So finally after some delay have my article up on Adobe Developer Connection. The MidnightCoders provided me with this opportunity to write the article on WebORB for .NET. I like to express my extreme gratitude to people who have helped me directly or indirectly in bringing about this article.
The article is about how one can use MSMQ (free queuing mechanism included with most Windows OS) to push data from .NET to Flex client with the help of WebORB.
I enjoyed writing this piece and also got more understanding about MSMQ. Check out the article - http://adobe.ly/nEil5v. Comments & feedbacks are welcome.
Finally, was able to make it to the Adobe Summit last week in Bangalore even though everything was fixed at the last moment. As expected, was able to meet and share ideas with many of the prominent and active members/managers of the community.The best thing about the Bangalore is its weather and its cosmopolitan culture but the worst thing is the rickshaw wala.
There were about 1000+ attendees in the summit. Learned some new concepts by attending very informative sessions by Deepa Subramaniam, Mrinal Wadhwa, Hemant Sharma, Uday Shankar, Alvin Zhang. Alvin’s talk on brain power was one which took most of the audience by surprise. Key note sessions by Ben Forta and Ramesh were also inspiring. The dismissal of the session on social, multi-player games was a real disappointment. Even though Adobe Flash is used as a major platform for building games on web, summits like these lacks any representation or discussion on gaming which I think should be considered in the next summits, this is purely my observation, correct me if I am wrong.
Had the company of Aneesh Anand and Juwal Bose(Kerala UG Manager) for two days , this was the first time we met in person and had a really great time together. At the summit, there were booth where different companies showcased their products and services and I believe this was done for the first time. iPlotz and Onion TV were one of the stalls that caught my attention, they have built fantastic products with flash platform. The other highlight of the event was delicious food, and also the giveaways, by Esberi, Teknopoint and of course Adobe..Loved all of the goodies.
Overall, the summit was great and eventually will be more better in the years to come. Looking forward to attending the next summit in 2011. Would like to thank and extend my appreciation to Adobe Evangelist team who had been working hard for last two months to organize such a large and successful event. Cheers Guys
Click on the images below to view more photos. PS: Unfortunately most of the photos are blurred. Don’t blame me
Update: Managed to collect the presentation slides from the speakers at Adobe Flash Platform Summit 2010. Check it out:
MultiScreen experiences with Adobe Flash Platform by Hemant Sharma:
Visual Experience with Flex 4 by Saurabh Narula:
Mechanical Designer by Deepak Pakhare:
Flex 3 to Flex 4 by Yash Mody:
UI Engineering Rebooted by Uday Shankar:
Adobe Flex + Paypal X = Monetization of RIA by Ganesh Hegde:
Less Verbose Actionscript 3.0 – Write less and do more by Arul Kumaran
Two weeks back got a chance to write a technical article on my present company’s blog where I decided to write something related to my current project where we have an application being developed with Adobe Flex on the front end and .NET as the server side technology. In order to invoke .NET objects into the Flex client we are using WebORB for .NET and my experience with it till now is pretty good.
Check out the article which explains how to create a simple Flex application which communicates with .NET objects using WebORB and also it’s configurations – http://tinyurl.com/weborb-flex
Today I burned out sometime fixing an issue in an application related to security violation of a SWF file when calling a webservice hosted on another domain. At first even though if it was quite obvious that the error had something to do with the crossdomain, I was not sure what was happening, but after some trial and error and some searching, found that this issue occurs when one thing is missing in the crossdomain xml. The missing node was -
<allow-http-request-headers-from domain=”*” headers=”SOAPAction”/>
This addition was made with the update in Adobe Flash Player 188.8.131.52 which means that if a domain wants to receive headers from a remote SWF it should have a crossdomain xml with the above node added. Find more information here – http://bit.ly/a04r0m . After reading this technote came to know that this update was made in order to increase the security level and defend against malicious HTTP headers sent by content from other domains. Also was made aware that not all headers can be sent from Flash player and list of blacklisted headers can be found here – http://bit.ly/cPy6CW.
Ideally your crossdomain in these scenarios when working with webservice should look like :
<?xml version="1.0"?> <!DOCTYPE cross-domain-policy SYSTEM "http://www.adobe.com/xml/dtds/cross-domain-policy.dtd"> <cross-domain-policy> <allow-http-request-headers-from domain="*" headers="SOAPAction"/> </cross-domain-policy>
All these kind of issues only pops up once an application is developed and once we finish integration with a backend. So, better check this out guys whenever you deal with http headers and remote SWF ,so that you dont waste considerable time wondering where did you go wrong. Many of you might be already aware of this setting and those who don’t yet know about this please take a note.
I am sure all the Flex/Air developers might have to use text area most of the times when you are building an application. Text area control with dynamic height seems not be an issue in normal cases but if the height needs to calculated based on text in the control then we need to think. I had the same requirement. Of course no SCROLLS.
I extended mx.controls.TextArea and here is what I did quickly.
This worked for me.Maybe there is a better way to do this. Let me know if you have tried this in a different way
Well since this was the first time we managed to organize the meeting for Ahmedabad Flash Platform Group here in Ahmedabad, I thought that I should my experience about it. As the manager of the group it was really a hard job to organize the event in such a short time but my motive was to do it any how since if we fall behind this time also, the plan of organizing the meet up would always remain on papers and will be never fulfilled. I strongly believe that it is a initiative that is required at the start to setup such meeting and then rest will fall in place automatically.
As the work culture is different here in Ahmedabad we had to settle to schedule the meeting on Sunday which of course sounds very tiresome..but we had to do it atleast for the first time.. but people did turn up. We had an audience of 20 members from the community even though I expected more but considering this to be the first time, the numbers were OK. The best part was that we all got to know each other pretty well.
We started off the meeting with a brief intorduction from me on User Group, its advantages and benefits to the community. Followed by an introductory session on Flex and RIA again by me. Then we all had a refreshment, with samosas and chai(tea). Then we did have session on introduction to FMS by Ritesh Newal. Finally we did announce the name of the winners of the free certification vouchers from Adobe and also distribution of swag from Adobe to the members.
Overall we all had a great time together and also it gave me more ideas for the next meeting on October which is to be made more interesting with more advanced topics and planned well ahead so that there is no last minute confusion. We should be pretty good to pull in more crowd in the next event and in this meeting the members already have felt good vibes about the group, I hope they would already take initiatives and volunter for next user group meeting.
For pics of this meeting – http://tiny.cc/clVAM
It is offical now, we are not just a Flex User Group we have widened our area of focus to the Flash Platform as a result this group will now on be called as Ahmedabad Flash Platform User Group. All this started when one of my colleagues started the discussion about a flash user group in Ahmedabad. I had a talk with Mr. John Koch and we came out with the decision that our group itself can be a group dedicated for Flash platform rather than only Flex. At the end of the day the decision was accepted and supported by all.
I believe this was the right way to move forward since Flash or Flex both are related to programming with Actioncript 3.0 with two different set of tools and ultimately to get the output in the form of a SWF.
We already have many flash developers as members in the community and this step would clear the confusion among them and everybody who works on any flash platform will get good vibes and should own this group. All these intiatives will also be reflected in the up coming group meeting where will have sessions on different topics on different technologies related to flash platform. So, flash developers in Ahmedabad who are yet to join the group because of the confusion, join in to the community as this is your community.
Ted Patrick has posted an interesting information about the open source project FlexPMD which is a tool to find out the worst parts of your code. The tool alerts and points out the bad coding practices that you have followed in your Flex project which I believe is a great thing, given that while developement you tend to leave behind complex, redundant code and unused variables/piece of code which might give you the expected output but may be not considered as the best practice.
There is also a Flex application FlexPMD Rule set creator which enable to set custom rules for your application, that can be exported and used. The FlexPMD can be downloaded in three forms - CommandLine, Ant Task, Mac OSX Automater.
Once we start development on a project, in the initial stages most of us do rather take care to follow the best practices and try delete the unwanted code / unused code, but as soon as the code gets larger and more complex and as the project manager start talking only about delivery dates, it is always a time taking and horrendous process to sit and go through the code and remove all those rubbish stuffs that we have written. Now,I am going to download and try out this tool, if it works well then my code will look pretty in and out. What do you guys think ?
For more info – http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexpmd/FlexPMD
Today one of my friends asked me if there is a way or any facility in Flex Builder to format a messy/unformatted code rather than doing it manually. There are no ways as such in the flex builder IDE which is based on Eclipse to provide indent to a particular block of code or to format a certain block of code. With the help of my colleague we found out that there is a plugin called Flex Formatter for Flex builder which will take care of the formatting of your code once you have made a messed up code in your application.
The Flex Formatter is an open source project which enables source code formatting of Adobe Flex code ie. MXML and AS 3.0 files inside FlexBuilder.
How to use it?
1. Download the project from http://sourceforge.net/projects/flexformatter/ which will have a WINRAR Zip Archive which is named as FlexPrettyPrintCommand_0.6.27.
2. Unzip this file and you will have three more WINRAR Archive file.
3. Copy the three zip files and goto the FlexBuilder folder in Windows where the Flex Builder files are installed.
4. Open the plugin folder and paste the three files there.
5. Close and restart your flex builder and now it is ready to use.
As soon as you restart the flex builder you will have 5 icons at the top in your toolbar as shown in screen below:
The Flex Formatter has the following features:
1. Format Flex Code (selected lines or documents).
2. Indent Flex Code (selected lines).
3. Re arrange AS code(whole file).
4. Generate AS Doc comments for files.
5. Generate AS Doc comment for current element.
I have tried the features with small blocks code and small AS files and it did work very well but I am still wondering how it will work with files which has more than thousand lines of code? Will the builder crash ?Need to check it out.Since writing a code which is messed up is not at all recommended when delivering an application, but developers who have to live with it have a simple solution using Flex Formatter. Plug it in your flex builder and see the difference for yourself
We all know how important mockup can be in the development process of an application or website especially when developing Rich Internet Apps. It demonstrates the clear idea of the states and transistion that needs to be used in an application. Even though there are many tools to make mockups available, the tool which is to be talked about here is Balsamiq Mockups.
Balsamiq Mockup is a tool used to create mockups and wireframes to demonstrate the UI of an application. Along with the web version it also has a desktop version which is built on AIR. The main highlight of this tool is that it will easily convert your mockups to the a human readable format called BMML. If you can write some script you can convert the BMML format to your actual code. Now, the MidnightCoders along with Balsamiq enables you to convert Balsamiq mockups directly into your Flex apps..now that is really awesome…
Once you use the tool and when you have the mockups ready you have options to export mockups which will generate a zip file which can be downloaded. The zip file will contain MXML as well as Actionscript files along with server code implemented in Java, C#, VB.NET and PHP. The client-side code will have the same component used as you have used in the mockups wheras the server-side code will have all datas from the controls in the mockup to the corresponding controls in the Flex application. Check out this link to know more about it. Play around with Balsamiq mockups and find out more about it