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Information about LaszloAndWebOrb

Published on November 28, 2007

Author: Edolf


Laszlo and WebOrb Alternatives for Flash Integration with ColdFusion & BlueDragon:  Laszlo and WebOrb Alternatives for Flash Integration with ColdFusion & BlueDragon Charlie Arehart, CTO Topics:  Topics Laszlo as an alternative to Flex And as a means to obtain CFMX 7 Flash Forms WebOrb as an alternative to Flash Remoting And as a solution to AJAX-style development About Your Speaker:  About Your Speaker CTO, New Atlanta Communications Makers of BlueDragon, an alternative to ColdFusion Company HQ in Alpharetta, GA, outside Atlanta 8 yrs CF experience (22 yrs Enterprise IT) Macromedia Certified Adv CF Developer (4/5/MX) Former Macromedia Certified Instructor Past CFDJ Tech Editor, frequent contributor Co-author of ColdFusion MX Bible Frequent speaker user groups/conferences worldwide Laszlo as Alternative to Flex:  Laszlo as Alternative to Flex I’m guessing you’re in one of 3 camps: Never heard of Flex or Laszlo Know of Flex, but not Laszlo Know of Laszlo from past, not impressed Hope to show you in 15-30 minutes why you should be impressed with Laszlo What Do Flex and Laszlo Do?:  Both Flex and Laszlo are XML-driven engines to build Flash Never need to open the Flash IDE XML used to describe layout, data access, etc. Let’s see a demo What Do Flex and Laszlo Do? List.lzx:  List.lzx <canvas> <dataset name="dset"> <employee> <firstName>John</firstName> <lastName>Smith</lastName> <phone>617-536-7855</phone> </employee> </dataset> <text datapath="dset:/employee/firstName/text()"/> <text datapath="dset:/employee/lastName/text()"/> <text datapath="dset:/employee/phone/text()"/> <simplelayout axis="x"/> </canvas> Integrating with Backends:  Integrating with Backends Can get data from server Can be a static XML file, file generating XML, or web service Let’s see demos list-remote-cf.lzx:  list-remote-cf.lzx <canvas> <dataset type="http" name="dset" src="http://localhost/laszlo/phonebook.cfm" autorequest="true"/> <simplelayout axis="y"/> <view datapath="dset:/phonebook/employee"> <simplelayout axis="x"/> <text datapath="firstName/text()"/> <text datapath="lastName/text()"/> <text datapath="phone/text()"/> </view> </canvas> phonebook.cfm:  phonebook.cfm <cfcontent type="text/xml"><cfsetting showdebugoutput="No"> <cfquery datasource="exampleapps" name="test"> select firstname, lastname, phone, email from tblemployees </cfquery> <phonebook> <cfoutput query="test" maxrows="10"> <employee> <firstName>#firstname#</firstName> <lastName>#lastname#</lastName> <phone>#phone#</phone> <email>#email#</email> </employee> </cfoutput> </phonebook> Flash Forms Components:  Flash Forms Components Laszlo also implements common Flash Form components Tabs, Accordions, Grids, calendars, sliders, etc Let’s see demos: tabs/grid/tree , others What For CFML Developers?:  What For CFML Developers? Naturally, serves as alternative to Flex Can be used, free, with CF 4, 5, MX, or BlueDragon Easier for CFML developers than using Flash IDE Laszlo apps can request XML or web svcs (CFCs) from CFML apps Laszlo apps can even be generated in CFML Assuming CF engine (CFMX or BD) is implemented along with Laszlo engine Like Flex, Laszlo is deployed as a J2EE web application Can merge the CF/BD J2EE edition into that Laszlo web app Then a file named xxx.cfm.lzx will be processed as CFML, whose output will be sent to Laszlo Let’s see a demo Difference from Flex?:  Difference from Flex? Flex Created by Macromedia (released late 2003) XML referred to as MXML Uses ActionScript for programming within components License starts at $15,000, more with support FlexBuilder editor, free with server Laszlo Created by Laszlo Systems (released in 2001) XML referred to as LZX Uses JavaScript for programming within components Released as open source ( in 2003 Support available at additional cost Vendor making money also via development of Laszlo-based products IDE4Laszlo, eclipse-based editor, free from IBM Just a Knockoff?:  Just a Knockoff? Natural to assume Laszlo is just a knockoff But it existed before Flex Just as BlueDragon existed as a Java-based CFML engine even before CFMX … Or that Laszlo must be lacking But it solves problems Flex does not, particularly server-less deployment as of 3.0 Just as BlueDragon’s .NET edition solves CFML deployment on .NET Can also build complex applications (local demo) http://localhost:8080/lps-3.0/demos/dashboard/dashboard.lzo?fb=1&lzt=html (web demo) Key Laszlo 3.0 Improvements:  Key Laszlo 3.0 Improvements SOLO Deployment Stand-alone Open Laszlo Output Does not require deployment of a Laszlo server Once LZX files compiled in dev, resulting SWF can be deployed on any web server/app server Other Key Improvements Optimized for Flash Player 6 and 7 Unicode Support Resizable canvas Integration with browser Javascript Support for “back” button, right-click context menu, mouse wheel Now called OpenLaszlo Previously called Laszlo Presentation Server Who’s Using Laszlo?:  Who’s Using Laszlo? Some key companies with real live apps Behr Paints Let’s see a demo (1:52 secs) or visit the sites yourself La Quinta Inns Let’s see a demo (38 secs) Cooptual Let’s see a demo (30 secs) Allegra Others at: Finding Out More:  Finding Out More Laszlo Flex Other Laszlo Resources:  Other Laszlo Resources Demonstrations/Examples IDE4Laszlo: Free hosting of Laszlo apps, components (blog) Summary of Laszlo:  Summary of Laszlo Compelling (free) alternative to Flex Latest release (3) solves issues previously held against it Adds ability to deploy with or without a J2EE server Whether on .NET, ColdFusion (even CF5), BlueDragon, etc. Capable of integrating with CFML via CFCs, web services, on either BlueDragon or ColdFusion Or simply by CFML pages generating XML Can create compelling rich internet applications Offers Flash Forms components, like CFMX 7 WebOrb for FR and Ajax:  WebOrb for FR and Ajax As before, I’m guessing you’re in one of 3 camps: Never heard of Flash Remoting or WebOrb Know of FR, but not WebOrb Know of FlashOrb from past, not newer WebOrb Hope to show you in 15-30 minutes why you should be impressed with WebOrb Rich Internet Apps:  Rich Internet Apps We’ve heard this from Macromedia Their focus is on Flash, also possible with AJAX More desktop-like applications, over the web Response without page refresh Enhanced drag and drop interfaces Let’s see some demos flash ajax cfc Versus Traditional Web Apps:  Versus Traditional Web Apps Alters traditional request/response loop Initial request is same, subsequent is asynchronous Retrieves only the data that is needed usually using SOAP or some other XML-based web services dialects Flash (or JavaScript/ajax) on client processes web server response Both client and server performance is improved Far less bandwidth Reduced processing on server with more powerful UI capability Reduced processing on client through more effective processing Concepts:  Flash Remoting Use Flash IDE to develop interfaces Client/server communications via AMF (ActionScript Msg Format) AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Use normal HTML editing tools Structure HTML (or XHTML) and Cascading Style Sheets for presenting information Document Object Model, JavaScript to dynamically display and interact with the information presented XML, XSLT and the XMLHttpRequest object to interchange and manipulate data asynchronously with the web server Concepts Many Possibilities:  Many Possibilities Multiple client and server-side integration points Back-end/Server components Can be CFML, CFCs, JSPs/servlets, ASP.NET, and more Communicated directly or via web services Looking at Client Code:  Looking at Client Code Let’s review both the Flash and AJAX front-ends Does involve a good bit of coding Each has strengths and will appeal to folks differently Flash front-end developed with Flash IDE Flash FLA file AJAX front-end developed with any editor HTML file Do we need to fear cross-browser issues? WebOrb as a framework builds in support for different browsers About WebOrb:  About WebOrb Deployable as both J2EE and .NET web apps Available in two packages Standard Edition Free for most uses AJAX in java/.net, flash in java Professional Edition Adds flash in .net, other enterprise features $799/cpu Available as free eval/dev edition More than just a replacement for Flash Remoting WebOrb offers several advantages Rich client system (ajax via js/flash, and msg svr), as well as flash remoting Supports calling CFCs on BlueDragon w/out Web Svcs Finding Out More:  Finding Out More WebOrb Flash Remoting Book: FlashMX 2004 Professional for Server Geeks, Nate Weiss Comparison to other AJAX solutions (DWR, Ajax.NET, Sajax) Other CF/Ajax solutions:  Other CF/Ajax solutions As long as we’re discussing AJAX here, some may want to know of other options CFAjax See example at Neuromancer Dan Switzer’s QForms Summary of WebOrb:  Summary of WebOrb Compelling alternative to Flash Remoting Free and commercial editions Offers Flash Remoting and Ajax-based integration Deployable as J2EE or .NET web application Works with ColdFusion and BlueDragon (and others) Capable of integrating with CFML via CFCs Directly on BlueDragon Or via web services on either BlueDragon or ColdFusion Offers advantages over Flash Remoting A Powerful Trio:  A Powerful Trio BlueDragon, WebOrb, and OpenLaszlo (BlueWOOL) Offer compelling alternatives to CF, Flex, Flash Remoting Each in its own way offers advantages Together, or alone, consider them where they may fit Contact Information:  Contact Information Charlie Arehart CTO, New Atlanta Communications (678) 256-5395

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