Lightning in the Clouds Using Flex with M technology
What is Flex?
Flex is a product from Adobe that allows developers to create applications for Flash Player/Adobe AIR
Flash is a product from Adobe that allows designers to create applications for Flash Player/Adobe AIR
Everything that can be done in Flash can be done in Flex, and vice versa.
Flex is open source, Flex Builder is Adobe’s proprietary tool to develop with.
I was frustrated with the typical Web development/runtime environment
Multiple technologies to learn, different behaviors on different browsers
Performance issues with data intensive applications
Stuck in the browser, and at the mercy of the browser publishers.
Flex develops a complete application, not a set of pages.
Data can be easily be manipulated in Flex, without ‘attachment’ required to form or page elements.
More logical, consistent flow through the application.
Eliminates dreaded Back Button.
How to Use with M
Web Services – Works, but overly complex and slow for most uses.
REST – simple name/value pair / XML interface. This is what we chose. Easily implemented with the Weblink gateway, the CSP gateway, or the MGWSI gateway with a small PHP page if desired.
AMF – Adobe specific data exchange format. We will explore this in the future, but we are experiencing good performance with REST and M.
How the cloud comes in
With the simple REST interface, how the data is stored, and WHERE the data is stored becomes irrelevant. It is easy to change where the data is retrieved/returned to without any impact on the user.
Provides a very rich visual development environment, which can be overwhelming for us poor developer types.
Close integration with other Adobe visual tools such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, etc. Designers can create the assets and ‘look and feel’, developers focus on connecting the logic and database.
Next version of Flex/Flash Player include very powerful 3d capabilities.
Fully programmatic ‘skins’
Presentation view more fully separated from ‘logic’