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Rich Internet applications (RIAs) are web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications. RIAs typically transfer the processing necessary for the user interface to the web client but keep the bulk of the data (i.e. the state of the program, the data, etc.) back on the application server.

RIAs typically do the following:

  • run in a web browser, or do not require software installation
  • run locally in a secure environment called a sandbox

The term "rich Internet application" was introduced in a white paper of March 2002 by Macromedia (now Adobe Systems)[1], though the concept had existed for a number of years earlier under names such as:

  • Remote Scripting, by Microsoft, circa 1998
  • X Internet, by Forrester Research in October 2000
  • Rich (web) clients
  • Rich web application
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  1. Macromedia Flash MX—A next-generation rich client
RIA Branch
Preceded by
HTML
RIA Followed by
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Adobe
More information about this topic can be found on the Adobe Wiki.

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