AJAX Usability Metrics
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  • 1. FLEX-2 Introduction
    • Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications
    • Prof. Suthikshn Kumar
  • 2. Contents
    • Building Rich Internet Applications with Flex-1 and Flex-2
    • Flash Player
    • Flex Framework
    • MXML
    • ActionScript
    • Working with Data Services
    • Understanding Diff with HTML and Flex
    • Understanding how flex applications work
    • Understanding Flex and Flash Authoring
    • MXML Language
    • A simple example
    • Using ActionScript
    • MXML and ActionScript correlations
  • 3. Programming Flex2
    • Chap 1: Introduction to Flex
    • Chap 2: Building Applications with Flex Framework
    • Chap 3: MXML
    • Chap 4: ActionScript
    • Chap 5: Framework Fundamentals
    • Chap 6: Managing Layout
    • Chap 7: Working with UI Components
    • Chap 12: Working with Data
  • 4.  
  • 5. Flex
    • Flex is a collection of technologies that enables you to rapidly build applications deployed to Flash Player, a runtime environment for delivering sophisticated user interfaces and interactivity.
    • Flex is simple and easy
    • It significantly lowers learning curve in that it allows you to compose applications rapidly by assembling off-the shelf components, including UI controls, layout containers, data models, and data communication components.
    • Flex 2 content relies on Flash Player 9
  • 6. Flash Player
    • Flex is a part of Adobe Flash Platform
    • Flex applications are deployed to Flash Player
    • Flash player runs all Flex applications
    • The popularity of Flash Player is due to :
      • More compelling and engaging than static HTML
      • Flash player is capable of providing integrated solutions that utilize data services, interactive UI design, media elements such as audio and video, and even real time communication
      • Drag and drop, doubel click: metaphors from desktop computing
      • Very small ( download < 1MB)
      • Stability and Security
      • Cross platform: runs on Windows, OS X, Linux and on all major browsers: firefox, IE, safari, opera
  • 7. .swf format
    • Using flex framework, you can build and compile to the .swf format
    • The .swf file is an intermediate bytecode format that Flash player can read.
    • Flash Player 9 introduces a new virtual machine called AVM2.
    • With AVM2, longer interpreted. Rather it is compiled, thus runs faster.
    • .swf is platform independent.
  • 8. Flex Framework
    • Written using ActionScript
    • Defines controls, containers and managers designed to simplify building rich internet applications.
    • The Flex class library consists of following categories:
      • Form Controls: buttons, text inputs, text areas, lists, radio buttons, checkboxes, combo boxes
      • Menu controls: popup menus and menu bars
      • Meda components: images, audio, vide
      • Layout containers: User layout containers to place contents within a screen . Build sophisticated layouts with grids, forms, boxes, canvases and more.
      • Data components and Data binding: connectors that simplify remote procedure calls, data models to hold the data that is returned, and data binding to associate form control data with data models.
  • 9. Flex Framework
    • Formatters and Validators
    • Cursor Management: Cursor appearance is changed inorder to notify users of waiting on a response from data service
    • State Management:
    • Effects: Animations such as fades, zooms, blurs and glows
    • History management: back and forward buttons
    • Drag and drop management
    • Tool tips: Add tool tips to user elements
    • Style Management: Directly or using CSS
  • 10.  
  • 11. Flex Builder 2
    • Is an official Adobe IDE for building and debugging Flex applications
    • Built on Eclipse IDE
    • Flex builder has built-in tools for
      • Writing
      • Debugging
      • Building applications using Flex technologies such as MXML and ActionScript
  • 12. Flex Elements
    • Flex framework includes core set of languages and libraries that are the basis pf any flex application.
      • MXML: is an XML based markup language that describes the screen layout. Form controls, media playback controls, effects, transistions, data models, data binding
      • ActionScript: Programming language understood by Flash Player. ActionScript can respond to events such as mouseclicks.
  • 13. Flex Application Framework
  • 14. How Flex Works
  • 15. Data Services
    • Flex applications are generally distributed applications
    • Flex applications can have :
      • Client tier : .swf running in Flash Player
      • Client tier communicates with server(s) inorder to send and retrieve data. The server provides data services.
    • Data services are programs with APIs whereby client can make a request to a method of that program. RPC, Flash Remoting using AMF
  • 16.  
  • 17. Data services
  • 18. Flex target applications
    • While countless types of applications can be enhanced through RIA technology,Flex is particularly well suited for applications with a distinct set of characteristics, ncluding those that:
      • Automate a multistep process, particularly where the teps are nonlinear or recursive
      • Combine graphical or multimedia content with data and application logic, articularly where users must interact with data or media locally
      • Require server push or access to real-time streaming data, uch as operational data or stock quote information
      • Must operate in a disconnected fashion, or either short or extended periods of time
      • Can benefit from complex client-side validation, uch as logic that depends on previous user entries or sophisticated validation logic Involve large data sets, articularly where client-side data manipulation is important
  • 19. Interactive Data Visualization
  • 20. Product Configuration and Selection For example,Harley Davidson is using Flex to allow customers to configure their own motorcycle online. s users select a model, ptions, nd colors, hey can immediately preview the ike ’s appearance and the otal cost of their selections.
  • 21. Flex and AJAX
    • Ajax is an acronym that stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. e term was coined to describe the use of browser technologies to deliver RIAs
    • Ajax is associated with a set of application design patterns as well as a variety of open source projects and commercial products.
    • Flex and Ajax both promote an architecture that enables applications to take greater advantage of the client runtime to provide richer application functionality.
    • As a result,the approaches used to expose business logic to Ajax clients (web services, EST APIs, and so on) re similar to those used in Flex applications.
    • While t is possible to develop rich clients using only client-side JavaScript and HTML (as many Ajax vendors promote), flash Player provides additional capabilities not available in HTML,
    • including a high-performance, just-in-time compiled execution engine, integrated APIs for graphics manipulation and vector drawing, and the robust, real-time messaging and integration services provided by Flex Data Services.
    • Also, because Flash Player is integrated with the browser runtime environment, developers can easily deliver applications that combine user interface logic written in JavaScript with components r entire applications written in Flex. for example, google s taking advantage of both JavaScript and Flash as part of its Google finance site.
  • 22. AJAX ad Flex
  • 23. Difference between Traditional (HTML ) and Flex Web Applications
    • In traditional applications, the presentation tier consists of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JSP, ASP, PHP or similar documents. It is stateless and fairly non responsive. ( exception of Ajax applications)
    • Flex applications generally reside embedded within the presentation tier. In addition, Flex applications can integrate with the presentation tier to create tightly coupled client side system.
    • Flex applications use Flash player to run sophiscticated client tier portions of applications.
    • Flex application cleint is stateful, responsive
  • 24. How Flex Applications Work Source Action Script MXML Assets ( PNG, GIF etc.) ActionScript + Generated ActionScript Assets (PNG, GIF) Code Gen Flash Player AVM2 Bytecode + Assets
  • 25. MXML
    • Like HTML, XML is a markup language that describes user interfaces that expose content and
    • functionality. nlike HTML, XML provides declarative abstractions for client-tier logic and
    • bindings between the ser interface and application data. XML helps maximize developer
    • productivity and application reusability by cleanly separating presentation and business logic.
  • 26. Components
    • Flex Applications are largely composed of components or modular elements.
    • A component is an Actionscript class or an MXML component document that has been mapped to an identifier via a manifest file so that ite can be instantiated via MXML.
    • There are two basic categories of Flex Framework components: Visual and non-visual
    • Visual Components consists of
      • Containers: componets that can hold other components
      • User Interface controls: visible interface elements such as buttons, text inputs, lists, data grids
    • The non-visual componets consist of the following:
      • Data components: create data structures such as arrays and collections
      • Utility Components: Achieve functionality such as looping
    • Component properties can be set using tag attributes or actionScript
  • 27. MXML Example
  • 28. Flex Application
    • <mx:Application />
    • <mx:Button />
      • click event handler
    • mx.controls.Alert.show
  • 29. MXML Basics – Visual Tags
    • Layout
      • Canvas, Form, VBox, HBox, ControlBar
    • Navigation
      • Accordion, LinkBar, MenuBar, ViewStack
    • Controls
      • Button, CheckBox, ComboBox, DataGrid, TextInput, List, Label, Tree
    • Charts
      • BarChart, PieChart, LineChart
  • 30. MXML Basics – Misc. Tags
    • Data Connectivity
      • HTTPService, RemoteObject, WebService, XML
    • Validation
      • EmailValidator, DateValidator, ZipCodeValidator
    • Effects
      • Zoom, Resize, Move, Fade
    • Style
      • Either inline or “source” set to external .css
    • Script
      • Either inline or “source” set to external .as
  • 31. MXML Basics – Data Binding
    • “ Glues” data from source to destination
      • When source data changes, destination auto-updates
    • Define with { and }
      • <mx:Button label=“{ userInput.text }” />
    • Use [Bindable] meta-data to mark properties as able to be bound
      • Explicit because performance implications
  • 32. Containers
    • VBox is a container that automatically arranges the child elements so they are stacked vertically
    • <?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“utf-8”?>
    • <mx:Application xmlns:mx= http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml layout= “absolute”>
    • <mx:VBox>
    • <mx:Button label=“Example Button 1” />
    • <mx:Button label= “Button2” />
    • <mx:HBox>
    • <mx:Button label= “Example Button 3” />
    • <mx:Button Label=“Example Button 4” />
    • </mx:HBox>
    • </mx:VBox>
    • </mx:Application>
  • 33. MXML to Handle click event
    • <?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“utf-8”?>
    • <mx:Application xmlns:mx= http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml layout=“absolute”>
    • <mx:Button id=“alertButton” label=“Show Alert” click=“mx.controls.Alerts.show(‘Example’) />
    • </mx:Application>
  • 34. Data Binding
    • <mx:VBox>
    • <mx:Text id=“output” text=“{input.text} width=“200” height=“200” />
    • <mx:TextInput id=“input” />
    • </mx:VBox>
  • 35. ActionScript Basics
    • Familiar syntax
      • Similar to C++, Java, C#, JavaScript
    • Dynamic Language, Weak Typing
      • Similar to ColdFusion
      • Variables can hold any type
    • Support for Strong Typing
      • Can bind variable to specific data type
      • Faster code execution
      • Easier to develop
        • More help from compiler
        • Easier to find bugs via Flash Debug Player and type errors
  • 36. ActionScript Basics – Part 2
    • Strong typing
      • Uses “strict” compilation mode
        • Enabled by default
        • Best practice
      • var value:Number;
      • function f( param1:String ):Number { … }
    • The * datatype
      • Any type
      • http://www.darronschall.com/weblog/archives/000210.cfm
  • 37. ActionScript Basics – part 3
    • Visibility Modifiers
      • public
        • Accessible to anyone
      • private
        • Only accessible inside the class (current .mxml file)
      • protected
        • Accessible inside the class and subclasses
      • internal
        • Only accessible to classes in the same package
        • Default value (when visibility is omitted)
  • 38. ActionScript
    • ActionScript is the object-oriented programming language used for Flex development.
    • Like JavaScript,ActionScript 3.0 is an implementation of ECMAScript,the international standardized
    • programming language for scripting.
    • However, because it is an implementation of the latest ECMAScript proposal, actionScript provides many capabilities not common in the versions of JavaScript supported by most browsers.
    • At development time, actionScript 3.0 adds support for strong typing,interfaces,delegation,namespaces,error handling,and ECMAScript for XML (E4X).
    • At runtime,the most significant difference between JavaScript and ActionScript is that ActionScript is just-in-time compiled to native machine code by Flash Player.
    • As a result, it can provide much higher performance and more efficient memory management than interpreted JavaScript.
    • Flex developers use ActionScript to write client-side logic, such as event listeners and call-back functions, r to define custom types for the client application.
  • 39. Summary
    • Basics of Flex
    • Texhnologies and products that are used for creating Flex applications
    • Flex 2 consists of a framework ( a class library) and a compiler that allow you to rapidly create Flex applications.
    • These applications are .swf files which you can run using Flahsh Player 9