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Flex for ColdFusion Developers (Flex Camp Boston 2008)

Flex for ColdFusion Developers
Mike Nimer, Digital Primates

What is Flex, presentation is CF application stack. CF connects to everything. Flex Data Services ship with Cold Fusion (BlazeDS RPC and Messaging wrapped with LCDS' Data Management).

How to connect a Flex application: RPC using HTTP, AMF, RTMP (no server required). Flash remoting requires server side piece like CF that translates protocol to CFC. Flex messaging can push message to all clients through an event gateway.

Need: CF 7.0.2 or 8. CFEclipse as an IDE. Flex Builder IDE. CF plug-ins for Flex Buidler (optional but you really want them) many wizards. Can also have separate LCDS but not needed as it is already part of CF.

Hybrid application, HTML and Flash. Full application, takes over entire page. Desktop application, using AIR with CF server.

Break out of page model and switch to event model. Small self contained components. Application around widget decides what to do with events. Properties in events out (rule of thumb for components).

Only writing CFC no need for CFMs. Binding to data grid the call service.method.lastResult. Can also use bindings if needed.

Any data type in CF can be set back. Can use either array, structs, queries or strongly types entities like User, Products, and other CFCs. CFC instance on server and AS class in Flex. Public only properties. Easy if you get it right. CF case insensitive and not typed. AS is case sensitive and typed. CFProperty used for WSDL generation and Documentation generation. Also used to specify contract between CFC and AS (uses case defined in CFC and property type). CFC also specifies alias (optional but really required for Flex). AS object uses RemoteAlias meta-data. Have to mark a cffunction method with access="remote" to be called by Flex.

CF by default runs as a service. Turn that off and run it from the command line. cfdump is a handy tag and you can see the output in the CF console. Can also turn on Flex logging to see the traffic. Very handy for debugging. ServiceCapture is a network tool or Charles. For a Flex debugging on server, primarily look at body property for requests and responses.

With the CF administrator you can turn on very detailed debugging that is returned to the client. Flex supports browser cookies. Need to specify services config when you compile the Flex application. With server config you can control what the client is allowed to do. Flex can only request CFCs under web root. Flex remoting adapter configuration can change how CFCs and methods are found, secure by default but you can open them up, force certain casing type.

Session and client variables are supposed in Flex. Can't persistent CFC to Flex Session.

Tour de Flex (Released at MAX)

Tags: coldfusion flex flexcampboston2008 lcds

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