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Flex Early Evaluation: Assessing Flex and Your Project Needs

Book Description

Evaluating any new technology can be a challenge. This Short Cut is designed to help web application developers (and their team managers) understand if Flex is the right technology for their company or client. Although the authors of this book have a strong understanding of the Flex framework, this isn't a sales pitch for Flex. The authors believe that Flex is a good tool to solve many business problems, but it is not a cure-all.

After reading this material, you'll know what's good about Rich Internet Applications. You'll know the capabilities of Flex 2, how Flex works, and how much it costs. We'll tell you about the challenges you'll face in developing with Flex, and show you the steps you'll take to create and deploy a Flex 2 application.

Table of Contents

  1. Flex Early Evaluation: Assessing Flex and Your Project Needs
    1. Introduction
      1. About This Short Cut
      2. What Is Flex?
    2. Why Are Rich Internet Applications Important?
      1. The Importance of User Acceptance
        1. Ease of Use Is the Key to User Experience
      2. Flex Helps Deliver the Content Users Want
        1. Flex Applications Are More Responsive
        2. Flex Delivers Data Visualization with Built-in Charting Controls
        3. Flex Delivers Style So that Applications Can Look Cool
        4. Flex Gives Developers the Power to Deliver Superior User Experience
    3. Understanding Flex 2.0 Capabilities
      1. Background
        1. Flash
        2. Flex 1.0
        3. Flex 1.5
        4. Flex 2.0
      2. Development in Flex 2.0
      3. Architecture
        1. Event-Driven Components
        2. Data Binding
        3. Accessibility
        4. Automated Testing
        5. Flex Data Services
        6. Flash Media Server
      4. Player
        1. Vector-Based
        2. JIT Compiler
        3. Bitmap Manipulation
        4. Video
        5. Transitions and Effects
        6. Printing
        7. Binary Sockets
        8. Localization
    4. Using the Flex 2 Framework
      1. Language
        1. MXML
        2. ActionScript 3.0
      2. Other Development Integration
        1. How to Integrate Flex with Your Server Stack
        2. What Java Developers Should Know
        3. What .NET Developers Should Know
        4. What Flash Developers Should Know
      3. Licensing Costs
        1. Open Source: $0.00
        2. Flex Builder: $499
        3. Charting Components: $299 or $749 for the FB/Charting bundle
        4. Flex Data Services: $0.00-$20,000
        5. Flash Media Server: $4,500 per CPU
    5. Putting It All Together: Building an Application in Flex 2.0
      1. Getting Started with Flex Builder 2
      2. Creating a New Flex Project
      3. Laying Out an Application Using Design View
        1. Source or Design View?
        2. Flex Properties Panel
        3. Components Panel
        4. The Layout Manager
      4. Adding Data to the Controls with Data Binding
        1. Creating an ArrayCollection and Binding it to the Controls
        2. Customizing the ColumnChart
        3. Customizing the DataGrid
      5. Running and Debugging a Flex Application
        1. Adding Additional Charts
        2. Adding Style
        3. Adding Transitions
      6. effectiveUI Authors