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Applets




Rich Internet App



Both applets and Java Web Start applications are considered Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

Applets

    Applets run in the context of a browser.
    Applets have access to session cookies and persistent cookies.
    Applets can interact with the web page that they are embedded in. 
    Applets can traverse and manipulate the Document Object Model of the web page and interact with 
JavaScript that is in the web page. JavaScript code can access public methods and variables of an applet.
    Applets can be launched using Java Network Launch Protocol (JNLP).
    Applets can also be launched without JNLP, in which case, their capabilities might be limited.
    Applets can request a particular version of the Java Runtime Environment software for execution.

Java Web Start applications

    Java Web Start applications are launched from a web page the first time. 
    Subsequently, they may be re-launched from the web page or from a desktop shortcut.
    Java Web Start applications do not run in the context of a browser. 
    The applications cannot interact with HTML and JavaScript in a web page and have access to persistent 
cookies only.
    Java Web Start applications are allowed access to persistent storage, file I/O, and other client related 
services.
    Java Web Start applications can request a particular version of the Java Runtime Environment software for
 execution.


http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/deployment/_riaDecisionGuide.html