Rich Internet Applications (RIA) Benchmark Study Released to Help Enterprises Assess Technology Options and Accelerate Adoption: Comparison of Curl, Adobe Flex and Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX shows relative strengths and weakness of each development platform

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The results of an independent benchmark study that compared three Rich Internet Application development platforms have been released. The study, conducted by Sonata Software, a Bangalore, India-based global systems integrator and solution provider, evaluated Adobe(R) Flex, ASP.NET AJAX from Microsoft(R) and the Curl Rich Internet Application (RIA) platform. The results found each to have unique advantages, with ASP.NET AJAX most appropriate for business-to-consumer transaction applications; Flex the best choice for solutions that require media content delivery; and Curl most appropriate for enriching enterprise-class desktop applications with RIA.

With the growth of RIA projects both outside and behind the firewall, we realized developers as well as business executives need as much information as possible to evaluate the technology options available to them

    The benchmark study, sponsored by Curl(R), Inc., was conducted by a four-person development team from Sonata over a two-month period ending in August 2007. During this time, the team built an enterprise-grade RIA through actual development and deployment of a typical read/write order entry application. Since order entry applications are widely deployed as client-server systems in many enterprises, the results of the study are intended to educate Web application developers building RIAs.

"The popularity of consumer Websites such as Google Maps, YouTube, and Flickr has created a high demand for Web-based applications in both the consumer and enterprise arenas. To address this need, a number of Rich Internet Application development platforms have arisen, but with this comes increased confusion about choosing the right technology," said R. Balasubramanian, assistant vice president, migration and modernization services, Sonata. "This study provides developers and decision makers alike with additional data to help them determine which is the most appropriate technology for their RIA initiative."

Throughout the study, Sonata collected data on factors contributing to ease of learning, ease of design, ease of development, and runtime performance characteristics under different data volume levels. The study uncovered the following about each of the three technologies:

-- ASP.NET AJAX - The significant strength for this platform is that it is easy to learn for ASP.NET developers. It offers good documentation for UpdatePanel objects and invoking Web services is easily programmable with this technology.

-- Flex - This platform was found to have languages similar to existing ones used by developers, while also offering easily programmable charts and grids. In addition, invoking Web services with this technology is easily accomplished and incorporates a user interface look and feel that is very attractive.

-- Curl - The Curl platform generated an application that was quick to download and fast to start up. Additionally, it offered good performance on large volumes of data as well as excellent built-in data analysis tools. Of particular interest to RIA developers, the study found that Curl required 34 percent less code than AJAX and 31 percent less than Flex.

"With the growth of RIA projects both outside and behind the firewall, we realized developers as well as business executives need as much information as possible to evaluate the technology options available to them," said Jnan Dash, chief strategy officer, Curl. "We commissioned this study to address this need so that organizations could accelerate their RIA deployments, ultimately benefiting all companies included in the report."

When determining the appropriate technologies to study, Sonata took into account that enterprises expect excellent after-sales support from the solution providers. Thus, the criterion for selecting the platforms to compare was based entirely on the availability of the support services around them. As a result, solutions that were still in beta or open-source versions without organized support were excluded.

"This study first and foremost supports the common perception that a given programming language is best suited to a specific environment, providing detailed exemplars in each case," said Brad Shimmin, principal analyst, application infrastructure with Current Analysis. "More importantly, it validates Curl's basic premise that not all commercial RIA technologies are equally adept at supporting enterprise-class, data intensive desktop applications both in terms of performance and simplicity."

The benchmark study is also available for download at the Curl RIA Knowledge Center, a vendor-neutral resource for enterprise RIA information, including articles, white papers, podcasts and analyst reports.

Multimedia (including charts from the study): Curltech flickr page, Curltech photobucket page

Technorati Tags: Curl Enterprise RIA, RIA, Rich Internet Application, Enterprise 2.0

Suggested Links: Digg, Curl, Inc's Blog, Curl, Inc.'s page

About Curl, Inc.

Curl provides a Rich Internet Application platform for building and deploying Web-based applications that demand complex, highly interactive interfaces previously only possible as client-server applications. Using Curl, developers can implement a new class of complex, business-critical, Web-based applications that cannot easily be developed with Ajax or other smart client technologies. Curl allows corporations with legacy client-server applications to move to Web-based delivery, increasing reach and reducing cost. Founded in 1998, Curl is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumisho Computer Systems. Curl has over 300 customers and 40 partners world-wide. For more information visit

About Sonata Software Limited

Sonata Software, headquartered in Bangalore, India, is a leading IT Consulting and Services company. Sonata's customers span across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its portfolio of services include IT Consulting, Application Development, Application Management, Managed Testing, Business Intelligence, Infrastructure Management and Outsourced Product Development. Sonata is listed on the Indian Stock Exchanges and is SEI CMM Level 5 certified.

Sonata Software has a proven track record of rapidly building and easily deploying Rich Internet Applications for enterprises & ISVs. Their optimized five-stage RIA adoption methodology ENRICH brings dynamic and rich web content to the customer.

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