Enterprise Flex and Java RIA with Clear Toolkit Framework

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[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)

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)

Open Source Alternatives to LiveCycle Data Services

Clear Tookit on Ulitzer Development of enterprise Flex/Java rich Internet applications benefits from using automated data integration solutions and productivity tools. Currently Adobe offers LiveCycle Data Services ES2 (LCDS) and open source BlazeDS 3. While LCDS is certainly a great piece of software for those who are looking to support thousands of concurrent users via the most efficient communication protocols, its high licensing cost makes LCDS unaffordable for the vast majority of the enterprise applications let alone small businesses and startups. If you are looking for an alternative solution for integrating Flex and Java EE layers, consider using GraniteDS, WebOrb, and Clear Toolkit. The first two products offer their own implementation of the AMF protocol, and Clear Toolkit uses the AMF libraries that come with BlazeDS . If you are looking for an open sour... (more)

Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex 2 and Java

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)

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)

Our Flex Book Is Written!

From Farata Systems blog The book "RIA development with Adobe Flex and Java" is written. Check out the book site. Do you know why we are smiling? Because the writing is over! It took us longer than planned because we had to work for a living, and the time for writing this book was just stolen from our families and our sleep. The book is about 650 pages, and here's the brief TOC: Foreword by Bruce Eckel Foreword by Matt Chotin Chapter 1. Architecture of RIA Chapter 2. Introduction to Flex Framework Chapter 3. Flex Builder Development Environment Chapter 4. Learning Flex Through Applications Chapter 5. A Complete Application with RPC Communications Chapter 6. End-to-End Rapid Application Development Chapter 7. How to write your own data services Chapter 8. Enhancing and Extending Flex Controls Chapter 9. Trees with Dynamic Data Population Chapter 10. Working with Large Applicatio... (more)

Yakov Fain Launches Clear Toolkit Magazine on Ulitzer

Yakov Fain, one of the top 3 Ulitzer bloggers, launched a new magazine on Ulitzer as a one stop shop for all Flex/AIR/Java developers who decided to use open source Clear Toolkit framework for developing enterprise rich Internet applications. Yakov Fain is a Managing Director of Farata Systems, consulting, training and product company. He has authored several Java books, dozens of technical articles. SYS-CON Books released his latest co-authored book , Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex and Java: Secrets of the Masters in Spring 2007. Sun Microsystems has nominated and awarded Yakov with the title Java Champion. He leads the Princeton Java Users Group. He is an Adobe Certified Flex Instructor. Currently Yakov works on the book for O'Reilly "Enterprise Application Development with Flex". He twits at twitter.com/yfain. ... (more)

Adobe's Serious Move Towards Model-Driven Development

When a couple of months back I told a fellow Flex developer that I’ll be speaking at CFUnited, conference he shrugged, “Why ColdFusion?” Little did he know that CFUnited is branded as a ColdFusion, Flex and AIR conference. And this was true – there were lots of quality presentations on Flex and AIR here. The venue selection was superb – a golf resort in Virginia with three swimming pools and helpful staff. ColdFusion conference was a new crowd for me, really. People are friendly, and you get a feeling of a small community where people know each other. Finally, I found a technical event with lots of female software developers. For some reason, ColdFusion developers try to maintain the status of endangered species. Did they learn it from PowerBuilder or Cobol folks? Why would an easy to use server side tool extinct? If you think I’m making things up, how do you like th... (more)

Apple and Emotional Discussions Around Adobe Flash Player

The recent announcement of iPad has ignited yet another wave of emotional discussions around the role of Flash Player in the evolution of mankind.  People easily take sides and everyone seems to know what’s right and what’s wrong.  Actually the word ‘’people” is too vague in this context, because vast majority of the population has no idea what Flash Player is, and they don’t have to know!  As long as they go to youtube and it plays videos people are happy and casually say, “Youtube is a great site!”   On the same note, I have no idea how my car operates. Back in my school days, I’ve learned that some stuff burns inside the engine producing another powerful stuff that make the wheels spin.  Do I need to know more? Absolutely not. I lease cars and change them every three years.  Once a year I visit those 10-min oil change shops, and people open up the hood and do s... (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)

Online Angular workshops for your organization

Our company, Farata Systems, offers two online hands-on workshops. Each workshop runs for 12 hours over 3 or 4 online sessions.   1. Developing Web Apps with Angular 2 and TypeScript. Essentials. 2. Developing Angular 2 applications. Advanced topics. For training inquiries send a request at training @ faratasystems.com ... (more)