OE WebDU 2007 Thinking in Flex Michael Wise

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Information about OE WebDU 2007 Thinking in Flex Michael Wise

Published on November 27, 2007

Author: Gabriel

Source: authorstream.com

Thinking in Flex:  Thinking in Flex Relevance & Perspective:  Relevance & Perspective IT Consulting (Market Rate) $600 - $2,500 AUD / day – varying role and skills sets IT Full Time Employee (FTE) – (Total Employment Cost) $50 K - $110 K - $150K or $200K / year– varying role and skills sets IT Projects : Budgeted 8 Hour Day – in general never respected IT Infrastructure Increasingly outsourced with strict access rights, controls and SLA’s Incomplete Development, Quality Assurance and User Acceptance environments IT Roles (traditional): Sponsors and User Representatives Relevance & Perspective (contd.) :  Relevance & Perspective (contd.) IT Roles (contd.): Project Manager Business Analyst Architects – Technical, Business “Developer Pool” With mix of FTE’s and Consulting, with varying degree’s of buy-in to given Projects / Company IT Plans, Specification and Methods Corporate Charter Project Plans, including deadlines for phased delivery and Go-Live – mostly in Microsoft Project Array of BRD’s, RDD’s, FDD’s, TDD’s – Architecture, Minutes, Meetings Methods: Waterfall, Iterative or Extreme Relevance & Perspective (contd.) :  Relevance & Perspective (contd.) IT Requirements Centralized / Web Delivered / Packaged Browser Compatible SOE (Standard Operating Environment) Compliant – Mac, Windows and/or Linux Service Oriented, Secure Reliable Messaging Integrated with: Heterogeneous back-end systems ERP’s, CRM’s, HRMS … and bespoke… and talk to Microsoft Exchange Support Corner-case client-side applications … and import / export to Microsoft Excel Online Transaction Processing, Business Intelligence … Scalable and robust with 100’s to 1000’s of transactions per second, per minute Relevance & Perspective (contd.) :  Relevance & Perspective (contd.) IT Requirements (contd.) Secure and Authenticated Encryption Standards Single Sign On, LDAP, NTLM Database Support Exploit key features - if all. Multi Lingual – Multi-Currency … and this list goes on… Relevance & Perspective (contd.) :  Relevance & Perspective (contd.) Enterprise Application Development Build employee- or customer- facing applications in order to generate revenue – e.g. $$$’s Return on Investment Vs Opportunity cost to access a market window Well known, tried-and-true, predictable estimates and margins The problem ? “Creativity has a timeline of its own … … and Flex is a blank canvas” Thinking in Flex:  Michael Leahy Wise omniEffect : Director & Founder Thinking in Flex About Michael Leahy Wise:  About Michael Leahy Wise Director & Founder, omniEffect – information company Build & integrate Enterprise Applications with a particular focus on User Experience Understand how to invoke existing assets in the IT infrastructure 3 years: offer agile consulting services, products and sales – buy FB2 and FDS2 Based in Brisbane Focus on FSI, Media, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Aircraft & Telecommunications 13 years IT – OO / Java / .NET / C++ … and Flex. Adobe Flex circa. Royale Adobe Flex Instructor, completed all current courses Blog: blogs.omnieffect.com/mlwise Email: michael.wise@omnieffect.com Thinking in Flex:  Thinking in Flex Disciplined Developer Background & Experience Formative or tertiary qualification Access knowledge via continuing- , self–, course- or internet- delivered education. Exposure to technology, methodologies and practice Programming background – Loops. Iteration and Switches C / C++, Visual Basic, Oracle, Power Builder, Lotus Notes, Java AWT & Swing and Framework, or Microsoft Access (c; Database – understands an ERD, Detail, Master/Detail, knows importance of validation and List-of-Values. Used / worked with a Reporting Tool – has written a bit of SQL in their time. Terminal (Character), Desktop (thick client / thin client), Network Computer and now Web Browser OO techniques – difference between an object or class, inheritance, interfaces - heard of- or use- design patterns Understands, and is part of a development process, makes predications about task effort and completion Understands value of reuse of code and skills Can interpret / create a specification Thinking in Flex (contd.):  Thinking in Flex (contd.) Adobe Flex – (internally championed, promoted or sold) Cross-Platform & Browser independent Rapid prototype, development and deployment model Plays nicely with existing Internet technology and standards, easy to connect with back-ends. OO language / ActionScript 3 (ES4), Virtual Machine (Flash Player 9 - AVM) JIT processing power Potential for engaging Interaction Design – Information Architecture – express data. Bruce Eckel – enters the debate C++, Java, Continuous Integration and Best Practice –numerous books, highly influential Statement: “The Web is a Mess” Growing developer adoption especially in the Java community Cross Road of next generation Applications Adobe Flex 2, Java, .NET & WPF, AJAX Thinking in Flex (contd.):  Thinking in Flex (contd.) Yes - sort-of-one of these Disciplined Developers more of a Web Developer these days Followed, skilled with Macromedia stack – ColdFusion – DHTML / JavaScript Recommending Adobe Flex as a way forward, see the issues with AJAX Users dislike Browser page refresh and often confused with Back / Forward buttons. Great - Apollo offers a cross-platform Desktop Application, double-click Icon answer for broad reach and depth to solution. Drag-n-Drop file integration However the learning curve is steep … what do I need to know ! Just tell me. FLEX - Concepts:  FLEX - Concepts Flex Applications are built on ActionScript 3 Adobe Flex Framework brings your Application to life – SDK ships with Flex Builder 2 Components as button, containers, controls etc… ActionScript 3 – “Everything is an Object” ActionScript 3 ( ES4 ) is an Object-Oriented language Supports basic concepts such as classes, inheritance, interfaces, method hiding, overrides & protection Doesn’t support abstracts, and private Constructors (not the part of the ECMAScript standard) Packages, Class Path and Class Loading Object class is at the root of the class hierarchy, created by constructors using the NEW operator. FLEX - Concepts:  FLEX - Concepts Declarative Programming XML to quickly realize ActionScript 3 code, that is, using XML to generate and create ActionScript Objects MXML –references the Flex 2 Framework API XML “rules” apply, special characters, CDATA, Namespaces etc… NO relationship with HTML – this is a hard thing to overcome never encountered before. Not a new concept – see Mozilla XUL and Oracle UIX MXML vs AS3 <mx:VBox id=“myVBox” width=“100%” /> var myVBox:VBox = new VBox(); myVBox.percentWidth = 100; FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Declarative Programming (contd.) “Parenting” - child components Functionality inherited from the Flex Framework Based on Composite Pattern addChild, addChildAt, removeChild, removeChildAt <mx:VBox id=“myVBox” width=“100%” > <mx:Label id=“myLabel” text=“Yoh Sushi” /> </mx:VBox> var myLabel:Label = new Label(); myLabel.text = “Yoh Sushi”; var myVBox:VBox = new VBox(); myVBox.percentWidth = 100; myVBox.addChild ( myLabel ); FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Component Oriented Extending Flex Framework Components - MXML File: com/company/components/MyVBox.mxml <mx:VBox xmlns:mx=“http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml” width=“100%” > <mx:Label id=“myLabel” text=“Yoh Sushi” /> </mx:VBox> <mx:Application xmlns:mx=http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml xmlns:local=“com.company.components.*” > <local:MyVBox /> <mx:Application > … inside our Flex Application, reference the component FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Component Oriented Extending Flex Framework Components – ActionScript 3 File: com/company/components/MyVBox.as import mx.containers.*; package com.company.components { public class MyVBox extends VBox { } override protected function createChildren():void { super.createChildren(); var myLabel:Label = new Label(); myLabel.text = “Yoh Sushi”; this.addChild ( myLabel ); } } FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Event Driven Flex Application is an entirely Event driven, familiar with Java Swing or Visual Basic Established by having Flex components extending EventDispatcher or implementing its interface dispatchEvent (); Capture and Bubbling Custom Events though extending flash.events.Event class Loose Coupling & Components Outward communication via Events MXML <mx:Metadata> [Event(name="login", type="events.LoginEvent")] </mx:Metadata> ActionScript 3 [Event(name="sessionStart", type="com.oe.shaper.events.SessionEvent")] FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Event Driven (contd.) Listening for; MXML – events as attributes of the mx:Button element <mx:Button id=“myButton” click=“handler(event)” /> AS3 myButton.addEventListener( name, handler ); Binding Watch the change and communicate the change in the property [Bindable] meta tag - generates ActionScript code <mx:Binding source="firstName.text" destination="myEmployee.name.first"/> ActionScript: BindingUtils.bindProperty(textarea, "text", textinput, "text"); FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Service Oriented Service calls to interact with back-end HttpService, WebService ( SOAP ) RemoteObject (AMF) & DataService (RTMP) Request / Response Handling Producer / Consumer - Messaging (Java Message Service) Program Flow MXML entry points <mx:Application> or new in 2.0.1 <mx:Module> Flex Framework Events INITIALIZE CREATIONCOMPLETE ActionScript 3 entry point package { import flash.display.Sprite; public class MyApplication extends Sprite { public function MyApplication () { // begin coding here } } } FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Program Flow ( contd.) Control and Execution Familiar JavaScript or Java syntax {} Braces for code blocks etc… Try / Catch Exception Handling ActionScript Cheat Sheet - http://actionscriptcheatsheet.com/blog/ Object Creation - when do you have access to your objects ? Initialization & CreationComplete Events. Collections Array and ArrayCollection FLEX – Concepts (contd.):  FLEX – Concepts (contd.) Flash Player 9 – ActionScript Virtual Machine Native Interfaces External Interfaces Web Browser Interaction Development Eco-System:  Development Eco-System Flex is a Blank Canvas Flex has no immediate Application Development Framework MVC & Cairngorm Flex has a default “Look & Feel” Default “HALO” Skin with CSS, Assets & Programmatic (ActionScript) Doesn’t assume the Look & Feel of the host. Emphasis on Components Easy to “roll-your-own” At this point not-enough and not mature Vs other frameworks DataGrid Do not blend in the Host – for example In-Place editing on Mac Development Eco-System:  Development Eco-System Flex is a Blank Canvas (contd.) Scalable ? Flex 2.0.1 supports Modules and Module Loading. Vs Oracle Forms ? “Outré du support” – out-of-the-box Templates Best Practice for SDI / MDI – no real concept of a Window – Resize, Max/Min, Tile etc… SAP Portal Templates Potential for Flex development to be become Time Consuming – ( Demonstration ) Uptake of the technology Impedance Mismatch User’s specification & expectation Overheads of a Desktop Application Development Eco-System:  Development Eco-System Operational Java Foundation Based on JDK 1.4.2 J2EE Container ( Tomcat, JRun, Oracle Application Server, Web Sphere) Flex Data Service 2 – JAR, WAR, EAR Flex Builder 2 – Eclipse Based tool Flex 2 SDK – Framework Code and binaries for compiling Flex Projects Managed as directories of files, .MXML; .AS etc… Apache Ant – (http://ant.apache.org/) Process control Command line compilation of Flex projects – http://labs.adobe.com CVS & SVN Source Control “Development Pool” scales around the sandbox Development Eco-System:  Development Eco-System Operational (contd.) Generation Tools XDoclet (http://xdoclet.sourceforge.net) Cairngorm Plug-in (http://blog.thinkingdigital.org/?page_id=4 ) ColdFusion Plug-in (http://www.cfreport.org) Development Eco-System:  Development Eco-System Approach Project Management Story Cards – Pictorial BRD’s RDD’s, FDDs and TDD’s Task Estimation Rapid Prototyping Rigging Assets Asset Complete Fit and Finish Development Eco-System:  Development Eco-System Organization Interaction Designer – User Experience Information Architect Design Process Increased demand due to overheads of being a Desktop Application Navigation Look and Feel Components Assets Interaction Design:  Interaction Design Flex - Desktop Application What does that mean ? What is the impact ? Engage the User’s Workflow Actions Finding Something, Learning Something Performing a transaction, Controlling / Monitoring Creating / Sharing or being Entertained Interaction Design:  Interaction Design Engage the User’s Workflow (contd.) Patterns Safe Exploration / Gratification Satisfying / Change in mid stream Incremental Construction / Habituation Spatial Memory / Prospective Memory Streamlined Repetition / Keyboard Only Advise Interaction Design:  Interaction Design Information Architecture Structuring information ( knowledge or data ) for a purpose – wikipedia Lists of Objects, Actions, Subjects / Categories or Tools Structure and Layout MDI / SDI, Title Panels, Two Panel Selector One Window Drill, Alternative Views Wizards, Extras on Demand, Intriguing Branches Multi-level Help Slide31:  Demonstration Relevance:  Relevance Keep it simple Exploit CSS, limit your assets (most likely buy Icons and avoid Copyright issues) Avoid building components in the Project timeline Target a Portal-style Application Lock-in the Interaction Design first Perform a pre-project “Discovery” Personas, Use Cases Volumes, Frequency, Effects and Trends Blend HTML and Flex is a good starting point Incremental development Small things more often Generate as much as possible – ActionScript / Java etc… Relevance:  Relevance Keep it simple Daily builds “Daily Rush” - regular previews with Sponsors & User representatives Its “OK” to have an Alert “No yet complete”, promotes attention and action Don’t hold off finding out that your Application is “clunky” Limit scope creep Establish key difference in effort between Web and Desktop development Resources:  Resources Forums Flex Coders http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flexcoders/ Internet CFLEX - http://www.cflex.net Books Iteration Two – Developing rich clients with Macromedia Flex RIA Book - http://www.theriabook.com/ - Farata ActionScript CookBook – Joey Lott Design Patterns in ActionScript 3 – Joey Lott, Danny Patterson Slide35:  Thank you ! Blog: http://blogs.omnieffect.com/mlwise Email: michael.wise@omniEffect.com Slide36:  Finally, no more Flicker Applications!

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