Adobe Flex 3.0 promises much faster runtimes than Flex 2.0, and Adobe AIR promises a cross-operating system runtime that allows developers to use their existing Web development skills to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop. Meanwhile, Google Gears gives you a LocalServer, a Database, and a WorkerPool so that you can make Web applications run on the desktop.
InfoWorld has reviewed a number of RIA toolkits and frameworks, including open source AJAX packages Dojo, Google Web Toolkit, Microsoft Axis (now ASP.Net AJAX), OpenRico/Prototype, Yahoo AJAX Library, and Zimbra's Kabuki AJAX Toolkit; enterprise AJAX tools Backbase, Bindows, JackBe, and TIBCO General Interface; Adobe Flex 2.0; and Curl 5.0. Many of these reviews include links to recorded screencast demos that show just what the tools can do. Finally, see InfoWorld RIA TechIndex for additional coverage.
Read more about applications in InfoWorld's Applications Channel.