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I'm at the moment studying a change from standard webapplication, using a portal to making a portal in flex as the front view for that application,, for me, the best way i found to implement the framework is by using flex modules, that way i can have mutliple small "applications" connected to a parent application.
Improves manageability, modularity and resource use. Personally, I use custom components with a ViewStack, but there are better ways of integrating them to a main application.
Also, there's the Cairngorm microarchitecture that was (is being) developped with Flex applications in mind. You might want to check that out.
What I was hoping to accomplish, but I don't know if it is possible, is a main page that contains the heading and menu structure, and a canvas (stage?) below that that I can move panels into and out of. I think I want the individual modules to be separate files (Applications?).
If someone could point me to a sample application, or documentation that shows how to do that it would be great.
I have found this book to be really helpful. The whole book builds upon itself by creating a sample grocery store application. Part of what you are asking is lightly covered in the book:
It is also available through safari.oreilly.com if you want instant access...
As a matter of fact, modules are exactly what you're looking for! :)
Flex's doc team has a good intro document here:
And this gentleman has a quick example in his blog:
The app I'm working on now is primarily based on modules, and they're a good way to keep things organized and keep loading times low. Documentation on them has been so-so, but its getting better. There are little undocumented gotchas that you'll undoubtedly run into as you develop, but they've been covered here and in the flexcoders Yahoo group time and again, so you'll readily be able to find help.
When creating a module, you can either place them in the project that they'll eventually be used with, or create a stand alone project just for that module (the preferred and more organized method.) Creating a stand-alone module project is easy: just change the "mx:Application" tag in your main mxml file to a "mx:Module" tag instead.
If you're using Cairngorm as your app's framework, you'll have to tinker with things a bit to get it all working smoothly, but its not that hard, and I believe the doc team is working on a definitive method for using modules in Cairngorm based apps.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the replies. I will be reviewing the docs.