally making real efforts to woo the designer community who have traditionally worshipped the Adobe and Mac product ranges. One new product that addresses this previously overlooked community is Silverlight, which uses the XAML technology and is touted as Microsoft’s Flash killer. For anyone who is keen to listen, Microsoft proposes that Silverlight will achieve similar results to Flash, but it does so in an entirely different way and has different aims. So, the big question is, will Microsoft be able to break the dominance of Adobe’s Flash platform, that is available on the PC, Mac and mobile devices alike? I’m sure the jury is out on that one, but it can be said it is an uphill task. Read more – ‘Web 2.0 and Beyond with Silverlight and XAML’.
Both Web 2.0 and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) almost always depend up on the browser as a common denominator. It is with the web browser that web-based applications are accessed and run, yet the browser model is rapidly reaching its limitations. Prism is part of an experiment by Mozilla designed to bridge the divide in the user experience between web applications and desktop applications. Read more – ‘Refactoring the Web with Mozilla Prism’.
With the buzz around Rich Internet Applications (RIA) gaining a serious amount of steam and indeed press, with the likes of Adobe's Flash/Flex and Microsoft's Silverlight, Sun have now got in on the act with JavaFX. Announced at this years JavaOne conference, JavaFX makes use of a new scripting language and the Swing API for user interface (UI) design to position itself firmly in the RIA camp. Read more – ‘Lets Not Forget JavaFX’.
Rich Internet Applications are just the beginning. A key trend taking place throughout the Web industry is the urgency to integrate disparate systems and software tools to reduce costs, increase developer productivity, reduce the need for manual processing and intervention in transactions, and decrease time to market. To achieve these objectives, organisations have endorsed the adoption of standards-based systems combined with the migration to Web Services and Service Orientated Architecture. This has led to a requirement to create a consistent and intuitive interface to applications, data and services. The immediate goal of these efforts is to provide simpler, quicker and more efficient access and processing of information. Read more – ‘Future Directions for Rich Internet Applications’.
Microsoft finally unveiled its new product, Silverlight. But is it actually a product? Not really. It is more aptly described as a runtime system for a cut-down version of the .NET Framework and just-in-time (JIT) compilers. The runtime is tiny, designed to be a plugin to a web browser much like Flash is also available as a plugin. Microsoft see this technology as a potential "Flash killer", although it is unlikely to achieve such a status, at least in the short to medium term. They have stiff competition from Adobe with the AIR/Flash/Flex combination which is engrained into the designer/developer community. Read more – ‘Microsoft Gets Serious With Silverlight’.
The Internet has emerged from obscurity to become a dominant platform for application development and is integral to the idea of Software as a Service (SaaS). Unfortunately the demand to build applications of increasing complexity has continued to outpace the ability of traditional Web applications to represent that complexity and expectation. Utilisation of AJAX technologies attempts to reconcile some of the issues, but frequently the result is a frustrating, confusing or disengaging user experience resulting in unhappy customers, lost sales, and increased costs. Read more – ‘The Future of the Rich Internet’.
Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) combine the best user interface functionality of desktop software applications with the broad reach and low-cost deployment of Web applications and the best of interactive, multimedia communication. The end result is an application which provides a more intuitive, responsive, and effective user experience. Read more – ‘Rich Internet Applications – A Background’.