Application availability is the first quality encountered by customers, but the last one to be determined by the development process, because it depends on the quality of everything else that happens during design, development, and testing web applications. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and developing RIAs will uncover any weaknesses in an enterprise’s development and SLM processes.
RIAs inevitably involve running complex code on the client, and use more complex and application-specific strategies to manage the communication between browser and server. Making such complex code efficient and bugfree is not a task to be taken lightly.
Better tools are needed to help us meet the challenges of creating and managing robust applications; today, while the Adobe suite of Flash tools is a little more mature, Ajax development and application performance testing tools are still in their infancy. The Open Ajax initiative may help to address this issue. Therefore deploying an RIA successfully will demand more resources— skills, tools, process, time, and (of course) money—than would be required to deploy a more traditional Web-based application in which all application logic is executed on the server. Enterprises that decide to employ the technology must be prepared to invest more in design, development, testing and management to make it successful.
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