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

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

Getting the Most from the MX Community

There are a lot of resources out there

When Macromedia first announced last year that it would be joining the old UCon and DevCon together, combining the best of the two events into "Macromedia MAX 2003" - subsequently held in Salt Lake City in November - there were the inevitable rumblings in the user/developer community.

By now, however, everyone has seen that not only did joining those two events make good business sense, it also made sense in the context of the enormous impetus that it gave to the MX product suite.

Last month's announcement of the "MX 2004" product line, with its new versions of Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks, as well as Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004, ought to have silenced anyone who still had any lingering doubts. Whether looking at new building blocks like the MX Elements for Flash and the MX Elements for HTML, or at the new look-and-feel for Internet applications, called Halo, MX developers - yes, let's use that term - are increasingly sitting in the catbird seat.

Flash Player 7 was also announced last month, with performance optimizations and support for new technologies. And let's not forget "Macromedia MAX 2004 Japan." Both developments confirm just how all-encompassing the commitment is to taking rich media apps to the max.

What does all this mean in real terms for you as a developer? It means, above all, that Macromedia is building out its offerings. But it is also building out the community of developers using them.

Let's look at just one of the many technologies within the MX family, ColdFusion, as it's the one I know best. Every month when writing the editorial for ColdFusion Developer's Journal, one of MXDJ's sister publications in the SYS-CON Media family, I try to encourage our readers to get involved in the developer community. I get technical questions e-mailed to me all the time, with folks looking for advice on where to go to solve specific problems that they're having, or to get in touch with other members of the community to help them learn and grow. I often assume that everyone knows the major resources that are there to help, but it's good every now and then to have a reminder.

In addition to the magazine you're holding, and ColdFusion Developer's Journal, there's a wealth of community resources for both ColdFusion and MX developers at no, or little, cost that are well worth taking advantage of. Having covered many developer markets over the past several years, I can unequivocally state that we've got one of the finest groups of folks, more willing to share with and help each other than any other.

Here are the "Big Four":

  • Macromedia's Forums: www.macromedia.com/support/forums/

    Every self-respecting developer using one of Macromedia's products should visit their very extensive support forums on a daily basis. Each gets hundreds of posts a day on a variety of topics, and they're monitored by Macromedia as well. It's a great way to see who else is having the problems you are, as well as learn the techniques that others in similar situations are using.

    There's no company out there (that I've found at least) that's more responsive to its core customer base than Macromedia, and we've seen several of the MX 2004 products (most notably Flash) receive updates over the past couple of months in response to customer problems that have now brought the MX 2004 line into many more production environments. You can get the latest information on these on the forums as well.

  • User Groups: www.macromedia.com/cfusion/usergroups/index.cfm

    You can find user groups specializing in ColdFusion, or Macromedia products as a whole, in many local areas throughout the country and the world. These generally meet once a month and range in size from a handful to a hundred attendees, with periodic visits from Macromedia guests. These are great for networking, as well as technical tips and shared learning.

  • Blogs: www.markme.com/mxna/index.cfm

    Several Macromedia employees - as well as many independent developers and consultants - have gotten into this latest craze in Web publishing, posting about their daily trials, tribulations, and triumphs using the various MX products. Macromedia's XML news aggregator makes things even easier because you can view the latest posts in these by technology, or overall as they aggregate (as of this writing) 208 different blog feeds.

  • Events: www.macromedia.com/macromedia/events

    Macromedia MAX is a don't-miss event for developers using any products in the Macromedia MX family. It's an invaluable resource for support, great technical sessions, demos of Macromedia products, third-party solutions, and lots more. Watch for news on next year's U.S. event.

    In addition to MAX, there are dozens of national and local events that you can participate in. This month, for example, you can find many of the key players in developing MX technologies at Edge 2004 (East) in Boston, where there's an entire MX track reflecting the momentum that Macromedia is helping to build around its product line. The conference is the eighth successive "Edge" event produced by SYS-CON Events, a sister company to the publishers of MXDJ.

    You'll be able to learn from senior evangelist Christophe Coenraets how to use Macromedia's "Flex" technology initiative to create rich Internet apps - using components, layouts, and managers - to build user interfaces, as well as using Flex's XML-based language, MXML, to create and manipulate client-side data models. Senior sales engineer Kevin Hoyt will teach you how the Flex initiative fits into today's new service-oriented architectures, with a look at design patterns for rich clients, accessing Web services, and securing your Flex application.

    Simon Horwith will help you see how, compared to other application server platforms, ColdFusion MX makes creating and consuming Web services easy. True to the MX 2004 theme of interoperability, Simon's session will look at how Dreamweaver MX 2004 allows you to create a ColdFusion Component (CFC) in Dreamweaver, then expose that CFC as a Web service by just toggling one attribute of the component. His session will also explore built-in support for browsing and consuming Web services in Dreamweaver MX 2004, as well as the advantages of using Macromedia products to design and develop Web services-enabled applications from start to finish.

    And for the ColdFusion faithful, there's a session on the basic principles of tuning software for performance, concentrating on tuning Web applications written in ColdFusion. Jim Schley talks from experience as the lessons he's learned and will discuss have come from working on the latest version of ColdFusion, CFMX 6.1 (Red Sky).

    For those in search of a 35,000-foot overview, one of the Edge 2004 (East) keynoters is Macromedia's own David Mendels, who, since joining Macromedia in 1992, has played a major role in the development of product and business strategies. In his current role, David supervises the gamut of Macromedia's designer and developer products, including Flex, Flash, Dreamweaver, and ColdFusion - so his keynote presentation, intriguingly titled "SOA + RIA = ROI" is a definite must-see.

    You can visit the Web sites above for full details on this and other conferences that Macromedia is participating in, either as a sponsor or a presenter. Additionally, Macromedia runs local training seminars and product showcases as new products are released. Generally run in a hotel or local training center in your area, they give you the opportunity to go and see the products firsthand, and to learn from the experts.

    Until next time, happy developing - and don't forget to comment your code!

  • More Stories By Robert Diamond

    Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

    Comments (0)

    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.

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
    A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
    Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
    In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
    Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
    Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
    Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
    No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
    Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
    In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
    "IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
    When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
    Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
    We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
    Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
    DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
    In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
    Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
    "Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
    The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...