Enterprise Flex and Java RIA with Clear Toolkit Framework

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A typical Java developer knows that when you need to develop a GUI for a Java application, Swing is the tool. Eclipse SWT also has a number of followers, but the majority of people use Java Swing. For the past 10 years, it was a given that Swing development wouldn't be easy; you have to master working with the event-dispatch thread, GridBaglayout, and the like. Recently, the NetBeans team created a nice GUI designer called Matisse, which was also ported to MyEclipse. Prior to Matisse, JBuilder had the best Swing designer, but it was too expensive. Now a good designer comes with NetBeans for free. Why even consider Flex for developing Rich Internet Applications (RIA)? First, we'll give the short answer. Just look at the code in Listing 1. This code compiles and runs in the Flash player and produces the output shown in Figure 1. Yes, it's a tree control with several no... (more)

Business Intelligence in the world of Rich Internet Applications

There were  a couple  major shifts in the software industry in the past: from Mainframe and dumb terminals to client-server desktop applications (fat client);  from client-server to Web-based plain looking applications (thin client again). With the last move we've sacrificed some speed and power for transparency of deployment and delivery. Currently, we are about to enter a new era of Rich Internet Applicatoins (RIA), when plain looking Web applications will gradually be replaced with  RIA delivered over the Web. RIA applications run in a virtual machine deliver over the Web (Adobe Flash Player) and have a potential of becoming full featured desktop applications  (remember the Java promise "Write once, run everywhere"). How this will affect  the evolution of Business Intelligence (BI) applications? As of today, the most popular and inexpensive BI tool is Microsoft Exc... (more)

Picking the Right Technology for Enterprise Rich Internet Applications

We are entering an era of Rich Internet Applications (RIA), and many enterprise development managers are facing the dilemma - which way to go - remain with tried and true Java or .Net or experiment with such newcomers as AJAX, Flex, Silverlight, or JavaFX. While Internet brings a lot of noise where "it's cool" is the most popular definition, this presentation is an overview of what's out there on the enterprise RIA market. We'll talk about pros and cons of using various techniques and technologies for development of the front end for complex distributed systems. Speaker Bio: Yakov Fain is a managing principal of Farata Systems, a consulting, training and product company. He's authored several Java books and dozens of technical articles. The latest book co-authored by Yakov is "Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex and Java: Secrets of the Masters." Sun Microsy... (more)

LiveCycle ES 8.2 is a solid platform for business process management

I’d like to share with you my experience of working with LiveCycle ES 8.2. This version has been released in July of 2008. The letters ES stand for Enterprise Suite. And this suite can do a lot of things. LiveCycle ES server is deployed under a J2EE server of your choice utilizing EJB and Java servlet containers. Its metadata repository is stored in a DBMS. But all this is hidden from people developing business processes. It includes Eclipse based IDE called LiveCycle Workbench that allows them to create and configure business processes using graphic designer. For example, you can design a process of applying for a mortgage as shown below. You connect users and processes by dragging line between the boxes – these connections are called activities, i.e. Approve, Reject. Depending on the results of execution of each of the sub-processes hidden behind these boxes, the... (more)

Enterprise HTML5: Desktop and Mobile

I’ve contacted a publisher regarding possible publication of our new book. We’ve been working with these publishers in the past and they seem to be interested, which means the publisher started asking certain questions to see if such a book will have a market value. This blog is our response to these questions. The question was caused by the proposed book title: “Enterprise HTML5: Desktop and Mobile”. What the word enterprise means in this title and is this book about HTML5? The title of the book can be changed to “Enterprise Web Development. From Desktop to Mobile”. IMO, HTML5 became a buzzword meaning a lot more than HTML. This book is more about Web development than HTML. The targeted audience is intermediate developers and the knowledge of HTML basics is assumed. This book is mostly about developing for desktop and mobile in JavaScript and related technologies... (more)

Don’t Listen to Your Business Analyst

I’m a partner in two companies – an IT consultancy Farata Systems,  and SuranceBay - a 3 year old startup where we’re creating a software for insurance industry. Brian Morton, my partner at SuranceBay who knows everything about insurance wrote a blog delivering a message that Steve Jobs formulated in one sentence: let’s give our clients not what they want, but what they need. The wording may not be 100% accurate, but the message is. When three years ago we created that startup our software engineers knew nothing about the insurance industry. Brian knew nothing about software. Actually this is not true. He knew how computers were used by the small insurance agencies. He knew intuitively that these processes could be improved, which he explained in a 200-page long business plan. We’ve created a partnership using a tiny initial amount of an investor’s capital, which w... (more)

SOA World Conference & Expo 2007 East Charter Sponsors Announced

(Woodcliff Lake, NJ, May 17, 2007) – SYS-CON Events (www.sys-con.com) announced today that the SOA World Conference & Expo 2007 East will take place on June 25-27, 2007, in New York City. The event is expected to attract developers, architects, IT managers, software professionals, and industry participants of every stripe who will be converging in New York City to attend the most comprehensive meeting on SOA, Web Services, Enterprise Open Source, and Virtualization. The 11th International SOA World Conference & Expo 2007 East, colocated with the second annual Enterprise Open Source Conference, and first international Virtualization Conference & Expo will take place on June 25-27, 2007, at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Service-oriented architectures (SOAs) have evolved over the past few years out of the original vision of loosely coupled Web se... (more)

Adobe Flex 2: Advanced DataGrid

In any GUI tool, one of the most popular components is the one that shows data in a table format like JTable in Java or Datawindow in PowerBuilder. The Adobe Flex 2 version of such a component is called DataGrid. In any UI framework, the robustness of such a component depends on formatting and validating utilities as well as a whole suite of data input controls: CheckBoxes, ComboBoxes, RadioButtons, all sorts of Inputs, Masks, and so on. Using theatrical terminology, the role of the king is played by his entourage. Practically speaking, touching up the DataGrid is touching up a large portion of the Flex framework. We'll start by upgrading the standard DataGrid to a "destination-aware" control capable of populating itself. Next, we'll look at the task of formatting DataGrid columns and that would naturally lead us to a hidden treasury of the Flex DataGrid - the Data... (more)

Rich Internet Applications - State of the Union

[This prescient article first appeared on SYS-CON.com nearly 12 months ago.] We are entering an era of Rich Internet Applications (RIA),  and many enterprise development managers are facing the dilemma - which way to go - remain with  tried and true Java or .Net technologies or less known yet AJAX, Flex, OpenLaszlo or a number of other vendors.  This article is an attempt to give a brief overview of what's out there on the RIA market. Historically there have been major shifts in the software industry. We moved from mainframes with dumb terminals to client/server. Users gained in convenience and productivity, and mainframe systems were patronizingly labeled as legacy. With the availability of the World Wide Web industry visionaries turned the tables: vendors and corporate IT had been eager to get rid of the complexity of client/server version management and technologist... (more)

A Complete Application with RPC Communications...

This is a book excerpt from the book RIch Internet applications with Adobe Flex and Java. Configuring the Server-Side Destination and Proxy For security reasons (similar to the Java sandbox concept), Flash clients can only access the domains they come from, unless other servers declare, explicitly or implicitly, trust to SWF files downloaded from our domain by a corresponding record in a crossdomain.xml file. But our portfolio SWF wasn't loaded from finance.yahoo.com, and we aren't allowed to install crossdomain.xml on the Yahoo! servers. We'll use another technique called Flex proxy. When the user clicks on the News link in the data grid, the portfolio client will connect to our FDS Web application deployed under Tomcat (JRun, WebLogic), which will proxy our communication with Yahoo!. To configure the Flex proxy service, use the following section of the proxy-confi... (more)

Comparing the syntax of Java 5 and ActionScript 3

From Farata Systems flexblog Below is a short comparison table of major elements/concepts of these two languages for a quick reference. You can read this table either left-to-right or right-to-left, depending on what’s your primary programming language is today. This list is not complete, and your input is appreciated. Concept/Language Construct Java 5.0 ActionScript 3.0 Class library packaging .jar .swc Inheritance class Employee extends Person{…} class Employee extends Person{…}   Variable declaration and initialization String firstName=”John”; Date shipDate=new Date(); int i; int a, b=10; double salary; var firstName:String=”John”; var shipDate:Date=new Date(); var i:int; var a:int, b:int=10; var salary:Number; Undeclared variables n/a It’s an equivalent to the wild card type notation *. If you declare a... (more)