It has been a busy first day at Office 2.0. Marc, Jnan and I are here to represent Curl's Platform as an alternative to other more well know RIA alternatives such as Adobe's Flex.
Marc moderated a panel that explored the state of RIA adoption by enterprises in the
Representing the different RIA technologies were Peter Armstrong for Ruby, Kevin Hakman for Tibco, Ryan Stewart for Abobe, David Tempkin for Laszlo and of course our own Jnan Dash representing Curl.
Marc did a great job moderating and got a lively discussion going.
Marc started the discussion by putting out a definition of RIA from Martin Heller at InfoWorld.
RIAs attempt to combine the strengths of desktop and Web applications without falling prey to their weaknesses. RIAs try to present most of their user interfaces at the client so that they can be responsive and the interface can be as complex as it needs to be. RIAs often do need an installation, but usually only for the runtime engine, which tends to be small and most often updates itself automatically. The RIA application itself typically launches from the remote server.
The first question was when will the fortune 1000 jump onto the RIA bandwagon?
Ryan made the point that it will be end users that will drive adoption, but many on the panel including Kevin and Jnan see that adoption is already underway and it is driven by real business needs.
Jnan pointed as we know that in Japan Curl is deployed in business critical applications at companies like Panasonic, Sony and Toyota. That matched Kevin's experience at Tibco were their fortune 1000 companies are seeing the benefit of RIA in particular at HR block.
All agreed with the point that it's hard to get enterprises to talk about applications behind the firewall. No one wants to give away their competitive differentiation.
Jnan pointed out an insight we got from our recent meeting with Accenture. As I have noted the adoption of RIA in Japan seems to be a couple of years ahead of the US. What the folks at Accenture pointed out is that Japan is much more prone to do in house IT development. This has lead them to implement solutions using RIA directly to satisfy business imperatives. In the US market IT is much more likely to choose packaged software over in house IT development. This means that RIA adoption will be driven by ISVs and to this point ISVs have not felt the competitive pressure to cause them to create better products through the deployment of RIA.
See also the post on the panel at Blognation by Tris Hussey
See also my photos of the panel discussion here.