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Bye Bye MVC, Hello RIA + SOA

Rich Web 2.0 applications will not become mainstream until the next generation of web platforms

The world of web development is moving away from MVC-based web architectures and towards a client/server model that is probably best described as RIA + SOA, where RIA represents the rich user interface and SOA represents the services that it consumes.

There has been a lot of buzz around rich Web 2.0 applications, but they will not become mainstream until the next generation of web platforms emerge - fully integrated platforms that enable RIA + SOA.

State of the Union
Currently, in the standards-based world of HTML, CSS and Javascript, RIA developers have to assemble multiple third-party libraries and frameworks in order to build a rich user interface.  This “a la carte” approach to building RIAs places an unnecessary burden on the developer.  Instead of focusing on building applications, the developer must spend time finding, integrating, and versioning the various pieces of their RIA development platform.  The same holds true on the SOA side; developers are left to figure out how to create services and how to integrate them with their RIA front-ends.  Developers need a platform that addresses every aspect of building an application, so that they can focus on doing what they do best – build applications.  The question is: what should a next-generation RIA + SOA platform look like?

The best place to start is with the activities that are required to build an RIA + SOA-based application. At a high-level these activities include:

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