Rich Internet Applications bring a new dimension of richness to web applications. While there are some who are skeptical about RIA value for end users there are others who believe that it is the Future Direction of Applications.
While most people agree that browser is a universal client and in a comparison of Ajax vs RIA – Ajax still rules, there is one prevailing thought that to do anything on the desktop you need to go Beyond the Browser.
This is not true.
In fact by using browser as the client for RIA as Dekoh does, it is possible to provide a seamless user experience for web and desktop applications. Take a look at this screen shot from Dekoh Photos it is showing the local file-system in a AJAX UI.
Such applications also have the other advantage of gracefully degrading when internet connection is not available. An example of this is Dekoh Calendar. If the user is connected to the internet Dekoh Calendar synchronizes events with Google calendar in both directions. If the user is not connected, the calendar continues to work well locally, just that the sync happens the next time user connects to the internet. This kind of seamless user experience for offline and online operation for an application is possible only when the user interface is in the browser.