By Dean Jeannings, Steve Wyman

Rich Internet applications (RIAs) are Web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications. RIAs typically transfer the processing necessary for the user interface to the Web client but keep the bulk of the data (i.e., maintaining the state of the program, the data, etc.) back on the application server.

Who should read this?
Technical Architects, Developers
For the first time, applications created for use on the World Wide Web are rivaling those of the desktop. Dubbed Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), they attempt to offer the user a familiar user interface with the functionality and responsiveness expected from modern applications.

RIA technologies enable selective manipulation of Web page content without completely re-displaying an entire page. While this offers great capability in terms of creating a more engaging user experience as well as making more efficient use of physical resources, there are subtle implications as well.

This paper discusses how browser limitations impact development of RIAs and provides tips and techniques to help developers implement successful rich applications. Specifically, two key areas are addressed: optimizing performance and achieving maintainability.

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