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Data-centric application development with Flash Builder 4

Posted by on March 22, 2010

RIA Zone, part of the DZone Network, has posted an excellent article called “A Deep Dive into Flash Builder 4.” Written by Jon Rose, the article talks about Flash Builder 4 and its use in quickly developing data-centric applications.

Rose first discusses what Adobe Flex is (in essence, an open-source framework used to build Rich Internet Applications, or RIAs) and gives some background on what’s new in Flash Builder 4 (renamed from Flex Builder)—things like namespace updates, Adobe Catalyst (a tool for designers), unit testing, debugging, and a lot more.

Of particular note, Rose says, is that Flex 4 provides developers with better tools for working with data and services—in other words, data-centric development tools.  Flash Builder uses introspection on existing services to get a handle on things, creating models and wrappers on the client.

Those who are new to Flex in general will find the second part of the article to be of primary interest.  There, Rose invites his readers to join him and “get our hands dirty,” creating a Flex application in Flash Builder 4 that accesses data in a MySQL database using PHP.  You likely won’t learn anything new about MySQL or PHP, but you will get an idea on how Flash Builder 4 makes it almost trivially easy to write a Flex application, even when you don’t have the PHP already written…since Flash Builder 4 can actually write a PHP class for you to connect to the data.

This article makes for a great introduction to Flash Builder 4 and Flex in general.  You can download Adobe Flash Builder 4 from Adobe’s Web site if you’d like to get your feet wet with Flex.

Carl works for Michigan State University's National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory as an Applications Programmer. A Zend Certified Engineer, Carl uses PHP in creative ways to solve some of the lab's interesting software problems. He's interested in PHP, human-computer interaction, and all manner of "shiny new things."
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Responses and Pingbacks

Hi Carl. Great article. Flex or rather Flash Builder has come of age. The combination of FB+MYSQL+PHP appears to be a very powerful design/development combination. Will go and check it out.

Carl Anderson on
March 25th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Paul: Glad to hear you found this article of use. I personally hadn’t read much about Flash Builder before coming across the linked article, but it’s surely something I’d like to spend more time with in the future.

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