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Flex for RIAs


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#1 LSW

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:10 PM

There is a very interesting program out there that may be of interest to many of you. It is called Adobe Flex.

The short answer to "What is Flex?" would have to be, "Flex is Flash for Programmers."

Flex is a Eclipse based IDE (Integrated Development Environment). It allows you to create Flash based applications for either Web or Desktop use and utilizes ActionScript and MXML (an XML based language).

Flash is usually considered a design program for the artistically minded. Many program minded people found time lines difficult to deal with for programming purposes. So with that in mind Adobe developed Flex. Rather than being time line based it uses the free Eclipse IDE as a basis to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA).

Flex is a professional tool, so runs around US$249.-. It can build all sort of nifty interface based applications for those who wish very user interactive tools. I can talk all I wish, but to truly understand what I am talking about, just swing by the "Flex Showcase" to see some Live Applications built with Flex.

There is an excellent video tutorial series called "Flex 3 in a week." You can either watch online or if you have/you can download Adobe Media Player and watch their videos offline. Just go to the favorites page and at the lower left corner paste in this RSS Feed (http://sessions.adob...nAWeek/feed.xml) and it will load all 47 videos and you can watch them at will. A Trial version of Flex is available.I suggest watching some of them as well just to get a good idea of what you can build with it before you decide to spend the money. They even have different Flex Learning Paths depending if you are a web designer/developer or a programmer etc.

That said, this is the Flex builder which is more of a Drag and Drop interface type thing. There is also a Flex SDK (Software Development Kit) That allows you to develop and deploy Flex applications using an IDE of your choice by including the Flex framework (component class library) and Flex compiler.

Nor are you limited to ActionScript and MXML, Flex supports ColdFusion, PHP, Java and .NET as well as SQL and Oracle.

The final program will be published as a Flash SWF. If you choose to create a Desktop Application, you will need Adobe AIR and users for the web will need Flash Player 9.

In my situation at work, I will be taking command line batch processes using Oracle and re-writing them into desktop Flex apps so the employees can do the work we programmers must do at this time. I strongly suggest you explore the "Flex in a week" videos, this may be a excellent tool for you or your business.

Of course I am not a Flash fan in the normal use of Flash, but this software has impressed me so far and I look forward to working in it, it is fairly easy and with a base knowledge of programming it can create some interesting applications. I have seen some references to accessibility, I have not yet been able to really see how accessible Flex apps can be made, I will have to see when I create my first application.
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Thank You, Migwetth, Gunalche’esh, Ha’w'aa, Danke
 

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#2 shelfimage

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 08:08 PM

I'm using a couple of AIR desktop applications and have been impressed with them. Thanks for the good links!
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#3 LSW

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 07:46 PM

Tour De Flex is a desktop app (Adobe Air) for figuring out what it is you want to do in Flex, it runs examples of the Flex controls and can really give you an ideas of how they work. Worth downloading if you get into flex.

Tour de Flex is a desktop application for exploring Flex capabilities and resources, including the core Flex components, Adobe AIR and data integration, as well as a variety of third-party components, effects, skins, and more.

Tour de Flex has three primary purposes:

  • Provide non-Flex developers with a good overview of what is possible in Flex in a look and see environment
  • Provide Flex developers with an illustrated reference tool
  • Provide commercial and non-commercial Flex developers a place to showcase their work

Tour de Flex includes over 200 runnable samples, each with source code, links to documentation, and other details. Topics include the Flex Core Components, Flex Data Access, AIR Desktop Capabilities, Cloud APIs, Data Visualization, Mapping, and a growing collection of custom components, effects, skins, etc.


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Thank You, Migwetth, Gunalche’esh, Ha’w'aa, Danke
 

"There are 3 types of people: Those who can count and those who cannot."

 


#4 rhunt66

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:34 PM

I have been working with Flex for about two months now and I find it to be fairly easy to learn. If you are a student you should defiantly look into it because it's free. Of course the SDK's for any Adobe software are always free and there are plenty of useful tools on the Adobe website to help you get up and running. Also with the increasing demand for good RIA's there is a lot of opportunity out there for Flex developers and with the advent of sites like youtube flash is currently installed on 99% of computers in the U.S. and close to that number world wide. Also with the new version of Flex 4 (code named gumbo) lurking on the horizon, will be more of an MXML based program. A good place to start learning about Flex is the Flex Development Center. Check out the videos from the Adobe MAX Convention on the same page.
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#5 LSW

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 02:49 PM

Designing for Flex Part 1: Overview and introduction to Flex
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Thank You, Migwetth, Gunalche’esh, Ha’w'aa, Danke
 

"There are 3 types of people: Those who can count and those who cannot."

 





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