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Friday, September 24, 2010

Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex and Java

• What are Rich Internet Applications? • History of Flex and some basics • MXML and ActionScript 3 • User Interface • Remote Services and connecting to Java • Flex Data Services • The future: Apollo, FlashLite • Working with the Java technology since 1996 – on and off, with different APIs and in various fields • Got pulled into web development in the late 1990s during the big dotcom hype in Europe and got involved with Allaire/Macromedia/Adobe technologies such as ColdFusion, Flash, Connect, Flex etc. • Today: Providing consulting, mentoring and development services around Adobe‘s RIA solution Flex and different server platforms such as ColdFusion and Java.

• Rich Internet applications (RIA) are web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications. • RIAs typically transfer the processing necessary for the user interface to the web client but keep the bulk of the data (i.e maintaining the state of the program, the data etc) back on the application server. • RIAs typically: – run in a web browser, or do not require software installation – run locally in a secure environment called a sandbox – can be “occasionally connected” wandering in and out of hot spots or from office to office. • The term was introduced by Macromedia in 2002 as a description for their way of connecting Flash MX (=Flash 6) applications to server components via RPC. • Before Flash MX: Sockets or loading data from text files (LoadVars) • The concept of RIAs is not really new: – Remote Scripting, X Internet, Rich web clients, Rich web application etc. • Benefits: – Rich user interfaces – Better client/server balance – Asynchronous communication • Restrictions/Drawbacks: – Security/Sandbox – Additional requirements (plugin, particular browser settings etc.) – Data control issues (who „owns“ the data of an application?) History of Flex and products • Macromedia Flex 1.0 was released in 2004, Flex 1.5 in 2005 and Adobe Flex 2.0 finally in June/July 2006 • The idea of the Flex platform is to allow developers to use an XML language (MXML) together with a programming language (ActionScript 3) to develop and deploy Flash based Rich Internet Applications. • Flash Player – Runtime environment for .swf applications – Available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, various devices (PSP, Nintendo Wii), PDAs and mobile phones, very good penetration rate • Flash Authoring Environment – A „development“ environment to create .swf applications based on animation and movie metaphors • Flex – „Flash for developers“ – a product line that allows developers to create Flash based applications.

Download Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex and Java.


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