SAM SIG: RIA Architectures using Flash and AJAX Runtimes



  • The Monthly Meeting of the SAM SIG


    Presentation Overview

    Rich-client web applications or, as they're frequently called, Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) promise to recover the usability and performance of desktop applications, while retaining the benefits of zero-install web deployment.

    Like desktop applications, these new web applications require a deep stack of client-side components and services to support a more interactive, intelligent front end. Rich-client engines that provide these capabilities have been cooking for nearly a decade on the Java, Flash, and DHTML client platforms. These systems typically extend across the wire to server-side components that manage data/service integration and application delivery.

    In back-to-back presentations, we will explore architectures for effective RIAs, illustrating them via the capabilities of two mature solutions in this space:

    • OpenLaszlo - the open-source, Flash-based platform from Laszlo Systems
    • SmartClient - the DHTML/AJAX-based platform from Isomorphic Software

    Using these real examples, we will discuss:

    • common elements of rich-client architectures
    • new degrees of freedom for web app architecture (capabilities)
    • new design considerations & complexities (gotchas)
    • integration with existing architectures, technologies and server-side frameworks
    • where do the model, view, and controller reside in an RIA
    • insights into where to use Flash-based vs. AJAX-based solutions to best effect

    Different rich-client platforms may suit different types of applications, but their architectural elements and themes are very similar. Join us to see how these systems have merged the best aspects of client-server and web architecture for the next generation of business and consumer apps, and to discuss the relative strengths of Flash- and AJAX-based approaches that will make your solutions shine.

    Presenter Oliver Steele's presentation will expand on his White Papers, "Serving Client-Side Applications" and "Web MVC." They're served from his blog, where various of our colleagues have already added their comments and observations: and


    About the Presenters

    Oliver Steele, Chief Architect, Laszlo

    Oliver Steele is Chief Software Architect at Laszlo Systems, Inc.. He leads the design of Laszlo’s XML application description language. As Director of the Boston Office, he directs the team responsible for the OpenLaszlo open source software platform.

    Steele has extensive experience in software development and project management, particularly in the fields of 2D computer graphics, programming language design and implementation, and development environment tools. Most recently he served as CTO of AlphaMask, Inc., which was recently purchased by OpenWave Systems Inc.

    At Apple Computer, he was a contributor and project lead in both Computer Graphics and the Dylan Programming Language project. Steele is author of a patent on aspects of his computer graphics work and his programming language work resulted in publications. Concurrently with his graduate work in Linguistics and Computer Science, he was Chief Ontologist at Method Software, Inc, developing software to create conversational agents.


    Charles Kendrick, Chief Architect, Isomorphic

    Charles Kendrick is CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software. He is responsible for defining and evolving all components of the SmartClient architecture--including the in-browser GUI stack, server-side connectors, and shared metadata systems.

    Charles applies an extensive background in software development processes and patterns. Prior to co-founding Isomorphic, he architected and delivered both enterprise and consumer applications in roles at HP and Siemens, and as a consulting software architect.

    Charles is an alumnus of Stanford University, with a major in Symbolic Systems.


    Event Logistics


    Cubberley Community Center

    4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1

    Palo Alto, CA


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration/Networking/Refreshments/Pizza

    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentations



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members

    No charge for SDForum members

    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships

    No registration required

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