5 keypoints to consider when choosing a path for your web development

With regard to rich Internet application technologies (RIA), it is possible to choose between two main paths: Ajax or Flash. There is not yet a final decision in the web development world as to which technology is superior to the other, both have their pros and cons. Here are the main points to consider when making a decision.


UI Capabilities, Usability

Flash and Ajax support various attractive visual effects, such as drag and drop and transitions. But with Ajax, you are limited to the set of predefined effects, with Flash, you can reproduce almost any effect.

Ajax and Flash / Flex applications can be made accessible to people with disabilities. The Flash web application looks like a desktop application instead of a more traditional Ajax web application.



Flash websites are based on the Flash 9 browser plug-in. The advantage of using a proprietary plug-in like Flash 9 is the same environment on all web browsers. The downside is that the plug-in must be installed. But the plug-in is not large and available for all the most popular browsers.

The advantage of Ajax is that it runs in various web browsers, without the need for a plug-in. The downside is that there are differences between DOM, JavaScript, and CSS browser implementations, which can result in Ajax applications running in one browser, but not in another. Another disadvantage of Ajax is that it requires JavaScript to be enabled in the web browser.


Speed of loading and rendering

The latest versions of Flash Player present significant performance improvements and can easily cope with a complicated user interface. Ajax application performance is based on browser performance, which may vary from browser to browser.

Flash apps are usually larger than Ajax apps, but they are usually cached in the browser, so next time, they will be loaded from the browser cache.



Both technologies are generally considered to be equally secure, although the Flash plug-in may introduce additional security risks. Most Ajax code is plain text and therefore easy to read: this could make it easier for attackers to find vulnerabilities.

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