West Coast Wrap Up

I am in Los Angeles today for customer meetings, and head back home tonight. This week’s usergroup presentations went really well, and attendees seemed really excited at the opportunities made possible by Flex 2, and the clean seamless integration between ColdFusion on the server and Flex generated Flash on the client.
The only real gotcha occurred last night, when Flex Builder 2 (which had been working for me perfectly all week) started throwing JVM errors on startup. Normally I’d have repeated the steps, capturing error logs in the process, and sent them to the engineers to look at – after all, that is what beta is for. But with attendees waiting for me to get started – well, after the obvious fixes (-clean, deleting the workspace, removing most recent plug-ins) didn’t work I uninstalled Flex Builder, cleaned up the folders, and performed a clean install. That did the trick, and the presentation started only 20 minutes late. To those of you sitting there patiently, thanks.
One question that came up repeatedly (in various forms) was “are Flex Enterprise Services needed for Flex apps to communicate with ColdFusion?”. And despite explaining this repeatedly, there still seems to be some confusion about this one. So … the answer is no. You can use <:mx:remoteobject> and to invoke CFC methods in a Flex app built using Flex Builder, and you can deploy the generated SWFs which will be able to communicate with ColdFusion, without needing anything else installed on the server. Of course, you may still want to use Flex Enterprise Services as doing so exposes important additional functionality, but even without FES, Flex 2 can communicate with ColdFusion backends.

7 responses to “West Coast Wrap Up”

  1. Derek Perez Avatar
    Derek Perez

    I’m concerned with how you guys are going to handle the charting components. I hope that if you guys plan to sell it seperately that Flex 2 comes with at least SOME sort of basic graphing controls built in.

  2. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    We’ve already said that Flex Builder (with the ability to build and deploy apps that talk to back-ends) will be priced for under $1K per developer seat.
    We’ve also already said that the Flex SDK will be free.
    We’ve not discussed FES pricing though, and that is still being hammered out, but we have committed to makeing entry level FES use inexpensive.
    So, not sure what you mean by lack of pricing information. You want to build Flex 2 apps and deploy them on any server? Flex Builder will let you do that, for under $1K.
    — Ben

  3. Adam Reynolds Avatar
    Adam Reynolds

    I’m more concerned about the lack of pricing information on Flex 2. If anybody has a link to somewhere that can give me with prices. I’ve called the sales ‘hotline’ in the UK, and it’s all: Flex? You mean Flash yes? No I mean Flex. Oh let me put you through to technical support….
    Bit of a joke really. I do realise it’s an enterprise technology and needs a bit of handholding. I have a feeling Adobe doesn’t actually know where to price this product.
    I can see a lot of people using the ability to generate stand alone Flex apps (in 2) and deploy them on any server to work around the cost issue (assuming Flex Enterprise is 10k per licence) a huge value proposition.
    However it would help if Adobe would actually start communicating what their pricing strategy is.
    As a CF consultant I see Flex as a useful tool for generating RIAs. Although the requirement for Flash 8.5 ironically makes it a poor choice for most corporate intranets. Big business usually locks down it’s desktops and will at most have Flash 7. For example I’m currently writing this on an NT machine 🙁
    It does mean AJAX is still a better proposition for intranets, however I’m keen to jump on the Flex bandwagon. However if I’m going for a ride, could the Adobe conductor please tell me how much the ticket is going to cost.
    What will I need as a consultant (who may want to demo on his own web server) and what will it cost my clients?

  4. Adam Reynolds Avatar
    Adam Reynolds

    Thanks for that. That’s pretty much what I was looking for.
    It’s a shame your sales teams don’t appear to know much about it. Not to worry.

  5. Ian Skinner Avatar
    Ian Skinner

    Is there anywhere to get a copy of the sample aps you use in your presentation, with clear set up and configuration instructions?
    Since Tuesday’s presentation in Sacramento I am excited to try my hand at creating a mock up of an applictation that I think would really excite people in my organizatoin about Flex.
    But after downloading and installing Flex Wednesday. Then spending the day finding information on correcting an issue about using flex in the multi-home configuration of ColdFusion that I use. The installer looks for a web.xml file in a location that does not exist in multi-home configurations.
    Now, I am lost. I am just trying to set up a simple CFC and use it to create a simple tiled display. But I just can’t find a simple example of where to put all the pieces.

  6. thinman Avatar

    Appreciate all your efforts, and thanks for your presentation at the BACFUG meeting. Clarification of the CF connectivity and FES additional functionality was more than worth the price of admission!
    – thin

  7. Ian Skinner Avatar
    Ian Skinner

    Ok I found the phones example app at
    But I have not successfully run this app, when I do, I just get an empty container with an endless "loading" clock cursor. Any sugestions?

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