AlexandRIA: A Visual Tool for Generating Multi-device Rich Internet Applications Articles uri icon



publication date

  • July 2013

start page

  • 317

end page

  • 359


  • 12

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1540-9589

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1544-5976


  • Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) Engineering is an emerging area of Software Engineering, which still lacks of adequate development approaches and tools for support compared to Web Engineering. Therefore, in most cases the development of RIAs is performed in an ad-hoc manner and it is just driven by a set of new frameworks, which are mainly classified into JavaScript-based and non-JavaScript-based frameworks. RIAs development involves design principles of Web and desktop applications because RIAs, which are a new generation of Internet applications, combine behaviours and features of these two kinds of applications. Furthermore, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers are also being involved in RIAs development because of the growing demand for ubiquitous Web 2.0 applications; therefore, RIAs are known as multi-device RIAs. During the last few years different contributions have arisen with the aim of bridging the gap between the Web and the RIAs engineering support. These proposals which are either: 1) extensions of existing methodologies for Web and hypermedia applications development, or 2) Model-driven Development (MDD) methods for rich Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) designing, which do not cover multi-device RIAs development. Furthermore, some proposals lack of support tools. Taking this into account, in this paper we propose a visual tool that implements a GUI pattern-based approach for code generation of multi-device RIAs. This visual tool called AlexandRIA is a source and native code generator for Rapid Applications Development (RAD), which allows automatically generating code based on a set of preferences selected throughout a wizard. In order to validate our proposal, two cloud services APIs-based multi-device RIAs are generated using AlexandRIA. Finally, a qualitative/quantitative evaluation was performed in order to accurate the legitimacy of our proposal against other similar academic and commercial proposals.