6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2009 5:36 AM by Francisc

    Flex Produced Ecommerce Website

    jimmyoneshot Level 1

      After finishing a previous project I have now taken up a contract which requires me to redesign an existing website into an ecommerce-capable one. I have recommended to my client the use of Flex to make this website mainly due to the fact that it is what I have most experience in.


      I wanted however to ask here how such a site could be produced within Flex. The site would need to alow the following basic actions:-


      - User login/account creation

      - A product area where the users can add items to their shopping basket and checkout etc

      - A back end allowing my client to make changes to website elements such as product images/descriptions and even add in new products


      Would this require a sql database with the use of php within flex to communicate with? I have previous experience of creating such a system within regular html using php and a Mysql database for information storage but have no idea how it can be achieved within Flex.


      Is it possible that such a site could be produced within Flex alone without any need to be linked in to another system such as an sql database?


      Any advice from people who have experience in or are knowledgable of the creation of Flex eccomerce sites would be brilliant as this is my first venture in the web design real worls after just finishing my Web Development master's degree at university.

        • 1. Re: Flex Produced Ecommerce Website
          Francisc Level 3

          You need the help of PHP and MySQL or other such technologies.

          Communication between Flex and (let's say) PHP and MySQL is done like this:


          Flex 3 - AMFPHP (or other flash remoting AMF) - PHP - MySQL.


          AIR has support for direct communication with databases because of the embeded SQLite support.

          However, I am not sure if web-applications (so not AIR) can use SQLite.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Flex Produced Ecommerce Website
            JeffryHouser Level 4

            I think it is a bit inaccurate to say that AIR has direct support for databases.  It ihas direct support for SQLLite, but that is the only one.  It does not have direct support for server based databases, such as MySQL or SQL Server.


            Web applications can use SQLLite so long as your middleware, such as PHP or ColdFusion, can access it.  I'm pretty sure support is baked into CF, so I would imagine that PHP also has support for SQLLite in some manner.  I would not recommend using SQLLite for a web application though, you'll get better tools, features, and support with a server based database platform.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Flex Produced Ecommerce Website
              jimmyoneshot Level 1

              Both these answers sound good. Thanks.


              Here is an example of a site that I'd like mine to be something like:-




              Could a site such as this be produced using Flex, PHP code within the Flex app and a MYSQL database alone?


              I only ask as these are the only elements I have previous experience with. In the past I've made a basic ecommerce page in regular html (with php and mysql) and a couple of flex websites and applications which were pretty much self contained, however all of these were merely for university projects not the real world. I'd like to be able to make use of the technologies that I'm currently able to use i.e. Flex, PHP and SQL/MySQL but if more are required I suppose I'd be able to learn about them.


              I also need to search engine optimise the site as the previous site that is already up is relatively well optimised and my client doesn't want to lose this optimisation with the introduction of the new site. This I've heard is a major downpoint of Flex sites, their lack of optimisability.

              • 4. Re: Flex Produced Ecommerce Website
                Francisc Level 3

                Yeah, Jeff, direct access to SQLite database is what I meant, which is indeed great for desktop applications for easy install and good enough for web-applications, but as Jeff said there are better options: I preffer MySQL for web.


                Now about your example: funny you should mention that site, because it is entirely build in Flex with PHP and MySQL!


                SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is possible for Flex websites, but I am not an expert on this.

                So unless someone else cares to comment, google should provide enough info. Look for "SEO with Flex 3" and such.

                • 5. Re: Flex Produced Ecommerce Website
                  jimmyoneshot Level 1

                  Excellent. I suppose I would be able to produce something similar then.


                  I think I'll purchase a book on SEO within Flex.


                  Cheers for your help mate.

                  • 6. Re: Flex Produced Ecommerce Website
                    Francisc Level 3

                    A SEO for Flex book is always nice, but if time does not permit articles on the internet about it would be more than enough.


                    Good luck with your project!