Enterprise Flex and Java RIA with Clear Toolkit Framework

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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)

Generating Ext JS and Java CRUD Applications with CDB

Clear Data Builder for Ext JS (CDBExt) is an open source tool that automatically builds Ext JS/Java EE CRUD applications given one or more annotated Java interfaces. The generated JavaScript and Java code enforce best Ext JS and Java EE practices and is deployed on the development version of the Tomcat ready to run. A tiny library of Ext JS components accompanying CDBExt – Clear components – enables transactional data sync with the application server, including deeply nested hierarchical data transaction, features not supported in native Ext JS 4. This short video opens a series of demos that will describe various modes of generating CRUD applications with the JavaScript clients enriched by the Ext JS framework from Sencha. At the time of this writing, CDBExt is in public beta and your suggestions are welcome. Please post your suggestions and findings at the Clear... (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)

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)

Working with Large Applications

In this excerpt from our book, Rich Internet Applications, we'll cover how to set up large applications intended for Web or, more broadly speaking, distributed deployment. As an example let's consider an enterprise application that consists of hundreds of screens, reports, forms, and dashboards. Accordingly, about a dozen engineers specializing in GUIs, frameworks, data layers, and business domains are working on this application in parallel. Every application "run" in Flex Builder as well as the invocation of the application's MXML file processed by the Web-tier Flex compiler requires an application build. Needless to say, this takes time. The bigger the application, the more time it takes. Developers need a fast process of building and deploying their applications. The application also has to be partitioned for team development both vertically (application screen... (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)

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)

Closures in ActionScript 3

From Farata Systems blog Closures play a cornerstone role for dynamic languages. They are essential for implementing features like OO or building frameworks. At the same time, a formal definition of closures does not really help to understand them. Let us go through few examples. First, we’ll show what closures look like, and then we’ll give you their use patterns. It all starts with the use of an anonymous function that has access to variables in the outer lexical scope: import mx.controls.Alert; private var greeting:String=”Hello”; private function doInit(evt:Event) : void {   btn.addEventListener(”click”, function(evt:Event):void {   Alert.show... (more)

ClearBI Web Reporter For Flex and Java Applications Goes to Public Beta

An Eclipse plugin version of Web reporter ClearBI (a.k.a. FlexBI) is available for public Beta testing. ClearBI is a business intelligence engine that allows software developers automate report generation process, and end users can customize reports (grouping, filtering, export to Microsoft Excel et al.) in Flash Player. Other than Flash Player, ClearBI does not require any additional software install on the client side. ClearBI is available in two versions: ClearBI Plugin and ClearBI End-User: • ClearBI Plugin allows a software developer create and customize a new report in Eclipse IDE. This report can be integrated into any Flex application by including an extra MXML and recompiling the main application. The end users will be able to work with the report (sorting, filtering, grouping, export to Microsoft Excel, et al.), but won’t be able to save this cus... (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)

Introducing Enhanced Flex components from Clear Toolkit

The goal of this article is to give you a brief overview of some of the objects from clear.swc, which is a part of the open source Clear Toolkit framework available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/cleartoolkit.Component library clear.swc includes ... (more)