Every ten to fifteen years there is a radical software paradigm shift. Many of us experienced the last shift as the web gained momentum and software was rebuilt for a new and game-changing deployment model. Today we are in the midst of another great software paradigm shift. User and business needs now require software to be more usable, extensible, and portable.

Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) represent a new generation of software. As the name implies, RIAs provide users with a rich and interactive experience. At the same time, they offer the ease of deployment that made early web applications so successful. RIAs are the future of software because they combine the strengths of the web deployment model with the full client capabilities ...

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