7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 28, 2006 10:40 PM by davidmedifit

    If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?

    PolleTrolle
      I will be building a new interactive site and im looking for the best tool. I've found Flex and it seems neet but all examples i've seen is specific applications, now whole sites.
      My questions is. Is it a bad idea to build the whole site in Flex then? Or, shall i use PHP or ASP.NET for that and just build the most interactive applications in Flex?

      Ideas?
      Cheers Paul
        • 1. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
          ntsiii Level 3
          In the RIA paradigm, you need to be careful with your terms. How do you differentiate between a "site" and an "application"?

          There are many ways to architect an "application". It depends on the purpose, the targeted audience, the expected bandwidth and other factors.

          Also keep in mind that Flex is a client-side presentation-tier technology. You will still need a server-based platform for database and file-system access, and probably other business logic as well.

          Tracy
          • 2. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
            PolleTrolle Level 1
            Hi
            Thanks for your reply.
            Well, thats the problem. Where is the fine line between an application and a website? Is a real interactive site in fact an application?
            If I want a nice site, would it be correct to build the whole thing in Flex or is that overkill and i should rather build the "site" in traditionally html and just specific parts in Flex?
            So far i' ve seen a bunch of demo applications in Flex. Webshops, picture presentations etc, but no "welcom to my space on the web" sites.

            My question remains. Why not build all "websites" in Flex?
            Whats the drawbacks? Why doesn anybody do it?
            Will it take longer time to develop?
            Will it take to loong time to download for the client?
            Will it not do the presentation better?
            Will it be more expensive?
            What does HTML do better then Flex?
            Whats the catch?

            Ofcourse I will use some kind of server side logic as well.

            Cheers Paul
            • 3. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
              pixolpower Level 1
              I think the drawback..

              Accessibility (screenreader, fontsize etc)
              SEO (google can't index them properly, you can't bookmark them proerply)
              Performance parsing data through xml still is pretty slow.. i can't say anything about direct connection in flex i heared it was possible with coldfusion but i would really not know.
              • 4. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
                PolleTrolle Level 1
                Thats not so bad.
                Is that really all?
                What about development time. Is Flex faster, slower or the same as HTML or C# .NET generated HTML .. ?
                • 5. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
                  BaileyBurger Level 1
                  >>Is Flex faster, slower or the same as HTML or C# .NET

                  Depends on your application.

                  We're building our Intranet on Flex2, and its been a much faster build than CF generated HTML (assuming faster that .net as well.) But as posted above, you'll still need .net/PHP/CF on the backend for your logic (delivering content and handling form results).

                  Take a look at the various controls Flex offers (comboBoxes, Datagrids, Trees, etc) to see if those are fitting for your app. If so, using Flex is MUCH faster than trying to achive the same results via HTML / Javascript / DHTML.

                  HTH
                  • 6. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
                    leotemp
                    after a month I knew enough to build things i couldn't before. And you can build components that allow you to bookmark where you are in the application, just like you can build pages to snare google traffic to your app. The big difference for me between standard web tech and flex is A) the controls are great, being able to just connect a control to a data source and let the control sort and validate is awesome and they look great with full rollovers and animations built in. B) anything you would normally have to do with a clunky flash app can now be done without the horrors of flash and the flash portion of your app is now no longer separate from the rest of your application meaning you can do pretty much anything graphically while still having easy access to your data and server. If you can guarantee your client machines will except the flash install(automatic) and you feel comfortable you can learn flex quickly i would highly recommend it as long as you build your app intelligently you shouldn't have any problems, that being said if you build you app lazily it can get really fat and complex really quickly.

                    Q) Whats the drawbacks? Why doesn anybody do it?
                    A) Lots of people do, Flex is new and it will be a while before its used enough to show up in everyday surfing.
                    Q) Will it take longer time to develop?
                    A) that depends on how your developing now, Generally its almost always faster for me to use flex for UIs, you should still be utilizing your server technologies as much as possible to keep your app lean for the client.
                    Q) Will it take to loong time to download for the client?
                    A) again, that depends on what your comparing it to, compared to a rendered html file of average size then yes, it will take allot longer to initially load, however once loaded you have the option of streaming data to the client and it will usually be faster for the client at that point.
                    Q) Will it not do the presentation better?
                    A) Presentation is a key factor with Flex, the out of the box UI if used properly can be very elegant and professional and presentation effects are very easy to accomplish in Flex.
                    Q) Will it be more expensive?
                    A) well you can get, build and publish Flex apps for free, the cost would be on developer pay i guess, that depends entirely on factors you control. There may be more bandwidth used due to larger downloads, not sure about that one.
                    Q) What does HTML do better then Flex?
                    A) well HTML has the advantage of all the built in functionality of the browser that the user has. You can build any backend you want for publishing to a flex app but with html you can of course just create it by hand and upload. However you can also embed HTML documents in your Flex app through trickery so you can still use "portals" to get your HTML documents published to your flex app as well.
                    Q) Whats the catch?
                    A) Your screwed if for some reason the adoption rate for flash drops drastically or your target client can not install flash. Currently however flash is the best bet to get quality across all mainstream platforms without having to build redundant alternative code and monkey with crazy CSS hacks and the likes to get your app looking good on every browser and system.
                    • 7. Re: If Flex now is so good, why isnt this site built on it?
                      davidmedifit
                      I think it's incumbent upon us all to first start with the question "what does the user/business unit WANT". Forget the technology, and start with the objective of the people paying the bills!

                      If it's a pure content site: NOT Flex

                      Helpdesk app, where a users problems can be viewed alongside the users site usage: Possibility of Flex, although that may be overkill.

                      If it's an integrated application (or section of a site) that gathers information from disparate systems, such as a "dashboard" (for want of a better buzz-word) : I'm thinking Flex.

                      Too often (and believe me, I've been guilty of this!) it's easy to put a technological solution first, and try fit the problem around that. There is no one answer, and no silver bullet. Understand the capabilities of Flex, AJAX, etc, and you'll be better able to answer your questions as it applies to you, and not us in general.

                      Just MHO

                      Cheers,

                      David