AJAX and RIA Development

Martin Heller

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The story of software development in the last few years has been driven by the need to provide a good user experience without installation issues and update woes. For some people that has meant building "smart client" applications, as promoted by Microsoft. For others, that has meant building rich Internet applications (RIAs) using technologies such as AJAX, Microsoft Silverlight, and Adobe Flash and Flex. For a sizable subset of Web applications, "zero footprint" on the client is a requirement, which usually leads to the adoption of AJAX for these applications. (When we say AJAX, we include all the different varieties of asynchronous JavaScript Web applications, whether or not they use XML for their data exchange.) Challenges for the AJAX Developer The biggest problem with AJAX for developers is that it has been hard to implement, debug and maintain. In particular, ... (more)