Increasing number of software manufacturers is shifting their “Software as a service” portfolio towards RIA. RIAs are offering more convenience, enhanced functionality and saving the resources. The main reasons why these manufacturers are making this shift is there is no install efforts, truly cross platform and new business models based on SaaS.
As of the earlier scenario, it was a quite complex job to distribute software within a company. It meant lots of efforts for installing and maintenance. In addition, it involved huge investments. However, things are changing and different now since business software practices are changing for good. Most of the business software manufacturers are developing business software as ERP, logistics, SCM and more and distributing them on internet leveraging the advantages of Software as a service models.
Though most people cannot relate Web 2.0 with business software as Web 2.0 is associated with virtual meeting points such as social community portals, Facebook, YouTube and others. However, the business software vendors are using both portals and platform to increase the usability of their software. The most important thing to be kept in mind is that Internet has become the largest communication platform and browser is regarded as the universal user interface. The most important advantage that SaaS can have from RIAs is distribution of the software. Earlier, any software needs to be installed on a local PC for each employee concerned. However, now things are changing as business software can be used within a browser. A few common examples can be Google Docs and spreadsheets.
What has made things possible and easier is application databases are available on browsers. Moreover, anyone authorized can perform data processing in real-time in little time. It is the RIA applications developed using technology such as AJAX, Flex and Java made this possible. These RIAs offer better functionality and more usability and moving the web applications to completely new horizons. Looking at its advantages, more business software manufacturers are integrating RIA based applications in their businesses and moving their products on internet. Most of the emerging RIA technologies offer desktop-like UIs with better response. Advanced business process applications are more benefited by these better UIs than those developed using plain HTML.
Furthermore, for operating these RIA-influenced SaaS, operating systems hold not much importance because these can be run on any end user device such as PDA or smart phones. However, it depends upon the RIA technology is use.
Let us recapitulate what we have discussed above.
Earlier, software is used to be installed either on the individual end user device or as an HTML application. But now, RIA based software can be installed on a centralized server. With your internet connection being perfect, you will not face any problem running these applications on your PC without encroaching extra space for software installation. It means lesser maintenance jobs too.
With earlier software applications, business software components need to be compatible with the end-user device concerned. However, with RIA based SaaS, there is no such issue. With every new version, only the capacity and performance of the server is most important thing. There is no need to upgrade hardware in your device.
With these applications being available on internet, businesses have easy access to any software after paying a regular fee to the vendors.