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Beginning Adobe® AIR™: Building Applications for the Adobe Integrated Runtime by Rich Tretola

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2.1. What Is RIA?

A Rich Internet Application (RIA) is an application that runs in the traditional browser but utilizes an intermediate layer that can bypass the traditional Page Refresh that has been a standard of most current web applications. The most common tools that can achieve this intermediate layer include JavaScript used in Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) applications, as well as Flex or Flash using the Flash Player. Other RIA solutions include OpenLaszlo (which utilizes the Flash Player as well as Ajax), XUL (which is dependent on a Mozilla-compatible browser), and the Microsoft Silverlight.

2.1.1. Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash creates the SWF file type that runs within the Flash Player. Adobe Flash is currently in version 9 within the Adobe Creative Suite 3 software collection. Flash has been around for more than 10 years and was originally known as FutureSplash before being acquired by Macromedia and renamed as Macromedia Flash. Flash was a completely new way of building content for the Internet. It allowed for the creation of vector-based animations that could be embedded within a web page. Although Flash was originally used mainly for creating animations and introduction pages for web sites, it quickly developed into a way to create engaging Internet experiences. With the original release of ActionScript 1.0 and the ability to load data easily into Flash 5 applications, developers began to create the first truly Rich Internet Applications. The methods used were ...

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