7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2006 3:52 PM by Ham0

    Flex Success Stories

    Level 1
      (Sorry to duplicate this post from the Flex 1.5 forum: I posted it originally via the news feed, which is just entitled "macromedia.flex.general_discussion"; it wasn't until I checked the web version of the forums that I realised there's different forums for each version. I meant to ask this of a Flex 2.0 audience)


      Hi there.
      I have heard a lot of developers sing the praises of how wonderful Flex is,
      and as a developer myself, it's certainly an improvement over using
      Flash.exe to author Flash movies, for certain applications.

      However what I am struggling to find is "real world" production scenarios
      where it's ("it" being "Flex" and the whole "RIA" concept) actually proven
      to be of much use.

      Situations I'm investigating:
      1) Companies that have had an existing HTML-based web presence which
      decided to jump to a Flex-driven RIA solution, and experienced an up-turn
      in business.

      2) Companies which did NOT have an existing HTML-based web presence, and
      decided to go for a Flex / Flash UI as opposed to an HTML one, the
      rationale for doing so, and their resultant findings (harder to quantify
      the comparitive benefits in this case, I realise).

      We're finding Flex to be be difficult to justify as a technology. I don't
      disagree that it's interesting and it *should* be a (cliche alert) "killer
      app", but I don't actually see it in the real world.

      We have had a relationship with Macromedia (not sure how this translates to
      Adobe), and had asked them, but they never actually came up with anything
      (which is worrying). There seems to be a lot of claims of how great all
      this RIA is, but not a lot of tangible evidence that it's great enough for
      anyone with a cheque book to actually care.

      So here I am asking the community. Does anyone have any analysis or case
      studies of Flex success stories?

      I am NOT trying to knock Flex / Flash at all. On the contrary, I am trying
      to gather ammnunition as to how to justify using it to potential clients.
      *I* think it's a cool product.

      Cheers.

      --
      Adam
        • 1. Re: Flex Success Stories
          nated Level 1
          My application is still in development, but I've had several interest *hits* from it in the local community. Even if the company isn't necessarily looking for a Flex RIA, it has generated some very promising leads for the future.
          I've also developed a warehouse inventory control app which I've sold to a company. They had asked specifically for a Flex2 app.
          From talking with clients here, the big things are time to production (which is very quick with Flex2), automation (depends on the developer(s)), and COST (which is huge). An independant developer or small firm can develop (quickly) an app which would be customized for a client in a matter of days. I don't know much about VB, Java or C++, but all the people I've talked with want to move to a web based application versus something which has to be installed on many PC's to be accessed by any number of users.
          I see a trend in companies moving to web based applications for their work flow (at least in my area) with companies looking to have applications which offer automation and integration with other technologies (such as shipping & logistics, inventory control, invoicing & billing, etc).
          Everything I've come across to this point can (and has been) handled by Flex making my job a whole lot easier! :D
          • 2. Re: Flex Success Stories
            Level 1
            Cheers nated: I appreciate your comment.

            It concerns me that only one person had anything to say here. I guess it could be apathy from the forum (fair enough), but I hope it's not because there simply AREN'T any Flex success stories to report. But that would acually stack up with my other research: no-one's seriously adopted it yet.

            --
            Adam
            • 3. Re: Flex Success Stories
              Randy64 Level 1
              Recently, I have asked that same question. I was able to find some real-world apps. I've included the links below.
              Discovery Channel
              http://shopping.discovery.com/category-1_TELESCOPES/3_TELE_BG_TELEFINDER-27995.html

              Day-Timer
              http://day-planner.daytimer.com/content/decision_step/decision_step.asp

              TV Guide
              http://www.tvguide.com/Listings/default.aspx

              These were the examples I used to show what Flex is currently being used for. If anyone else has some more examples, please post them.

              Randy
              • 4. Re: Flex Success Stories
                blomasky Level 1
                Short reply. I am converting a heads-down tele-marketing system that is currently written in Delphi to an application with the main screen in Flex (for the telemarketers) and the maintenance and setup screens in EDev 10. (a very RAD client server tool).

                The customer is happier than a pig in (you know what). The user interface is impressive. performance is subSecond (using CF to connect to MS-SQL).

                Flex will certainly be in my toolkit for both INTERNET and INTRANET applications in the future.

                brudce
                • 5. Re: Flex Success Stories
                  nated Level 1
                  Here's an Update: I've sold 2 different Flex apps - over the course of 2 weeks. It's doubled my income being able to show my Flex demos (demos.bsi-scs.com) with other projects - aparently a lot of people like the look of a Flex RIA.
                  • 6. Re: Flex Success Stories
                    GeorgeWS Level 1
                    I have been struggling for months to build a real world application. I have one that is working but it is not perfect, there are problems with communication, so I have a crappy situation where there is no wrapper so nobody knows to load the Flash player 9. But the Application is an inventory program, large companies like Bacardi, Pernod Ricard and 100's of others use the inventory program all daylong. They like the app after getting through the "what do I do when I get to the blue screen?" part. they call and I tell them to update the player and all is well (but what a pain in the...) I think as far as flex in the real world. Yes It will happen but not until there are real world examples and samples. There are only a few examples that fit what I want to do especialy ColdFusion Flex examples. There is always some other tech thrown in that just isnt the same and to find out what the small minut change is can and does take weeks. So rapid development is right out the door. I build lots and lots of CF Flash Forms and they run slow thats why I changed to Flex. It deffinately solved my loading time problems and looks better, but is WAY harder. Pretty much since I convinced the company to buy Flex 2 I really need to make it work. I am looking forward to MAX so I can learn something.
                    • 7. Re: Flex Success Stories
                      Ham0 Level 1
                      I'm in the process of prototyping an app that's being developed in Eclipse. In less than a week I've built in more UI functionality with Flex than has been accomplished by "real programmers" with Eclipse in 2 months. Development time is so dramatically reduced, we're seriously considering Flex for the final product.

                      My personal observations of Flex strengths and weaknesses...

                      If your UI largely conforms to standards supported by Flex components, Flex provides superior visuals and a ton of convenience functionality in a fraction of the dev time. Much of the convenience functionality is stuff you'd never include in product requirements, but your users will appreciate having it and it will help your app stand above the competition.

                      If your UI is highly visual, Flex excels at this. Visual manipulation, transitions, sounds and so forth are second to none.

                      If your UI does not conform to standards supported by Flex components, customization can be a nightmare. I've found more than one case where a Flex component doesn't support some basic functionality I need. I'm then faced with building a component from scratch that works well with Flex components. That requires a more in-depth understanding of Flex than I have or can glean from the Flex docs.