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Impact - A Blog by INM

Archive for 'January 2008'

    RIAs and Business Intelligence

    Back in November, I posted about the trend of leveraging rich Internet applications (RIAs) for presenting key data and information for decision-makers and task-oriented workers. This trend seems to be picking up momentum quickly as there has been a swell of activity from companies like SAP and BEA around RIAs and business intelligence.

    Another major player threw its ring in the RIA business intelligence ring today, with Information Builders’ announcement of its new offering. Information Builders provides software and support to more than 12,000 customers, including many Fortune 100 companies and US federal government agencies. Its new offering, WebFOCUS FLEX Enable, is an application engine that allows developers and analysts to create custom interactive and animated dashboards. What’s interesting about this offering is the self-service model that it provides. Unlike some of the finished solutions announced, this is an application engine that allows developers to build what they need.

    This trend toward RIA-based business intelligence solutions is one I am certain we will see more and more of in the coming months.

    Inside RIA: A New RIA Community Site

    Last week a new rich internet application website launched. The site, called Inside RIA, is an online community developed by O’Reilly, and sponsored by Adobe. Unlike many of the RIA-focused sites that include short postings and news, this one seems to offer more original content in the form of blog postings by industry experts, and feature articles from community members.

    The site is broken down into three main categories: Design, Development and Standards. Plans are to grow the site in the coming months to include articles, news, events, learning resources, and opinion pieces. One of the first features articles, "What is RIA", asks site experts and community members to explain what RIA means to them.

    If you are following the trends in RIA this is one site you'll want to bookmark.

    A Few RIAs that Caught My Eye

    Dashboard view of Quicken Application

    Over the past week or so I’ve seen a few interesting rich internet applications (RIAs) land in my inbox that deserve some attention. These are not necessarily best in breed, but are good, recent examples of how RIAs can really improve a user’s interaction with an application.

    First is the new online version of Quicken. This application in its original form was a good solid performer but was screaming for some rich graphics and enhanced interactivity, and Intuit delivered. The new version of Quicken includes a dashboard-like view with key data that allows users to easily and quickly drill down to see details. The info is delivered in a very visual and clear way, making it much easier for users to visualize their accounts. There are also a number of mobile improvements to help users access and update their info from afar.  

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    Is 2008 the Year of RIA Hardware?

    Last year, one of the hot topics amongst the technology media was the growth in interest, adoption, and announcements around Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). It seemed like every week there was a new story about development tools, technology announcements, beta launches and more.

    Now, just a few days into 2008, the buzz seems to be expanding to include hardware. With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) happening this week and Macworld slated for next week, the rumors are flying. Predictions range from a new breed of device that combines an OLED screen with enough flash memory, CPU power and a wireless connection to deliver a rich web experience at a fraction of the cost of a full desktop, to Apple and Adobe teaming up on a new hybrid iPod Touch-like device for RIAs.

    Intriguing predictions, but at this point they’re just rumors. It will be interesting to track the progress in the coming months to see if RIA hardware does start to make waves.

    PDF Becomes More “Standard”

    Last month, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved the PDF as an international document format standard. The format has been widely adopted for years, but this move reinforces the fact that PDF has become the choice for documents where it's necessary to preserve content accuracy and fidelity.

    What this means for businesses is that the "proprietary" element is removed from the format, ensuring that it is now a safe bet for organizations to count on for their crucial documents and business process needs.