ZapThink: Rich Internet Application Environment Market Consolidating

Gap Widens between the Vision and Execution of Rich Internet Applications in the Enterprise. Adobe and Microsoft Dominate; Open Source Vendors Round Out Market

Baltimore, MD (PRunderground) May 06, 2009 — ZapThink released a report today showing that as the Rich Internet Application (RIA) market grows, it increasingly overlaps other, more mature markets, including portals, business intelligence, application modernization, and a range of nascent Service consumer markets, including Enterprise Mashups. As a result, while the RIA market should continue to grow for the next few years, it will most likely merge with other markets long term. This convergence has a significant impact in how the enterprise consumes RIA technologies.

“There is increasing demand for RIA capabilities in the enterprise, although people don’t identify the applications that leverage such capabilities as RIAs,” said Jason Bloomberg, Managing Partner and Senior Analyst with ZapThink. “Rather, RIA capabilities are features of many of those applications.”

ZapThink further showed that Rich Internet Application market has largely consolidated, with Adobe Systems’ AIR and Flex offerings, and Microsoft’s Silverlight technology and associated Expression Suite tools. Even though these two vendors dominate market share and aggressively compete for license revenue, there are an increasing range of free and open source tools offered by a number of smaller vendors that give developers a range of options.

Key findings of the report include:

  • ZapThink estimates that the total market for RIA environments and components will grow to over $700M by 2011.
  • Adobe is currently the biggest and most experienced RIA player, but it faces serious challenges on multiple fronts, most notably open source solutions and Microsoft, with its relatively new Silverlight technology.
  • Since 2006, ZapThink has seen substantial contraction in the RIA component submarket, elimination of the extensions submarket, and consolidation and expansion of the RIA environments submarket.
  • As the line between browser-based and desktop-based applications blurs, and as approaches for abstracting functionality and information from user interfaces develop, other markets will eventually merge with the RIA market.

The report, available on ZapThink’s Web site at, features several firms offering RIA products, including Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE), Backbase, Borland, Curl, Dojo, e-Business Applications, Eclipse Foundation, Ext, Facebook, FriendFeed, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), IBM (NYSE: IBM), ICEsoft, Ideo Technologies, IDV Solutions, Integra SP, JackBe, jQuery, Kapow Technologies, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), MooTools, Mozilla, MySpace, Nexaweb, Nitobi, Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL), OpenLaszlo, Prototype, Rico, SAP (NYSE: SAP), Scriptalicious, Social Thing, Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA), TIBCO (NASDAQ: TIBX), TweetDeck, twhirl, Twitter, Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO), Zapatec, and ZK.

Read more at: ZapThink press release