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If you want to put MXML on a server where it will be compiled when referenced, then you do need Flex Data Services. FDS Express will work fine, based on your description. You can host as many sites as you want; the restriction is on the number of CPUs only.
I am not sure about the IIS part of your question. Please check the FDS system requirements.
Now I'm a little bit confused. On the Adobe Trial Downloads page, Adobe offers the free download of FDS 2 Express but says, "A powerful solution for creating data-intensive rich applications. The Express edition is a free, non-expiring commercial-use product limited to a single application running on a single CPU machine (emphasis mine)."
Felonius, I'm just curious, but why do you want to stay with the old 1.5, server-generated swf paradigm?
My fault. The non-express version allows the unlimited # of apps on a single CPU. I'm still getting used to the new configurations. The FDS Express is designed to give you the ability to use Flex to host a web application on a single CPU. If you need to go beyond that (eg, hosting a number of apps on a single CPU), then you need the non-free version of Flex 2 Data Services.
I have an update from a Flex product manager:
FDS express is meant to enable deployment of low-volume, non-mission critical applications or POCs. FDS express can support more than 1 application per CPU, but no single application can be deployed on more than 1 CPU. As applications become more popular, or there is a need for a higher degree of reliability customers will need to purchase either a Dept. or enterprise license of FDS.
In terms of sizing, FDS express can support an unlimited number of users per application, however, applications deployed on FDS express, can run on no more than 1 CPU. Moreover, there can be no load balancing (hardware or software) or clustering of applications.
ntsii, this paradigm works best for me since it does not involve HTML files as well as the SWF files, and I reference MXML files in my links, instead of HTML containers.
I might be wrong, but isn't it better to work this way?
There are many opinions like colors (dont know if it's well spoke in english), personally I prefer Apache not IIS (more stable, faster, runs over Linux...), if you change frequenly yours mxml's maybe you want to use Tomcat to compile them automatically and make it work together with Apache or IIS (maybe you need ASP).