Today's Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) bear about as much resemblance to the early Web sites of the 1990s as today's cars bear to a Model T. While the principle may be the same, the underlying technology is radically different. While safety testing for automobiles has improved significantly in the past hundred years, though, Web-application testing remains stuck in a 1990s mindset. In this week's column, Bryan Sullivan explains that QA must change its testing approach in order to maintain the security of the code.
RIAs are also different from traditional Web applications in that a significant amount of application processing can take place on the client machine, which is the source of the RIAs' performance improvements over traditional Web applications. RIAs are faster because much of their code is executed directly on the user's machine; this is a dramatic difference from the early days of the Web when browsers basically behaved like dumb terminals. Their only real purpose was to accept user input, send it to the server, and display the response. All of the real logic processing took place on the server; now, though, the capabilities of the Web browser have greatly expanded.