Friday, September 12, 2008

Rich Internet (Business) Applications

Rich internet applications (RIAs) are web applications that have features and functionality of desktop applications. They are interactive, flashy, and usually offer rich functionality. More and more, they are being used to answer the demand for a better online user experience.

While I believe that RIAs are very useful for a business, there are a couple things that companies need to keep in mind before using them:

  1. Don’t use RIAs just because they are flashy. Figure out how they can be used to help your business before you do anything.
  2. Keep it simple. There are many possibilities when using RIAs, and it’s very possible to go overboard with functionality. Don’t confuse the user. Create something that is both beneficial and easy to use.
For instance, here’s a good example of how RIAs can be used to compliment Business Intelligence. Scroll your mouse over the little “callout” icons on the page and you’ll see one beneficial use for RIAs. Do you see how simple that is, yet very helpful at the same time?


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