Flex 2 Beta 2 is out. New versions of Flex Builder, Flex Data Services, the ColdFusion connector, and more. The Eclipse RDS plugin and wizards are also out, as are new versions of the sample apps I posted. Get your fresh beta 2 at Labs.
I kinda keep an eye on Flex and OpenLaszlo as I believe them to be competing technologies.
I accept that Flex 2.0 will be great however I am still concerned that it will take some time before Flash 8.5 has huge penetration of the web. I do realise however that the feature sets inside Flex 2.0 are probably worth it.
The approach Laszlo has taken is to compile to a target technology. This currently has been Flash 7 (and above) and recently they now compile to DHTML using Ajax (beta). Works correctly in Firefox and just about IE.
I was demonstrating this to somebody running on an NT box (as a lot of businesses still do) who did not have local admin rights and had Flash 5 installed. After downloading the latest Flash, it failed to install. However I’d been happily demonstrating the Ajax version of the application by then.
Could you see a future where the standalone Flex 2.0 builder would do a similar thing? You choose your target technology.
I’m hoping Adobe can see beyond Flash.
Yes, you would be working with a reduced instruction set, but that would still be exceptionally powerful.
Thank for the presentation at UKCFUG last night, very informative and helpful.
I agree… Flex is a good door to the future. Looking and testing it out myself. But with all the promotion about Flex and AJAX… it makes one wonder if they are going to miss the power of building AJAX into DW and CF! It also makes me wonder if the push for Flex isn’t causing our beloved CF to be neglected. I expect it will come back into the picture in the future, but right now the mature stable product of CF is riding on the coat tails of a upstart promising but unproven product. (Flex 2.0 that is… of course the prior versions are proven, but this is a the butterfly stage for Flex! It did good as a catapillar. Now we are all waiting to see how good it flys. We are waiting to see if it can survive the preditors.) Meanwhile back at the ranch our beloved CF is proven and waiting more than a new partnership with Flex. (Unless that is we are finally going to see the stops come out of CF and all versions have real access to the Flex engine! Let CF pass MXML into generator, create a SWF to store and run on the system without recompiling it on every request! Then that could be pretty significant!)
You may have a point, however I have a feeling the next version of CF will probably incorporate some if not all of the Adobe liveCycle product line.
The problem I currently perceive with a Flash based technology is accessibility.
I’m currently specc’ng out a CMS that ‘may’ use Ajax or at least allow content delivery via webservices. My primary focus however is on AA accessibility compliance. If you want long-term work in the UK, your systems have to pass AA accessibility.
Unfortunately Flash is out of the window. Flex is a toy for the Business Intelligence community.
However even from a ROI, the first thing is the Flash 8.5 penetration level. Really not sure how you persuade a business to upgrade every machine to the latest version of Flash.
At the end of the day I can see myself designing modules that provide AA compliant xhtml frontends and webservices via a CFC for RIA components. The immediate implication is that the RIA is effectively standalone. I will either be writing Ajax or Flex Standalone or Laszlo SOLO RIA components….Laszlo suddenly starts ticking a lot of boxes as you can write one app and deploy it either as Ajax or Flash.
However I still feel that to do serious business in the UK, you must have an AA accessibility compliant system first before you can do anything else.
What I will say is that Flex 2.0 has got a lot going for it. I just can’t make my mind up if I actually will be able to sell it to clients.
I also am very concerned that the eclipse plugin to do RDS and CRUD are being delivered as part of the Flex Builder Beta. It is more than a feature of Flex builder.
Apologies if I am rambling a bit. I love CF, however Flex is still Flash and that means accessibility issues that Adobe need to address. If they can get that sorted we may be on to something here.
In the meantime it draws some very pretty pictures and really rocks the boat of your senior management. I mean SAP use Flex as a way of doing pretty reports. Says it all really.
If you have any way to give input to the folks developing the eclipse plugins, can you mention that the RDS plugin is not passing the host header properly….it always passes 127.0.0.1 no matter the hostname you specify in the config. This does not work on remote servers that won’t answer by IP address only.
Perhaps this is by design….security "feature"?
Maybe I imagined it but when you demonstrated the RDS Plug in (as part of the flex demo) in London last week I thought I saw that it generated Bean, DAO and Gateway CFCs. The vesion I downloaded does not generate a Gateway. Did I imagine that? Is that planned for the future? Is the CFC generator plugin open source? I would like to be able to make some samll changes so that it generates code like the standard I use now.
Thanks for comming to London to show us all that good stuff by the way. Very enjoyable meeting.
I am answering my own question here. I must have imagined the capability since Tom Jordahl’s answer to my question on the Beta Forum indicates that it is not currently planned to generate Gateways.