Welcome!

Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, Java IoT, ColdFusion, FlexSeminar.com

Adobe Flex: Article

"Real-World Flex" by Adobe's Christophe Coenraets

Tips and tricks from Adobe's intrepid Flex Evangelist

Some people take the dog for a walk, other go play a round of golf. Not Christophe Coenraets. His idea of a good time is to illustrate Flex and JMS integration by extending a simple "realtime feed" application that he built a while back! Web Developer's & Designer's Journal is proud to bring you each month two of the month's best tips from Adobe's intrepid Flex Hero.

Using Flex 2 with Flash Media Server
I recently built a proof of concept that included a call center integration scenario. The use case revolved around a user getting stuck while trying to complete an online process, and engaging in a real time collaboration session with a customer services representative to sort out the problem.

The nature of the collaboration between the end-user and the support representative was very rich and included the following features:

  1. Chat
  2. Videoconference / video chat
  3. The support representative was able to "drive" the end-user's UI
  4. The support representative was also able to remotely fill in the user's form. In other words, data typed in the support rep's application automatically appeared (in real time) in the user's app.
From the end-user point of view, all this was done "in context" without ever leaving the application, and without starting any other application.

The application turned out to be really easy to implement with Flex 2:

  • Features (1) and (3) were enabled by the new Message Service in Flex 2.
  • Feature (4) was enabled by the Data Services in Flex 2. Using the data services, two clients can point to the same destination (the same data set). Changes made by one client are automatically reflected in the other client. No code required!
  • Feature (2) was enabled by the Flash Media Server.
Here's a simple example of how to integrate Flex and Flash Media Server to support rich media streaming and video-conferencing. This is surprisingly easy to do with just a few lines of code.

To run this example you will have to:

  1. Install FlexBuilder 2. You can download the beta here: http://labs.adobe.com/.
  2. Install the Flash Media Server (you can download a free developer edition here: www.adobe.com/products/flashmediaserver/
  3. Download the sample application code here: http://coenraets.com/apps/fms.zip
  4. In C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Flash Media Server 2\applications\flex_videoconference, create a directory called flex_videoconference and copy the main.asc file in that directory
  5. Create a FlexBuilder project and copy fms.mxml and VideoContainer.as in that project
  6. Run fms.mxml
The application starts your webcam, publishes the captured video stream to Flash Media Server.and then "plays" the video streamed by Flash Media Sever in a second video component.

Embedding HTML in a Flex Application using an IFrame
I have recently been involved in several projects where there was a need to embed HTML content in a Flex application. Depending on the specific requirements of your application, there are a couple of approaches you can use...

  1. The Flex Text components (Label, Text, TextArea) support basic HTML formatting through their htmlText attribute. You can find an example of this approach in the Samples Explorer where the Code Viewer uses the HTML capabilities of the TextArea to provide syntax coloring.
  2. You can embed a Flex application in a page that also contains traditional HTML. The Flex application can communicate with the HTML document (and the other way around) through JavaScript. You can also embed multiple Flex applications in a page. These applications can then communicate directly with each others using the LocalConnection API.
Note: I am not advocating that you use this technique as your default approach to combine Flex and HTML content. Depending on your application, the approaches (1) and (2) described above may represent a better solution. If these approaches don't meet your specific requirements, the technique implemented in the attached example can be very useful.

In some cases, these approaches may not go far enough: You may need a single Flex application that embeds HTML content with no restriction in terms of HTML tags and features supported.

In this case, another approach is to position an IFrame on top of a specific area of your Flex application to provide a container for the HTML content which will then appear embedded in the application. This technique may initially sound complex or cumbersome to implement, especially if the different containers of your Flex application resize dynamically and you have to keep the IFrame in sync. In the attached example, I abstracted the complexity of this approach in an IFrame component written in mxml. The IFrame component extends Canvas and is used like any other Flex container. Behind the scenes, it acts as a proxy for the actual HTML IFrame (Figure 1). For example, when the IFrame component is resized or moved it automatically asks the HTML document to resize/move the actual IFrame.

More Stories By Christophe Coenraets

Christophe Coenraets currently works as a Senior Technical Evangelist at Adobe. Before joining Adobe, Christophe was an evangelist at Macromedia, focusing on Rich Internet Applications and Enterprise integration. Prior to Macromedia, Christophe was the head of Java and J2EE Technical Evangelism at Sybase, where he started working on Java Enterprise projects in 1996. Before joining Sybase in the US, Christophe held different positions at Powersoft in Belgium, including Principal Consultant for PowerBuilder, and Manager of the Professional Services organization. Before joining Powersoft, Christophe worked as a developer and architect on several retail and BPM projects. Christophe has been a regular speaker at conferences worldwide for the last 10 years.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
SShah 06/14/06 05:02:53 AM EDT

Hello,

i have tried this example but getting the error that NetConnection object cannot be connected.Can anyone help me resolve this issue.

Web Developer's & Designer's Journal 05/22/06 04:16:47 PM EDT

Some people take the dog for a walk, other go play a round of golf. Not Christophe Coenraets. His idea of a good time is to illustrate Flex and JMS integration by extending a simple 'realtime feed' application that he built a while back! Web Developer's & Designer's Journal is proud to bring you each month two of the month's best tips from Adobe's intrepid Flex Hero.

Web Developer's & Designer's Journal 05/22/06 03:30:48 PM EDT

Some people take the dog for a walk, other go play a round of golf. Not Christophe Coenraets. His idea of a good time is to illustrate Flex and JMS integration by extending a simple 'realtime feed' application that he built a while back! Web Developer's & Designer's Journal is proud to bring you each month two of the month's best tips from Adobe's intrepid Flex Hero.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that FalconStor Software® Inc., a 15-year innovator of software-defined storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FalconStor Software®, Inc. (NASDAQ: FALC) is a leading software-defined storage company offering a converged, hardware-agnostic, software-defined storage and data services platform. Its flagship solution FreeStor®, utilizes a horizonta...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...