Flex Your Oracle Portal

Last week while many of us were gallivanting around Vegas at MAX, Oracle was holding their OpenWorld conference in San Francicso. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be in two places at once, so I didn’t attend OpenWorld. But I did have the opportunity of building a Flex demo for one of the Oracle keynotes. I really just took a few of our sample applications and portalized them. You can see the end result on Oracle’s Portlet Testing Site. One cool thing to point out is that the portlets are actually remote portlets being served via Oracle’s JPDK. In case you want to play around with these portlets in your own portal, the provider url is: http://www.jamesward.org:8888/flexportlets/providers/flex_portlets

Also be sure to read the Oracle Press Release:
Oracle and Adobe Collaborate to Enable Enterprise Rich Client Development

And an article I helped write: Providing Rich Portlets with Adobe Flex

In the past 2 months Flex was used in a keynote at Intel’s developer conference, a Flex application took second place at SAP TechED’s Demo Jam, and most recently Oracle did the keynote Flex demo at OpenWorld! Enterprise software continues to be transformed by Flex!

FLASH & FLEX: FREE FOR ALL (even Linux)!

As of yesterday, for the first time EVER, nearly everyone in the world has access to a FREE, ubiquitous application runtime, and a FREE application development toolkit for that runtime! Of course I’m referring to Flash Player 9 and the free Flex 2 SDK. To show people the power of these two technologies I’ve recorded a screen cam of me building a YouTube video player on Linux. Check it out!

Flex 2 Apps on Linux!!!

One of the benefits of working for Adobe is that I get to test new products while they are still in the pre-release state. One night a few weeks ago I was able to install a pre-alpha build of Flash Player 9 on Linux. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I pulled up my first Flex 2 app on my Gentoo laptop. Smiling from ear to ear I ran over to Emmy Huang (who, as usual, was still working at 7pm), and I thanked her. And the next day I also had the chance to thank Mike Melanson, Tinic Uro who are also investing a lot of time making Flash Player 9 on Linux a reality. Many others at Adobe are also working hard to get the public beta out the door. Most Flex 2 apps I have tested are working, but there are still frequent browser crashes and other bugs that the team needs to fit before we can send a beta out the door. But we are close and I can’t wait to watch the very eager Linux community get their hands on Flash Player 9.

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Flex Paint – Flex Display Object to PNG

UPDATE – I’ve created a new version of Flex Paint which doesn’t require the server roundtrip.

Flex allows you to easily create beautiful UIs. But what if you want to take a piece of the UI and save it as an image? Well, using Tinic’s AS3 PNG Encoder, Remote Object, and Flash’s BitmapData and ByteArray API it’s very easy. To show how this is done, I created a simple application called Flex Paint.

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Debug Flex & Java Together in Flex Builder 2

I recently conducted an eSeminar on building enterprise applications with Flex Builder and Flex Data Services. You can view the recording of that presentation at: http://seminars.breezecentral.com/p24622178/

In my session I promised that I would formally document the process for debugging Flex & Java together in Flex Builder. So finally, here is that documentation.

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WeBudget RIA 1.0 Beta 1 (Flex 1.5, Cairngorm 0.99, EJB 3)

I just finished the first beta release of WeBudget based on Flex 1.5, Cairngorm 0.99, and EJB 3. My wife and I use WeBudget to manage our personal budget. This version was an attempt to learn Cairngorm and EJB 3. Cairngorm really helped to organize the Flex code like a typical J2EE project which makes the code easier to debug and maintain. EJB 3 makes writing backend Java code brainless. The combination of Flex, Cairngorm, and EJB 3 is a very compelling platform for RIAs. The code is much simpler and more maintainable than the Struts applications I have built in the past. I hope that those learning Flex will find this code helpful. And
the Flex and Cairngorm veterans can offer their input on how to make
the code even more beautiful. Please let me know what you think.

Demo (username/password = demo/demo)
SourceForge Project Home
Source Downloads



Last night I created a simple WYSIWYG tool based on Flex, inspired in part by the Zamples idea of Live Code Examples. The goal is to do on-the-fly conversion of simple markup to Flash objects. This code is particularly useful for environments where content management is seperate from the web application. This is pretty basic and there may be better ways to do this, but I hadn’t seen this done before so I took a stab at it. Feel free to suggest improvements!

Here’s the source code:

Let me know what you think!