As a general rule, you want to be using AMF for communication between Flash Player on the client (running a Flash or Flex app) and your back-end server (unless you need messaging and push and data management services, in which case LiveCycle Data Services is what you’ll want).
Lee Brimelow explains this (and lists AMF options for different back-ends) in a recent post entitled What the hell is AMF? And James Ward demonstrates the performance implications in his Census – RIA Data Loading Benchmarks.

3 thoughts

  1. Hello Ben !
    I have already asked questions elsewhere about the AMF protocol advantage when it comes to
    Ajax/JavaScript on the client; I remember the following answer from the top of my head:
    the time it takes to transfer the data received via AMF from Flash to JavaScript –
    e.g. with Adobe’s "Ajax Data Services" – more than countervails the pure Flash AMF advantage
    … Therefore, if the client destination is Ajax/JavaScript, one should use a data
    exchange mechanism catering DIRECTLY to Ajax/JavaScript …
    I would still like to hear more opinions about this "AMF to Ajax/JavaScript" topic 🙂 !
    After all, if Adobe’s "Ajax Data Services" could not provide an AMF advantage for
    Ajax/JavaScript, too, they would probably never have been offered.
    Best Regards and Tschüss
    Kai

  2. Hi Kai,
    The benefits of AMF are faster serialization, faster deserialization, and more compact format across the wire. Depending on the size of your data sets these may or may not be a big benefit. The overhead of moving the data from Flash to JavaScript may or may not have an impact on overall performance. As always I recommend people try it out with their data sets before making a decision.
    -James

  3. AMf is great for what it does and since it is free it is used by many designers. However there are plug ins/extensions that do so much more for you than AMF does.
    here is an example of one that works with Java that can be found at peakstudios.com there are some other programs that will do some of the same things that cost like 500 bucks but this one is only 20 and it runs in flash rather than as an additional program.
    New release Version 2.2
    Features include:
    •New in 2.1 – Use Join, Union or Aliases in your table variable
    •New in 2.1 – where clause operators can be used in like array =, <>, < , >, < =, >=, =, <>, >, < , <=, >=, BETWEEN, LIKE, IN. You can put TABLE (i.e =TABLE) after any of the operators to use a table field in the what array value. This upgrade adds functionality to select, update and delete classes.
    •New in 2.1 – Code is generated into functions.
    The Flash Java DB Flash panel extension creates:
    •Copy and paste capabilities which include, select, insert, update and delete functions for AS2 & AS3
    •Embedded Peak Studios AS2 & AS3 classes
    •Java files for SQL database connections and queries
    •A simple publish profile
    New features include:
    – Test your code in the Flash IDE.
    – Code is interchangeable between the Java, PHP and ASP extensions by simply changing the class import from java.* to php.* or asp.*.
    This is a very easy extension to use. Once you start using it, it will save you hours of time connecting your MySQL database to Flash using Java. The panel generates the actionScript code , and you simply paste the code into your actions layer. Therefore, the only thing you need to do is set the input data in simple arrays and tell the return function what to do with your results. Use it an infinite amount of times in a single file.

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