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Flex Builder let's you design your screens in Design View where you drag 'n drop components to the stage and set the their properties etc.
Web Services isn't the only way Flex gets data. It can talk to any HTTP based backed end; Tomcat, Weblogic, Websphere, .NET, PHP, what have you and get the server can do all the processing and pass data along to Flex. For very large files, I'm assuming, you'll do some processing on the server side and send only selected data for user.
I would think that using RemoteObjects (a binary format, amf3, ideal for large data sets) would be able to handle an ERP system. The amf3 format is very efficient.
Flex is very exciting but development in my world is VERY easy. Unfortunately it’s text based and does not provide the UX that Flex does. Our RIA/WEB 2.0 development tool is IBM’s EGL. It is new and costly.
Q. What do I need to start?
I have downloaded Flex 3.0 trail but have read about many other ingredients that may be required. Should I try the Open Source path or should I start with enterprise tools and move to OSS.
Q. How do I connect back to my back-end server data?
We are using DB2 for i5/os, HTTP, WebSphere so do I need to provide web services or remote objects?
Q. How can I do this on a shoestring budget?
I have to do this without company financing but if it can be done quickly and easily I could possibly sell my boss on opening up the purse. I know RIA could save our application and if it is doable could be a homerun for my platform. IBM recently adopted Zend PHP and MySql on my platform but PHP does not do it for me.
I know “Dream On” but if I don’t ask then I can’t do.
Take a look at these videos. They have helped me.
I have worked with Coldfusion since version 1 so I am partial to it for connecting to the backend database of your choice.
James Ward's video should give you an idea of performance issues an a quick down and dirty overview.
Working with Data in Flex by James Ward
Tour de Flex has a lot of informative demos that were much easier for me to follow than reading thru documentation.
Tour de Flex
Thanks Jeff, this gives me something to look at but I'm sure I'll hit a roadblock when i try to grab my data (cross that bridge). Can you tell me the difference between Flex SDK and Flex Builder. Is one OOS and the other enterprise?
Oh, forgot to ask... is there a framework that can be used to bring together and execute multiple Flex applications (called from a menu).
If I am creating multiple applications (ERP) and want to control/execute inside a standard framework is the done with Flex web apps or is this practice done only with desktop apps. I guess what i'm asking about is a portal?
Not sure you mean by framework.
If you are referring to a coding standard, this is one MVC(Model-View-Controller) that is out there.
PureMVC is one coding framework that is out there. Seems to be a coding standard. Something that I don't know anything about other than it looks to be something to understand. I have it bookmarked to look into.
If you are referring to a way to have a home page with links to other pages, there are methods to accomplish that.
The difference between the SDK and Flex Builder is the SDK is basically the compiler that compiles the MXML code into a Flash swf file and Flex Builder is the IDE. You could for example write the MXML code in Notepad then compile it. BUT that will take a LOOOONNG time.
There are a couple of version of Flex Builder 3. If you plan to use charts and graphs for data visualization you will need the higher priced one. ;o(
Sorry, i did not mean development framework i meant execution framework like Adobe Media Player where you have a list of videos on the left that you select one and it plays in the same frame. Only the application framework would give you a list or tree or accordian menu of applications from which you would select and execute multiple applications in a tab frame. Like MS Outlook or Eclipse...
Like Tour De Flex...