Archive for the ‘Flex’ Category

Hello World,

A few weeks ago Adobe released Flash Builder 4 (beta) into Adobe Labs. No, this is not a new version of the Flash Professional IDE. This is the newest version of Flex Builder which, has been re-branded to Flash Builder. This is the same IDE that enables developers to very rapidly build Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) using the Flex framework. This is the same Eclipse-based development tool you’ve come to know and love – but with a several new features.

The name isn’t the only thing Adobe changed. This version also includes many new features that focus on design, data, productivity, and testing. These new “feature themes” include:

  • The designer and developer workflow – tight integration between Adobe Flash Professional and Adobe Flash Catalyst
  • Data-centric development – easily connect and bind to server-based data and service models.
  • IDE productivity and testing – getter and setting generation, conditional breakpoints in the debugger, Flex Unit support, and many more!

In my next series of articles I will introduce you to many of Flash Builder’s new features. Each article will focus on one features set and provide screen shots, code examples, and additional resources. In the meantime, check out these Adobe resources:

Download Adobe Flash Builder 4 beta

Adobe Labs – Tutorial and Demonstration Videos

What’s new in Flash Builder 4 beta?

What’s new in the Flex 4 SDK beta?

Differences between Flex 3 SDK and Flex 4 SDK beta




A long awaited product has finnaly been in Beta, Attest 1.5. This application, released by PXL Designs and Rich Desktop Solutions, can help you prepare to take the Flex 3 with AIR Certification Exam. I have been waiting for this release for quite some time. I was very pleased when I found that version 1.5 Beta was finally released on March 26th. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the product is free for non-commercial use.

You can download Attest 1.5 beta from the following location:



Since the release of Adobe Flex 2 in June of 2006 Flex has steadily gained popularity among developers because its power and cross-platform support. Flex has an easy to learn programming architecture and Flex Builder is a development tool that can help developers becoming productive quickly.

If you have read any of my blogs you know that I am (and have been for sometime) a staunch supporter of Adobe Flex. So why am I mentioning this now?

If you ever though about wanting to learn Flex 3, this is your chance to learn … at a very affordable price. On April 14 I will be teaching a one-day intensive course for web developers who want to learn how to create and support Adobe Flex enterprise applications. They will learn all about Flex 3 fundamentals, Understanding Layout and Navigation, Using States and Transitions, and retrieving and displaying data. All important techniques, pitfalls and know-hows will be revealed and explained.

The class will be held at the TeraTech Training Center at TeraTech in Rockville, MD. Visit the class schedule page at An Introduction to Flex 3 to get more information.

Thank you

Hello World!

It’s been sometime since my last post. It has been a very busy few months and that’s a good thing. However it’s now a new year and with it comes new opportunities, new presentations. I will have the pleasure of appearing in front of fellow developers in the next few months. I hope to see some on hyou there;

Web APIs in AIR: Twitter-licious

Capital Area Flex Users Group Meeting
Date: Wednesday, January 07 2009

In this presentation I will demonstrate how to use some of the more popular web-based public data sources and open APIs in a Flex/AIR applications. I have created a sample Flex/AIR application that uses the Delicious and SnipURL APIs to create a Twitter-like app. I will show you the API methods available and how to call upon them to retrieve its data.

MATE: A Flex Framework “Extreme Makeover”

Maryland ColdFusion Users Group Meeting
Date: Wednesday, January 13 2009

MATE is a tag-based, event-driven framework for Flex development. Using MATE in your Flex development can help you build powerful, loosely coupled applications. During this presentation I will take a simple Flex application and show how you can perform an extreme makeover that will greatly enhance the application’s architecture, allowing it to scale properly.

Skinning Components in Flex 4 (Gumbo)

Maryland ColdFusion Users Group Meeting
Date: Wednesday, April 13 2009

Adobe has made great improvements to the skinning architecture and process since Flex version 3. In this presentation I will demonstrate how to use Flex 4, currently known as GUMBO, to skin your Flex components.

In addition to the user group presentations listed above I am very excited to have been invited and selected as a speaker at the following popular conferences.

Essential Flex and ColdFusion Integration

cf.Objective() 2009 CONFERENCE
Date: Wednesday, May 14-16 2009

This presentation is designed for the experienced developer who wants to learn how to create Flex 3 application that can connect to server-side data using ColdFusion. It is also for the Flex developer who wants to learn how to effectively retrieve, manipulate, format, and communicate with ColdFusion-based server-side scripts.

I will provide developers with the essentials of connecting Flex 3 applications to remote data services using HTTPService, WebService, and RemoteObject calls. You will learn how to create and use the various Flex and ColdFusion classes that can be used to provide a one-to-one mapping between the client-side and server-side data. In addition, you will learn how to accept and manipulate the data in various formats such as XML. This presentation will cover topics such as handling results and faults, understanding value objects, manipulating complex data.

Skinning Components in Flex 4 (Gumbo)

CFUNITED 2009 Conference
Date: Wednesday, August 12-15 2009

Adobe has made great improvements to the skinning architecture and process since Flex version 3. In this presentation I will demonstrate how to useFlex 4, currently known as GUMBO, to skin your Flex components. During this special conference presentation I will also demonstrate how to use some of the other Adobe tools to help in the skinning process, including Flash and Fireworks.

Well, that’s it – so far. This year already looks to be a very exciting year for all of us. Not only are we looking forward to a very exciting release of Flex 4, code named GUMBO, 2009 also promises the following releases:

Centaur – This is the codename for the next release of ColdFusion. As of this writing beta applications are current being accepted.

Bolt – This is the codename for Adobe’s new eclipse-based development tool. As of this writing beta applications are current being accepted.

Flash Cataylst – Formerly called Thermo, this is Adobe’s new design tool for quickly creating application interfaces without coding.

… and many more. We have a lot to look forward to this year – new tools to learn, more exciting conferences and user group meetings, and thus more opportunities for all of us.

Ciao 😉

Mockups For The Masses

Posted: August 19, 2008 in Flex, Misc


Managing a software project can often times bring about confusion as customers attempt to communicate with the software development team about their requirements, especially when it comes to the user interface design. While the software development community may share a general understanding of the various components used in software design (dropdown list box, tab panel, etc.), most users do not. One of the phases used in some software development lifecycles include the creation of application mockups. A mockup is a draft design of a web site or application. By creating a mockup before beginning any software development the customer can correctly determine whether the development effort is on the right path and if the user interface requirements have been correctly communicated.

So, enter Balsamiq Mockups. Balsamiq Studios has created a mockup tool that allows you to create mockups in minutes and without writing a single line of code. The application is so easy to use that you can create the mockup while discussing the software requirements with the customer.

They have released several versions of this tool including;

For Desktop
This version works as an offline desktop application and is fully cross-platform compatible (Mac, Windows, and Linux)

For Confluence
This version works as a plug-in for this popular enterprise collaboration tool.

This version works as a plug-in for this bug and issue tracking system.

For Twiki
This version works as a plug-in for this open source enterprise collaboration platform and knowledge management system. This version has not been released yet but is expected to be ready soon.

There are many reasons I really like this tool. The application interface uses a drawing pad metaphore as the drawing canvas. All of the interface components look hand drawn and can be easily dragged, dropped, and manipulated on the canvas. After creating the mockup it can then be saved in its native format (a standard XML file) or exported as a PNG image. The fact that the mockup is saved into an XML format means that it can be easily shared among many people and even included in your favorite source control system. I am currently working on way to convert the mockup xml into an actual Flex application. Lastly, multiple mockup documents can be opened at the same time in the same way multiple Excel worksheet can be opened and accessed via a tab bar at the bottom of the screen.

For many years I have been using MS VISIO to create application mockups. However I found the software to be a little “overkill” for the task at hand. I also found the it difficult to share the document due to price and its obvious learning curve. The Balsamiq Mockup for Desktop is only $79 (Confluence and JIRA prices are somewhat higher). It has a very low (maybe non-existent) learning curve.

I now regard this application as a valuable addition to my arsenal of software development tools. I believe that you should too.


Your Flex Authority Has Arrived!

Posted: August 18, 2008 in AIR, Flex


If you happen to be one of the lucky few who are able to attend 360Flex, you should have already received a very special gift – the inaugural issue of Flex Authority!

This new technical journal will appeal to Flex and AIR developers of all skill levels. From feature articles to ongoing series, the Flex Authority has everything you need to become an authority of everything Flex and AIR.

However, for the many more who were not able to attend 360Flex I would like to provide for you a brief preview of the kind of quality content you can find in this issue.

The following excerpts are copyright (c) 2008 by respective authors and licensed to House of Fusion for use, and are reprinted with permission.

The Beginner’s Corner: Building Your First AIR Application With Flex
by Shannon Hicks

Welcome to the first issue of Flex Authority. I’ll be writing for The Beginner’s Corner, where those just starting out with Flex will find great walkthroughs on everything Flex and AIR. Today, we’re talking about your first AIR application. Adobe AIR is a runtime that lets us use our existing knowledge of Flex, Flash and/or AJAX to build desktop applications. These applications can then run on either Windows or OS X without a need for multiple code bases. At the time of this edition, AIR for Linux is in public alpha.

You can read more by subscribing to the Flex Authority here.

Working With Yahoo Maps Part I
by Brian Dunphy

Welcome to the first in a series of articles, Working with Yahoo! Maps. In these articles, I will outline key concepts in the creation of Yahoo! Maps applications using Flex. This particular article will walk through getting an API key, configuring Flex Builder to work with the Yahoo! Maps component, setting up the mapping component within a Flex application and finally adding a basic marker to the screen.

You can read more by subscribing to the Flex Authority here.

– and finally, yours truly – 😉

To Be Or Not To Be… Online That Is
by Theo E. Rushin Jr.

Adobe’s newest runtime takes us from the browser to the desktop. Flex, Flash, and even HTML/Ajax developers can take advantage of the power of the operating system to build and deploy applications that run on the system’s desktop. To some of us who started in client-server development, it’s a return trip back to the desktop.

How can my desktop Flex/Flash/HTML/Ajax application still access my server-side and internet-based resources? Fortunately Adobe answered that question by providing the developer with classes that enable him to build in the ability to sense changes in network connectivity and take appropriate action.

In order to properly implement an architecture that would give an application that ability, we need to attack the problem on three fronts:

You can read more by subscribing to the Flex Authority here.

Get your copy of Flex Authority and you’ll see what I mean.


Our CrossDomain.xml File Hero

Posted: August 12, 2008 in Flex


Jeffry Houser released a post on his blog about an error concerning the CrossDomain.xml file.

I would like to thank Jeffry for finding and resolving this tricky little “bug”ger. Now we can all get back to work!

Thanks guy! 🙂

<endPost />