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Six months ago I started following Adobe's advancements in the creation of a cross-platform solutions for smart mobile devices. In general, it's nice that finally Adobe realized that it's time to do something about the close to zero penetration of Flash Player in mobile space (I'm talking about the real thing, not Flash Lite).  When you think about the lack of Flash on smart mobile devices, all of a sudden the statistics  that claims 99% penetration of Flash Player on desktops becomes irrelevant.  Especially given the fact that search-engine optimization for Flash-based Internet applications is nothing more than an urban myth. If Amazon would redesign their Web site in Flash, they'd be out of business pretty soon - people wouldn't be find them on Google (Ichabod, the headless Flash Player proved once again that headless and brainless are synonyms). The news about a... (more)

Who Are The All-Time Heroes of i-Technology?

I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us? The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context ... (more)

i-Technology 2008 Predictions: Where's RIAs, AJAX, SOA and Virtualization Headed in 2008?

2007 was undoubtedly the year of Social Networking, but what of 2008? Will '08 be the year of "Unified Communications" or the year when CMS comes to stand for "Community Management System" - or even "Collaboration Management System"? Or will it be the year of a giga-merger, to beat the mere mega-mergers of 2007? As usual at the end of each year, SYS-CON has been informally polling its globe-girdling network of software developers, industry executives, commentators, investors, writers, and editors. As always, the range and depth of their answers is fascinating, throwing light not just on where the industry is going but also how it's going to get there, why, because of who, within what kind of time-scale. Enjoy! RIAs versus AJAX . Ruby on Rails . PHP . Facebook Competitors  TIM BRAY Director of Web Technologies, Sun Tim Bray managed the Oxford English Dictionary projec... (more)

Open Source Alternatives to LiveCycle Data Services

Clear Tookit on Ulitzer Development of enterprise Flex/Java rich Internet applications benefits from using automated data integration solutions and productivity tools. Currently Adobe offers LiveCycle Data Services ES2 (LCDS) and open source BlazeDS 3. While LCDS is certainly a great piece of software for those who are looking to support thousands of concurrent users via the most efficient communication protocols, its high licensing cost makes LCDS unaffordable for the vast majority of the enterprise applications let alone small businesses and startups. If you are looking for an alternative solution for integrating Flex and Java EE layers, consider using GraniteDS, WebOrb, and Clear Toolkit. The first two products offer their own implementation of the AMF protocol, and Clear Toolkit uses the AMF libraries that come with BlazeDS . If you are looking for an open sour... (more)

Use Flash Forms and Flex To Give Applications New Life

I'm a Webmaster for the Air Protection Division (APD), EPA Region 3 in Philadelphia and in April 2006, I wrote an article for CFDJ entitled "How ColdFusion MX 7 Made Me a Hero at the Office" (Volume 8, Issue 4). That article described how I harnessed the power of ColdFusion to improve access to our most vital business information. Now, I'm back to fill you in on how I've been able to use Flash Forms and Flex to revitalize our applications and make them even more potent than before. Since writing my previous article I've been busy reading up on and learning everything I can about Flex 2, MXML, Actionscript, and Flash Forms. I've also been hard at work incorporating these new technologies into my applications. I say "new" because although they've been around for some time, I haven't actually used these technologies in my own applications until now. First, I'll descr... (more)

Data Services Made Easy for Adobe Flex Applications

Flex has gotten popular lately because of its rich GUI capabilities. It also comes in handy with HTTPService and Web Service components connecting to back-end servers to fetch and update data. But using this mechanism to talk to the back-end server requires formulating a unique service object from the Flex side, making a request, and getting back data from the back-end either in XML or plain text format. The response data then has to be parsed and fed to the Flex objects to update the UI. For small to medium-size Flex projects it's a viable solution, but for enterprise projects with thousands of external service calls it will get quite repetitive and could result in a lot of unmanageable, buggy code. The approach discussed here provides a more intuitive solution to generate ActionScript classes on the Flex side that are direct counterparts of the enterprise object ... (more)

Adobe to Present "AJAX in a Desktop World" Session at AJAXWorld

AJAX developers brought Web 2.0 to the browser. Now they can leverage their JavaScript and HTML skills - as well as the IDEs they are familiar with and already use - to build the next generation of desktop applications that span platforms. Scott Fegette of Adobe will demonstrate how to extend rich Internet application (RIA) development outside of the browser using AJAX with Adobe AIR—Adobe’s cross-operating system application runtime. The concepts that will be introduced include native windows, native drag-and-drop, native clipboard support, local file IO, and persistence to a local database. Speaker Bio: Scott Fegette is the Technical Product Manager for Dreamweaver at Adobe- focusing on web standards, community outreach and developer relations. Beforehand, he served as both an engineering manager on the Macromedia web team, and a rich-media evangelist ... (more)

RIA Development on the Microsoft Stack Using Flex

ASP.NET AJAX is a natural candidate for RIA development under the .NET framework. However, there are other complementary or even alternative technologies that are worth your consideration. This session will start with a brief market overview and outline the pros and cons of some of the emerging and established frameworks, particularly JavaFX, Silverlight, and Flex. We will then dive into hands-on labs for delivering applications using Flex and .NET. You'll see specific implementations utilizing web services, FlourineFX (open source Flash remoting) and WebORB (commercial Flash remoting). We will also discuss delivering desktop applications using Adobe AIR, streaming video over the web, and engaging your audience with audio/video chat. Basically all the must-have features of today's Rich Internet Applications. Speaker Bio: Mike Grushin is the CTO of SharpStyle Labs, In... (more)

Curl Chief Strategy Officer to Speak

According to Jnan Dash, Chief Strategy Officer of Curl, 2008 will see increased adoption of Web 2.0 in the enterprise. "But the door for this entry will be RIAs (Rich Internet Applications)," Dash notes, "rather than mash-ups or blogs or wikis." An industry veteran who spent ten years at Oracle Corporation and was the Group Vice President, Systems Architecture and Technology till 2002, Dash adds: "Big players like Microsoft (Silverlight) and Adobe (AIR - Adobe Integrated Runtime) have joined the race for RIA. But they lack the critical dimensions of scalability, performance, and security, very important for large enterprises." Just having blogs, wikis, tags, mash-ups, and social software does not yield obvious benefits to the business, according to Dash.  "The ROI piece is unclear," he says, adding: "Many times, they are 'solutions looking for problems.' The US market... (more)

Fresh Notes After Taking the Flex Certification Exam

Yesterday I realized that Friday’s calendar was wide open, so I decided to take the Adobe Flex 2 Developer  Exam.  Well, I knew plenty of other ways to kill a Friday, but I had to take this exam and here’s why. About two years ago I went through training and became an Adobe Flex Certified Instructor. At the time, Flex 2  Developer Certification did not exist. Last year, my colleague also became a certified Flex instructor, but he had to pass the developer’s exam first.  I was happily giggling to myself till March of 2008 when  I had to contact Adobe about purchasing the courseware for my Flex 3 class. They picked up my records and found out that I was never certified as a Flex developer.  Yes, they realized that it was not my fault, but they wouldn’t let me use Adobe’s courseware until I passed the developer’s exam. Finally I found a day to take the test. The next que... (more)

Bringing Voice and Messaging to Flash and AIR

Director of Ribbit's Developer Platform, Chuck Freedman, will explore an evolution in web communication. With the growing demand of RIA and voice-over-the-web solutions, developers finally have a full suite of communication APIs to add to Flash. Coding with Ribbit, Freedman will demonstrate how to send SMS messages from your application. The session will explore features that let users check voicemail, listen to and even read their messages. We will see how to easily make and receive calls from Flash so customers can call you (or your client) without leaving the web page or picking up the phone. Freedman will reveal a killer app that can do it all - something attendees will quickly be able to build too, after experiencing this session. Register for AJAXWorld RIA Conference & Expo Submit Your Paper to Present a Session Sponsor AJAXWorld RIA Conference & Expo   Speak... (more)