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Then you should definitely go with http://www.adobe.com/products/air/, since you'll be able to access local file system files, and I guess PDA connected to a Windows OS will looks like separate drive in the system.
Thanks for the answer. I need to use flex as the application is partly started by a third party developer. I am tasked with investigating importing files.
Can this be done at all using flex?
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I see, using solely flex as is, then answer is - No, Flash Player implements truly severe security policy, no direct access to the local OS resources.
But it's possible to build some kind of workaround solution using third party technologies.
Usually this kind of restrictions forces to split application functionality across Flex and AIR parts connecting both via internal FP local connection mechanism. This way you could leverage both worlds possibilities by the price of having 2 distinct apps instead of monolith one.
I mean if you'll involve server side into your Flex app, it's possible via direct file upload, this way all users files will be round tripped through the server side.
Ok thats a real bummer then .
I have an original windows applicatino and all I do is File-->Import and the files are imported in.
I dont like the idea of two seperate apps however.
I could maybe build a small program using AIR and have it running in the desktop tray or something, so the user could maybe right-click it and -->Import or something.
OR I could maybe create something on the PDA so it will do the transferring of files to the desktop for me.
Thanks again for your help, if anything else springs to mind let me know.
re:Usually this kind of restrictions forces to split application functionality across Flex and AIR parts connecting both via internal FP local connection mechanism
Is it possible to have the flex application 'use' the AIR component so the user does not notice anything?
So, generally you have two alternative ways:
1. Helper AIR app + Main Browser hosted App
Disadvantage: 2 apps, + User have to have AIR framework installed (so this way user will notice something)
Advantage: No network traffic generation
2. Main Browser hosted App + User files round tripped through the server side
Disadvantage: Lots of bandwidth on two way passing of user files
Advantage: 1 app
The choice is yours
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Re:Is it possible to have the flex application 'use' the AIR component so the user does not notice anything?
Unfortunately nope, it's against the security policy rules, imagine that every flash-banner from your browser will be able to screw up your local files anytime
As far as I'm aware the flex application is not browser hosted, its a normal Windows App (This is possible in Flex right?).
Does this make a difference to anything?
Flex is just a technology name, and you are able to target apps built using it
on one or both worlds: Web/Desktop, when we are talking about Flex in general classical way we assume Web world first, because it came out from there originally , when we are talking about Desktop apps built using Flex technology we assume AIR.
So the only difference is the target!
Generally code implemented in Flex could be targeted to be hosted by a web browser and Desktop at the same time, but each target will have it's own distribution model, browser hosted app distributed through Flash Player plugin, Desktop targeted applications distributed through AIR framework platform.
since Flash Player 10 you are able to read/import local files from your application using standard FileReference class, so the final answer - it is possible but you should target your application on FP 10+
thank you, you have been most helpful.