Ten years ago, would anyone have thought consumers would be the leading force in application development? The World Wide Web is making the consumer a powerful change agent. Consumer-facing applications are the driving force behind the pressure put on businesses that sell products/services on the Web. If the businesses don’t provide what the consumers expect, the consumers will go elsewhere to buy the goods and services. The consumer can customize products and orders and can read pages of books before buying them. If not satisfied, the consumer can move from one business to another with a click of the mouse.

This amazing consumer power mandates that the applications on the Web have dynamic contents with rich visualization and extreme interactivity. In short, these applications have to be rich in all these capabilities. Let’s appropriately call them rich Internet applications (RIAs).

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