2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2006 11:19 AM by dishmael

    Flex Data Services

      Well, I knew the other shoe was going to drop sooner or later, and sure enough it did.
      I've spent about a week pouring over all this Flex 2 documentation and samples, and getting quite excited about the RIA interface that it offers. We have a small department with only 2 developers and 80 users. The price of the Flex 2 is reasonable enough at $719 per developer, and we were even excited about going ahead and getting the JRun 4 app server for our 2-CPU server for $1,665. However, upon further investigatino and reading, we come to find out that the Flex Data Services (FDS) is going to have to play a central role with our application, and we just found out from Adobe that the FDS will cost our department a whopping $6000! This puts the grand total at $9,103, which is way over what I am comfortable asking my boss to purchase.
      To tell you the truth, I thought that the feature list for the FDS included a lot of complicated features for taking care of problems that I don't really have, such as synchronizing change data back to the subscribed clients. In the current client/server apps that I was planning on replacing, if a user's search results have changed as a result of another user's actions since the time of the original user's query, so what? Just display a notification about the problem when the first user tries to interact with the changed record. No need for any of this fancy live updates of the DataGrids.
      Anyway, I think I'm going to hold off on my order and see what all this XPAB stuff is from Microsoft, since I'm already very familiar with ASP.NET development.
      Comments? Feedback?
      P.S. - If the answer is "Save yourself the $6000 and don't by FDS, and simply Roll Your Own data service", then I will have to tell you first that I have been spoiled by ASP.NET in being able to pass a DataSet object filled with records back and forth, and it takes care of generating all the database update/insert/delete (CRUD) traffic for me.

        • 1. Re: Flex Data Services
          FatManF31 Level 1
          Whoops. I stand corrected. I see now that the FDS will cost $6,000 per CPU. Therefore, we will need to spend at least $12,000 to put it onto our 2-CPU server. This brings the grand total to a minimum of $15,103 after including the cost of the Flex Builder and the JRun 4 server.
          That <poof> sound you just heard was the sound of a hopeful FLEX 2 developer's dreams shriviling up and him going back to the old ASP.NET way of doing things until Microsoft's XBAP (part of .NET 3.0) comes out.
          What a shame.
          • 2. Re: Flex Data Services
            I also went through sticker shock by the high cost of the Flex Data Services and thought I'd share my perspective.

            There is a free version (FDS Express) that provides the same functionality but limits the server to a single CPU and a set number of active sessions. My approach has been to use this model for creating applications to be deployed in larger solutions at customer sites where the cost of FDS will have a smaller impact on the wallet. Alternatively, I only use FDS where lighter web services (i.e. SOAP or HTTP/XML) isn't feasible because there's a clear need for FDS capabilities.

            Obviously this may not apply to you, but I thought I'd share anyway. Perhaps Adobe will reduce the cost of FDS in the future making it more appealing to smaller companies, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Good luck!