Archive for the ‘Flex’ Category

Apache Flex 4.9.0 is released

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Adobe, Flex
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Apache Flex community released a Flex 4.9.0 SDK version. For more details please visit Apache Flex Community blog page https://blogs.apache.org/flex/entry/apache_flex_4_9_0


Adobe releases a new AIR SDK version 3.4, it’s comes with Adobe ActionScript Compiler 2.0 (ASC 2.0).

ASC 2.0 is a new compiler for ActionScript® 3.0 (AS3). It has stricter adherence to the AS3 language specification, includes compilation performance improvements, is more stable under memory pressure, and contains some demonstration optimizations that can be optionally enabled (in-lining, dead code elimination). This is the same compiler that is included with Flash Builder® 4.7 Preview, packaged up as a stand-alone command-line compiler and made available in a distribution combined with AIR SDK 3.4.

Note: ASC 2.0 supports compiling AS3 applications. It still exposes familiar mxmlc and compc command-line entry points but it does not support compiling Flex application.

For mor info : Adobe Lab


AdobeNow to conclude Adobe published there view’s on Flex and its future by releasing a whitepaper. This whitepaper is about Adobe’s plan in relation to Flex that is now donated to Apache Foundation. This is a well-documented white paper that covers history, evolution, use cases and future of Flex. Here I am listing key details from this whitepaper.

  • Adobe believes that Flex is the best solution for enterprise and data-centric application development today, and that moving Flex into a community-driven open source project ensures the continued development and success of Flex for years to come.
  • In this new community-driven model, the community will be responsible for the maintenance and evolution of the Flex SDK while Adobe will continue to evolve tooling and runtimes.
  • Closed to one decade (2004-12) Flex travels very long journey and released several milestone build Flex 1.0 to Flex 4.6.
  • Flex is popular for its data-driven capability that attracts the enterprise level applications.
  • Flex is friendlier with other technologies such as J2EE, PHP and .NET for integration.
  • Innovation in HTML development model is moving at a very rapid pace that will provide developers with more choices when selecting the appropriate technology. But Flex has some advantage over HTML which makes it the best solution in the enterprise space for years to come. The key USP of Flex are:
    • Flex offers complete feature-level consistency across multiple platforms, browsers, and devices.
    • The Flex component set and programming model makes it extremely productive when building complex user interfaces.
    • ActionScript 3 is a mature object-oriented programming language, suitable for large application development.
    • Supporting tools offer a productive development environment with respect to code editing, debugging, profiling, and testing.
  • As Flex moves into a community-driven open source project, Adobe will make initial technical contributions and will also continue to provide a team of full-time Flex SDK engineers to contribute to the Apache project. These are the list of contribution from Adobe to Apache Foundation for this movement:
    • Flex SDK contributions to Apache
    • Falcon compiler contribution to Apache
    • Falcon JS compiler contribution to Apache
    • Testing contributions to Apache
    • BlazeDS contributions to Apache
    • Engineering contributions to the Apache Flex Project
    • Community support
  • Adobe will not be contributing the AIR for Linux SDK, LCDS, or LCCS to Apache. Adobe is still investigating the viability of contributing TLF, BlazeDS.NET, Gravity, FXG, Squiggles, and OSMF.
  • Now that Flex is a community-driven project, it is no longer appropriate nor practical for Adobe to sign the resulting Apache Flex RSLs. This means that when using an Apache Flex release, framework RSLs will not be cached globally by Flash Player, but rather per domain in the web browser.
  • Adobe is remains committed to Adobe Flash Player for Desktop, Adobe AIR for both Desktop and Mobile and development of Adobe tools for Flex.
  • Adobe will no longer develop Flash player for the mobile browser.

Adobe’s are currently in the process of contributing the core Flex SDK, automation libraries, AIR SDK binaries, and documentation to the Apache Flex Project. Adobe will also be contributing Falcon, Falcon JS, Mustella, and BlazeDS.

 

apache_flex_logo_3d

References:
Adobe White Paper
Apache Flex Project

Adobe Flex now Apache Flex

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Adobe, Flex, RIA, Technology
Tags: , , , , ,

End of the last year (Nov – 2011) Adobe planed to donate Flex to Apache foundation and now Flex is officially accepted by Apache Software Foundation(ASF). For more info on this check the mail thread conversation on voting at Apache – http://markmail.org/message/7q22pdviyxvkwbf5.

This year 2012 is the first year of Flex to live outside Adobe and managed by open source Apache Foundation. In the other side Adobe is also planning to renovate the Flex compiler and they are researching on making it possible to convert ActionScript code to JavaScript code. In this way we can develop HTML/HTML5 based application using ActionScript code. The open source movement is very popular and this is strengthen every year. Now onwards Apache is the the future for Flex. Apache Software Foundation was founded and is governed by the common people that really understand open source development model. It is one of the most respected software foundations in the world. To know more about how Apache Software Foundation (ASF) works then visit this link – http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html.

For more info on this – http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/FlexProposal

Adobe Flex now Apache Flex

Flex SDK 4.6

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Adobe, Flex, Mobile, RIA, Technology
Tags: , , ,

You must be knowing that Adobe has released Flex SDK 4.6. Thanks to Adobe Flex SDK team to keep enhancing the SDK. This release of SDK is majorly focus on mobile and tablet apps development. Flex SDK 4.6 bundled with new mobile optimized Spark components. In mobile or tablet apps development major area of consideration is performance and SDK team done a good job and by using this SDK apps performance will be improve by 50%.

New Flex SDK 4.6 support for the latest Flash player 11 and AIR 3 runtime. Now this new SDK also brings support of iOS5 platform.

For more information on Flex SDK 4.6 features please visit Adobe Flex SDK 4.6 page and you can also check What’s new in Flex 4.6 SDK and Flash Builder 4.6 by Jacob Surber.


Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player

Flash is travelled very long distance in last decade, from Macromedia Flash to Adobe Flash. This Flash word is always in tech buzz. Initially it was popular in animator group then gradually attracted the attention of application developers and became a de-facto for RIA applications.

Flash is always preferable for developing richest content and deployed on browser. This enables consistent look and feel across different browser wherever Flash Player installed. Last year Flash was rejected by Apple’s for their devices and Apple started advocating open source technologies HTML5. This incident started a new thread in tech community over Flash existence.  Now again the same buzz started on Flash and its future after the Adobe’s recent announcement that they will no longer develop the Flash player for mobile browsers. In tech history there were several popular technology rolled out and rolled back depends on market movement, like JavaFX, SilverLight etc. Every technology has their lifecycle and this is manipulated by technology deviations.

Now we are entered in handheld device from desktop era. Here in this era everyone is looking for application migration for handheld devices. Here now if anything happens related to mobile or handheld devices then there is big news, but last year Adobe also stopped future development for Linux based AIR then there was silence.

Compare to Flash Player currently HTML5 is now supported on all major mobile devices. HTML5 is now a preferable technology for browser based application on mobile devices. With the latest release of Flash Player 11.1 for mobile browser Adobe will not support further for Flash player of mobile browser. This version of Flash player is still a very advance and powerful, there is still a scope of development Flash based application for mobile browser by taking advantage of new Flash Player 11.1 features.

As per market trends most of the customer want to port there application as a mobile devices apps, not as a browser based application. Here in this segment Flash is still a key player and we can port our Flash based application on Mobile device using AIR. Good news Adobe is still working on Flash Player 12 version so there is no point of worry.HTML5 is a very good technology but it still need time to fulfil the entire RIA requirement. Video/Media content delivery model is still not consistent in HTML5. Here Flash Player is best solution.

I am waiting for the day when Flash Player become an open source product and managed by some open source community. Then after we can say that we as Flash developers are using non-proprietary technology like HTML5. In this area Adobe has already taken initiative by planning to contribute the Flex SDK to an open source foundation.  This step will really give a high momentum in Flex SDK area.

Flash journey start from FutureWave to Macromedia and from Macromedia to Adobe, now Flash is ready to open source community in future. There is one thing for sure wherever Flash will go it will rock, it will not going to die soon like others.


In my last project assignment I found Spring BlazeDS Integration API is very fruitful. It really helps developer to focus on only business implementation of application and forget about backend server level configuration. Spring BlazeDS Integration is a top-level Spring project, and a component of the complete Spring Web stack. This project’s purpose is to make it easier to build Spring-powered Rich Internet Applications using Adobe Flex as the front-end client. It aims to achieve this purpose by providing first-class support for using the open source Adobe BlazeDS project and its powerful remoting and messaging facilities in combination with the familiar Spring programming model.

Spring FrameworkBlazeDS

By this article I am going to share the basic and essential part of this API that helps to understand the integration process. In this example I am going to use Spring+BlazeDS integration API for integrating backend Spring based J2EE layer into client layer Flex application.

What I am going to cover here:
#
Creating Spring based J2EE backend layer
# Implementing Spring BlazeDS Integration API
# Creating Flex application for client layer

List of software used for this implementation:
#
FlashBuilder 4.5
# Flex Framework SDK 4
# Apache Tomcat 7.0
# Spring BlazeDS Integration 1.5.0
# Spring framework library
# BlazeDS library
# Eclipse with WTP for creating dynamic web application
Note – we can use compatible preceding version of these software also.

Creating Spring based J2EE backend layer

In this step first create a dynamic web application using Eclipse IDE by File->New->Project->Web- Dynamic Web Project options and enter the basic project details and settings.

New Dynamic ProjectContext Root

In the above steps cross check the context root name for this application. This context root name will be use for client layer integration. After this steps this project will look like below in project explorer of Eclipse IDE.

Project Explorer

Now put all the jar files of downloaded library in WebContent->WEB-INF->lib folder. Total number of jar files in lib folder are 36.

List of library files

Tips : If you unable to find any of these listed jar files then you can manually download this from http://grepcode.com by entering the full name of zar file. Make sure you have all the respective library jar files of Spring Framework, BlazeDS and Spring+BlazeDS integration API.

Now after this initial project setup steps move to J2EE layer development. In this example I am fetching the list of country for Flex client layer.

Creating Spring based J2EE backend layer

First modify ‘web.xml’ in the ‘WEB-INF’ directory. Go to the WebContent->WEB-INF->web.xml directory. Here I define a DispatcherServlet (also known as a ‘Front Controller’. It is going to control all the requests. This servlet definition also has an attendant <servlet-mapping/> entry that maps to the URL patterns that will be used for making request. Here I am defining url pattern as /messageBroker/*, that means all request url containing this pattern will be routed to the ‘blazeds’ servlet (the DispatcherServlet).

Modifying the Deployment Descriptor web.xml file

Now I have created blazeds-servlet.xml file in WebContent->WEB-INF-> directory. This file contains the bean definitions used by the DispatcherServlet. It is the WebApplicationContext where all web-related components go. The name of this file is determined by the value of the <servlet-name/> element from the 'web.xml', with '-servlet' appended to it (hence 'blazeds-servlet.xml'). In this I am configuring spring annotation framework and providing a base package location of J2EE interface layer classes for Flex communication. And most important thing is configuring message-broker of Spring+BlazeDS integration API for object serialization.

Configuring WebApplicationContext

After this we have to define blazeDS communication channel in services-config.xml file at WebContent->WEB-INF->flex-> (this is a default location of services config file).

Configuring services config file

Now all the configuration lavel part is done and move to Class lavel coding. Just have a look on this class.

J2EE layer service class MapManager

The best part of Spring+BlazeDS Integration API is we now we don’t need to configure remote-config file for every java class. We just have to write a one single Spring annotation tag in class and need to provide a remoting communication channel information. In the above class I have used these three basic Spring annotation tag:

  • @Service(“mapManagerService”) – for giving a destination name of this class for Flex layer remoting.
  • @RemotingDestination(channels={“my-amf”}) – for providing a remoting communication channel name.
  • @RemotingInclude – using this tag we can include the method of the class for remoting.

Now we are ready to deploy this application on server.

Creating Flex application for client layer

In Flex layer we don’t have to do anything extra just need to create a Remote Object and call the exposed service destination from J2EE layer. For testing we don’t need to deploy this Flex application on server.

Client layer Flex Application

Output screen of Flex application

Output screen of client layer Flex application

Reference link:

Source files of example projet : http://uploading.com/files/f22164bb/GeekTest_01.zip/

 


I am currently looking into a Flex application framework for my upcoming Flex Enterprise project. In Flex application development Cairngorm and PureMVC framework is a de facto standards. For my project we are looking into a possibility to introduced Swiz framework for application architecture.

Swiz official website stated this as “The brutally simple micro-architecture for Enterprise ActionScript development”. This tagline is very catchy and promise to cater key requirement of any application i.e. simple framework for enterprise level application. While judging this statement I have migrated some of the small apps into Swiz framework and reduced 30-40% of codebase, it is interesting.

Here I am giving you simple steps to give a start Swiz based application:
Create a context file for configuring Swiz framework. In this configuration we are providing the Beans and configure the Swiz framework.

  1. Create a Bean factory as repository for Bean classes.
  2. Injecting the bean where it needed using [Inject] tag. After injecting the bean you are able access the bean object.
  3. Register handle for flash event using [Eventhandler(event=”EventClass.EVENT_NAME”)] for event handling.
Swiz Context Configuration

swiz_part1

Swiz Bean factory

swiz_part2

Injecting Bean and register event handler

swiz_part3

Dispatching event

swiz_part4

Now after this simple step we can give a start to Swiz based application development. This is really a very simple as stated in Swiz website. One key point here is all metadata tag related function and properties should marked as public. Swiz framework developer’s team are also ready with Swiz AOP version (Aspect Oriented Programming). Swiz AOP gives you the powerful ability to easily configure new functionality into existing code, instead of muddying up your fundamental business logic. It is an extremely powerful methodology that Swiz makes very easy to work with.


As a developer we are habitual to use commonly used approach in programming. There are several alternate and optimized way are also available and we need to give a chance to them as well. ActionScript 3 introduced various operators for specifying how to combine, compare, or modify the values of an expression. From these operators we used only few common operators. There are several rarely used operator are in list that may provide an alternate and optimized way of programming.

There is an operator named logical OR assignment (||=) , this is not in a frequently use. The use of ||= operator is it assigns expression1 the value of expression1 || expression2. First see the traditional approach with the use of conventional operator. See the below example.

Using If condition

Using logical OR assignment operator (||=) we can optimize this.

Using logical OR assignment (||=) operator

In the above example you can see that the complete logical IF statement is shrink into one single line. This operator work like if object is initialized then use the same otherwise assign the newly created object. Enjoy! and give a chance for this operator in your programming.