Do ColdFusion Developers Need Flex Data Services?

Adobe Flex 2 has been out for a couple of months now, and lots of ColdFusion customers are discovering that the combination of ColdFusion and Flex allows them to deliver powerful and engaging applications easier than ever before.
One area of confusion appears to be the Adobe Flex server: Adobe Flex Data Services. What is Adobe Flex Data Services? What exactly does Flex Data Services allow you to do that you wouldn’t be able to do without it? What does this mean specifically to us ColdFusion developers?
My new article Adobe Developer Center article entitled ColdFusion and Flex: Do you need Flex Data Services? explains.

10 responses to “Do ColdFusion Developers Need Flex Data Services?”

  1. Mark Flewellen Avatar
    Mark Flewellen

    Hi Ben,
    could you clarify for me with Flex 2. Do you need a flex server, or are the files that you compile from cfeclipse and flex (swf) just run on a normal server. If you do require a server is there some sort of developer version that can be used.

  2. Mark Flewellen Avatar
    Mark Flewellen

    Ignore my last post, I came across your article on the adobe site

  3. Rey Bango Avatar
    Rey Bango

    Excellent explanation Ben. It definitely helps to clear up some things about Flex 2.

  4. Nate Avatar

    Hey Ben,
    Do you know of a reliable CF 7.0.2 / Flex 2 hosting provider? I currently have and aparently I cannot deploy Flex 2 applications there. Any advice? Thanks

  5. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Nate, do you mean and FDS proivder? No, I do not, not yet. If you mean plain Flex then you can host anywhere, just deploy the SWF.
    — Ben

  6. Nate Avatar

    Yes, I meant FPS provider (omitted that part). I know is working on it. If you find any others let me know. Thanks!

  7. AsdfAsdfa Avatar

    HELL NO, FLEX is mainly a designers domain, and if want to be a designer then thats cool (not), but if you are a developer and you are into hard core logic/algorithms stick with what you know and what you do best. Better to be Master of One instead of master of none.

  8. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Not sure I fully agree with that. Just about any logic layer will need a front end. True, you need to have design skills to really make Flex apps look good, but the nice thing about Flex 2 apps is that if you just use the built-in controls and the basic properties to control them, then your app will still look pretty darned good (better than typical programmer design work).
    — Ben

  9. Jason Avatar

    This type of confusion highlights Adobe’s challenge in making CFers into Flexers.
    The documentation assumes the developer knows what to do and just needs the syntax. The Quick Starts are getting more focused and maybe the new books will help, but the learning gap is still there.
    Just keep the team focused on the answering the question: What problem does the feature solve, why would I use it and what situations is it best suited?

  10. Greg H Avatar
    Greg H
    Am I correct that FDS’s support for paged requests is not mentioned your Devnet article: ColdFusion and Flex: Do you need Flex Data Services?
    Can you offer links to any sample apps of CF/FDS using paging? Could you comment on cases you have seen where the use of FDS data paging was particularly beneficial?

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