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This is my first blog post here on SCN so I thought, let me introduce myself to everyone and say “Hello World”.

My name is Mrinal Wadhwa, I live Bangalore, I’m addicted to music and coffee.. and I build Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). Some of you may ask .. what are Rich Internet Applications? .. while there are many definitions on the web, I like to decide if something is an RIA or not based on the following criteria …

 

  1. It has to be an Application … something that deals with dynamic data, takes an input and processes it to produce valuable output.
  2. Its primary function should be to deal with data that lives on the Internet (or intranets).
  3. It should offer a user experience that is Richer than what we’ve been used to in the past in a particular environment.              

If a piece of software satisfies the above criteria, in my opinion, its an RIA. If you think about these points for a little bit, you’ll quickly realize that “RIA”, even though a fairly new buzzword, is not a new concept …. Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Messenger, Gmail etc are all RIAs that came out several years ago. After some more thought, you’ll realize that in today’s context majority of applications that we build have something to do with data that lives elsewhere on the network, therefore the dominant factor that defines an RIA is the richness of the experience users have while using it. So if we oversimplify, RIAs are applications built with special attention to user interface and user experience.

 

Many modern interface development technologies have been labeled as Rich Internet Application Technologies .. these include AJAX, various Javascript libraries and frameworks, modern browsers, Gears, Flex, Flash Player, AIR, Silverlight, JavaFX etc .. while these technologies facilitate building an RIA it does not automatically imply that everything built with them is an RIA … in fact, it is very easy to build a Not So Rich Internet Application ( NSRIA 😀 ) with these so called RIA technologies. At the same time, it is important to note that the use of these technologies is not a prerequisite to building an RIA either.

As you can see, I love talking about RIAs and that is what I do on my blog … my posts here on SCN will be focused on the use and impact of RIAs and RIA technologies in the enterprise space. The increasing popularity of Flex in the SAP world is a strong indicator of the future of RIAs in the enterprise and I plan to use this space to learn and share knowledge on this subject. 

 

Apart from RIA, I also plan on using this SCN blog to to talk about ESME, my role in the ESME team has been primariy around building clients.. I developed the AIR based desktop client and I’m now working on our new Web interface that is still in development ..so I hope to write about the technologies/techniques used in building the clients, possible use cases and also share my experiences  working in the Community serendipity delivers value

 

I hope you all enjoy what I write and I look forward several fun filled discussions.

 

If you wish to talk or learn more about RIAs, please do join us at the RIA Birds Of a Feather session at Community Day, Bangalore. Register Here

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10 Comments

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  1. Darren Hague
    Great to see you here, Mrinal! I look forward to your insights. That’s an interesting point about not-so-rich internet apps – as Lee Provoost tweeted yesterday (http://twitter.com/leeprovoost/statuses/969419754):
    me at presentation: “webdynpro can generate Flex now”, audience: “so we can generate now 1980s Flex UIs?”

    This is a grim statement, but true. We have to be careful that we don’t simply regenerate existing SAP transaction screens in a new technology. With SAP being used increasingly by occasional users (as opposed to daily-use accounting folks etc), the user interface needs to be simple & intuitive, even if the functionality delivered is less.

    In consulting life, the one thing I kept hearing over and over is “SAP should be as easy for our users as Amazon”. That’s a big challenge, but one that we really need to overcome, the more so as we spread SAP to smaller and smaller companies.

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    1. AVIK SANYAL
      I totally agree with Darren on the Amazon thing!!! Anyways Mrinal…. We’ll explore how RIAs can add a new dimension to the SAPs User experience….!!!!

      Welcome to SCN.

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    2. Mrinal Wadhwa Post author
      Thanks Darren 🙂

      What you’ve pointed out is a very common pitfall, I’ve seen it happen even on the open web .. were people end up creating replicas of traditional html websites in RIA technologies .. I think the key is to hire a good Interaction Designer who understands the possibilities in these new technologies, we developers cannot design and we should accept that .. the ROI of hiring a good designer I think is huge.        

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  2. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Mrinal!!!

    Welcome to SCN buddy! -:D It was about time for you to join us…I’m sure you’re contributions on the RIA Arena are going to be so cool! -;)

    Welcome again, and please enjoy your stay.

    Greetings,
    Blag.

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  3. Natascha Thomson
    And congratulations to being a BPX blogger now. The first blog is the hardest, and yours is already very good. Glad to have you participating in the community on this level!
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