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Victor Rasputnis

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The simplest way to explain Flex Data Services (FDS) is to compare them with Flex Remoting. Simply put, FDS addresses only a subset of operations facilitated via Flex Remoting - result set requests. However, whereas Flex Remoting enables one-way requests, FDS combines one-way requests with the publish/subscribe mechanism so that besides the original result set FDS sends the client live updates produced by other clients of the same destination. And there's one more dimension in which Data Services depart from Flex Remoting - support for hierarchical collections, but we won't be covering that subject in this book. In other words, FDS resolves the task of programming data collaboration: Several users may edit different rows and columns of the "same" DataGrid and see each other's changes automatically pushed by the server. Now, what if they overlap each other's work? I... (more)

Developing Intelligent Web Applications With AJAX (Part 2)

The publicity that AJAX grabbed over the last half a year is based on closing the gap between the Web applications and the desktop applications, combining the "reach" and "rich." At the same time, the gap between the technological level of AJAX and what corporate developers expect in their modern arsenal is really astonishing. After all, AJAX is neither a tool nor a platform. There is no AJAX standards committee or community process in place. While software vendors are crafting proprietary development platforms on top of AJAX (which pretty much means "from scratch"), early adopte... (more)

Working with Large Applications

In this excerpt from our book, Rich Internet Applications, we'll cover how to set up large applications intended for Web or, more broadly speaking, distributed deployment. As an example let's consider an enterprise application that consists of hundreds of screens, reports, forms, and dashboards. Accordingly, about a dozen engineers specializing in GUIs, frameworks, data layers, and business domains are working on this application in parallel. Every application "run" in Flex Builder as well as the invocation of the application's MXML file processed by the Web-tier Flex compiler r... (more)

Flex Best Practices: DTO is the Horseshoe of your Flex Application

Remember this old little rhyme? For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; For want of the shoe, the horse was lost; For want of the horse, the rider was lost; For want of the rider, the battle was lost; For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost; And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. This little poem often comes to my mind as a see increasing number of amateurs perceiving Flex as yet another "library of controls".  The fact is, it is very easy to start coding in Flex. So much that hot-heads get on the coding spree before noticing that Flex is a beautifully crafted framework with pro... (more)

How to Prevent Flex Numeric Nulls From Turning to Zeros in BlazeDS

I’d like to use this opportunity and invite Flex developers living in Europe to attend our Advanced Flex Master Class in Brussels, Belgium on March 1 and 2, 2010. This question we get on almost every new client project: “We’re struggling with handling of null values for numeric data types in Flex/Java projects. Every time there’s an update, we end up replacing the original nulls with zeros when the user didn’t actually change that value.  Have you guys come up with a silver bullet for handling numeric nulls?” Consider a Java method with a Double parameter. You pass uninitialized ... (more)