At Scotch on the Rocks this week, Adam Lehman and I chatted about ColdFusion, Flex, and LiveCycle Data Services (LCDS for short). We spent quite a bit of time on the latter because when I polled the crowd of 150 or so, only 3 raised their hands when asked who’d looked at LCDS. That’s a shame, as LCDS is tightly integrated with ColdFusion 8 and can even be seamlessly installed along with ColdFusion 8, and few ColdFusion developers have taken the time to figure out the value that LCDS bring to the table, and especially the value of the Data Management Services. Which is why we spent time on the subject in Edinburgh, and why I focused on it in recent presentations in D.C., Toronto, Atlanta, and more. So I was really pleased to see that Adobe TV posted my Understanding Data Management Services session today, it’s not ColdFusion specific, but it does explain the basics.

9 thoughts

  1. Ben,
    My fellow user group manager, Nick Kwiatkowski, just presented an excellent primer to LCDS, Flex and CF building a classic CRUD interface for the CFMeetup group today.
    Charlie Arehart is travelling today so it may be a few days before the recording gets posted over at http://www.arehart.org/UGTV/. The presentation was titled, "5-Minute CRUD Magic with ColdFusion, Flex and LCDS".

  2. I feel like there is a huge lack of material to help get started with LCDS. I understand what it does, but have had a lot of trouble trying to get things working and figure it out whenever I’ve tried to use it. In my frustration I end up going back to getting my work done as I’ve only got so much time to learn new stuff.
    I could use some straight-up CF/LCDS tutorials on Devnet, detailed stuff, not general overviews. I work best from written examples. Would be great to see a whole Fusion Authority Quarterly series on this or something.

  3. I was one of the 3 guys at the conference (the one building the chat system)!
    I have to agree with Rick’s comment above about the lack of "getting started" with BlazeDS/LCDS. A lot of the articles talk about ColdFusion Gateways, LiveCycle, BlazeDS, Flex and Flexbuilder. As I’m fairly new to flex, flexbuilder, livecycle and blazeds that’s a lot to learn, and it is quite hard to figure out where one stops and another takes over (destinations, endpoints, sub-topics…). For instance a chat system does not require ColdFusion at all and will run on BlazeDS. Whereas a helpdesk chat system may need to do authentication and provide chat so you need a ColdFusion Gateway (or at least LCDS to access a RDBS). Livecycle is a really powerful product and I think that the lack of people using it is a direct response to the lack of understanding.
    P.S. Great keynote speech!

  4. Hi Ben,
    About data push using lifeCycle or BlazeDS with Flex and coldfusion 8, is it possible to create a datagrid in flex that cotains a data subset from a table, and that reflects the changes on the table real time, using datapush?
    so when the table is updated using any application, the datagrid would be updated without using polling.. i.e. via data push
    if so can you point me to any examples / tutorials?
    many thanks
    Amer

  5. Thanks Ben, I had a look at this one prior to speaking to you
    http://www.adobe.com/devnet/coldfusion/articles/data_app.html
    and after some major effort and looking through blogs and guessing I got it to the point where it reads data but getting java lang null pointer errors when updating. It just seem that it takes a lot of effort to get it to work unlike what we are used to with adobe products where things just work.
    for example I had to install lifecycle ds 2.6 beta 2 (rather than using the integrated version that is meant to work) then copy fds.swc to the flex sdk lib directory and the local directory. I also needed to create a mapping for my package etc etc and had to uncomment the rtmp channel in the services-config.xml file and all that got me through many issues but still in the end it was not updating(java lang null pointer error when trying to update data in the grid). the only thing I haven’t tried is upgrading cf8 to 8.1… not sure if what I’m going through is the normal procedure or I’m doing something wrong …
    anyways I will let you know if I get it to work πŸ™‚
    in the mean time if you have any hints let me know
    thanks again
    Amer

  6. Just got it working, the problems I was having had to do with data type conflicts. I tried dataservices with a smaller table and it was working. i.e. when one client updates the table, all conected clients get updated through data push.
    my basic understanding of the process is(correct me if I’m wrong):
    – create a set of LiveCycle tailored cfc’s (can be generated from flex builder 3) to do all your update/insert/delete for a certain table.
    – get the assembler cfc bound to a datadestination.
    – get your flex app to use this destination to fill the grid.. or whatever..
    – livecycle would push everytime a change is detected through the data destination bound to the cfc ..
    any other hints about this would be great! I had a look at your artical Ben, on Devnet , was good to read, but some sample code would’ve been great πŸ™‚
    cheers
    Amer

  7. Adobe Flex Data Management Services is an important development tool for software architects who want to improve the efficiency of the development and maintenance of rich Internet applications (RIAs). Even though RIAs provide an improved user experience, developing them can be more complex than building dynamic HTML applications.
    Flex Data Management Services is a declarative persistence framework that is bundled with Flex Data Services as part of the Flex rich Internet application platform. Flex Data Services consists of ActionScript libraries that run in the Flash Player runtime, which talk to Java libraries running in your J2EE server. Flex Data Services provides the ability for ActionScript code to efficiently call Java methods running in a J2EE server and provides publish and subscribe messaging to enable flexible push messaging to Flex clients. Layered on top of those basic client/server communication facilities, the Flex Data Management Services framework provides rich and robust data management facilities in a client/server environment.
    Regards
    <a href="http://www.saibposervices.com/">SBL – BPO Services</a>

  8. Hi Ben,
    i was using coldfusion 8 lcds with flex3, how can i get it to work with flex 4.
    i have tried everything but i will not work for me, can you help me with this.
    Thanks
    Chaz

Leave a Reply