Oct 3, 2009

Traversing the RIA landscape with FLEX


Adobe Flex is a complete, powerful application development and deployment solution for creating and delivering cross-platform Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

Adobe had partnered with SAP, BO, Oracle, and Salesforce.com in building RIAs solutions with its partners solutions. SAP is the front runner in this initiative and it has allowed Flex to fully harness the power of SAP Enterprise Services.

Flex enables companies to increase productivity and innovation while reducing operational costs through easy to use, efficient Web applications for employees, customers and partners. The rich data visualization capabilities of the platform allow the creation of powerful decision support applications, processing high volumes of data. Business process applications that span multiple siloed systems and require multiple steps can be streamlined into a single-page application that increases usability and throughput.

Why should we FLEX?

  • It’s more open, it's more global, and it will help give us a more usable web experience
  • Adobe FlexBuilder is a fast way to create an application -- although you don't have to use FlexBuilder.
  • It opens up the Flash Platform to the developer crowd. If you use Flex Builder you're using an IDE based on Eclipse and it has fantastic debugging support. All the tools you need to create rich web applications are at your fingertips.
  • Improve customer retention through ease of use and anytime, anywhere access
  • Increase opportunities for intelligent up selling and cross-selling
  • Decrease Errors, higher Web conversion rates, and thus improved revenues

Flex vs. Ajax:

  • Faster response time
  • Cross Browser compatibility Support – Supports multiple browser and platforms since it is player based
  • Enable faster, more accurate decisions with real-time data visualization applications.
  • Enables Desktop Independence
  • Flex can exist independently and coexist with other frame works.
  • Flex supports rich media content and capable of handling interactive video

  • Reaction time is limited – The reaction time and general speed of user Interaction is limited
  • Cross Browser compatibility Support is difficult- In their latest versions, the JavaScript, DOM, plug-in, and rendering engines included in Ajax apps still show thousands of incompatibilities between IE, Firefox, and Safari
  • The complexity is time-consuming
  • No Desktop Independence
  • JavaScript Engine limitations
  • Difficult to Choose the Best of Breed Frameworks

Flex in eCommerce Scenario
  • Visually represent the customized item, complete with personalized elements
  • Support co-browsing, enabling two customers in different locations to shop online together in the same application
  • Connect to inventory systems to provide real-time availability status
  • Reduce shopping cart abandonment
  • Lead to higher conversion rates
  • Help seal more cross-sell and up sell deals
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Drive revenue

Potential Business Areas

  • Retail (Single Page Checkout apps, B2B Portals, Sales Dashboard, Assortment Planning Tool, Product Configurators, Stock Replenishment Systems)
  • TMTS (Airlines Reservations, Hospitality, Media Publication, ePublishing, Entertainment Portals, Logistics Management Systems)
  • Manufacturing (Application Configurators, Dashboards, MIS Application)
  • Energy & Utilities (Inventory Management System, Transportation Planners)
  • HLS (Hospital Management Systems, Patient Information Systems)

Other Areas
  • Integrating Flex with portals like Salesforce.com
  • Integrating Flex with CRM applications like SAP




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