Rich Cloud Applications by Adobe and Salesforce.com – The NEW ERA in Flash Platform

Adobe yesterday announced the powerful partnership with Salesforce.com for providing Flash based CLOUD applications. This Flash Applications will run on the top of Force.com Cloud Platform.  They have jointly created Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com (Stratus Project)- new IDE to create Flash based Cloud Applications. It will create more sense to Flash Builder’s Data Services and Connectivity. This applications will be called as Rich Cloud Applications (RCA).

Here is the architecture of RCA apps flow

stratus_arch
Picture courtesy: Salesforce.com

Instead of building infra for the app, we can concentrate on App UI and Logic, since this environment already built on perfect Force.com Platform, so no need for setting the separate infra. This will save the productivity time. Developers can use Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com to build applications that work the way people work.

*  Add intuitive, interactive user interface (UI) features, such as drag and drop, to shorten application learning curves, increase user acceptance, improve productivity and reduce help-desk support calls.

*  Incorporate advanced data visualizations, such as charts and dashboards, for better decision support.

*  Turn multi-step business process applications into a one-screen experience that increases usability and efficiency.

*  Provide light-weight client-side integration to unify user experiences across systems inside and outside the firewall into a single application for better business visibility.

The solution also gives developers flexibility to scale their applications to fit a variety of business needs by:
*    Building new applications supporting both browser and desktop deployment scenarios.
*    Creating new application components that are tailored to specific job functions or business use cases and integrated into existing applications.
*    Adding rich UI elements to existing Salesforce CRM or Force.com applications.

Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com includes:

*    Professional Eclipse®-based IDE, unifying Adobe Flash Builder and the Force.com IDE into a common, highly productive environment for building a variety of Force.com applications.
*    Code-editor, design-view, browser and cross platform compatibility.
*    User interface capabilities with more than 100 easily customized, reusable components, including access to motion graphics, drag and drop capabilities and more.
*    Data visualizations including built-in interactive charting and animation components capable of processing large data sets.
*    Pre-built integration with Adobe LiveCycle® Data Services for client-side data management and synchronization services, automatically synchronizing data between the Force.com database and an Adobe AIR secure local data store on the client, allowing developers to build apps that seamlessly span connected and disconnected environments.

This will create a great Flash Platform Cloud Applications with the Powerful back-end of Force.com Platform.

Reference and Sources (don’t forget to read this)

FlashBuilder @ Force.com (for Screenshots / documentation / installations / developer’s guide details)

Read more from Articles and News ( get more ideas )

James Warden – RIA Cowboy Ryan Stewart – The Evangelist at Adobe

TechCrunch | Tim Anderson’s IT Writing | Yahoo Finance

Adobe DEV Summit 2009 Bangalore Experience

Hi All,
I have attended Adobe DEV Summit on August 04,2009. Here is my experience from Adobe DEV Summit 2009, Bangalore.

devsummitIt was the great day I had. There are nearly 1400+ Flex /Flash Developers have attended the Summit. There are two tracks namely Track1 and Track2. Track1 is for Flex Developers who already having some experience. Track 2 is for New Flex Developers. I have joined with Track1.

My Favourite Flash Platform Evangelists Serge Jespers and Ben Forta came there for Key note and Introductory speech of Flash Platform Technologies.

serge_devsummit1

DEV Summit: “It was the Great Day for all the Flex Developers.”

As per the theme “Awesomeness defined”, it was really awesome in terms of the Features and Futures of Flash Platform Technologies.
I start with two Quick Questions; it will help you to understand my experience,

1.    What is discussed?

  • Flash Platform Technologies.
  • Adobe Flex 4 SDK.
  • Flash Catalyst (My favorite)
  • Flash Builder (Next version of Flex Builder).
  • LCDS / BlazeDS ES for J2EE Integration.
  • Integration of Flex App with ColdFusion / PHP.
  • Features of Cold Fusion 9.
  • Mobile Applications Development using Flash Lite.

2.    What is not discussed (my expectations)  ?

  • Adobe AIR.
  • Technologies Comparison.
  • Challenges for Flash Platform.
  • Integration of Flex App with Blaze DS/ LCDS ES.

Flash Platform Technologies Introduction by

Ben Forta, Director Flash Platform Evangelism and Serge Jespers Platform Evangelist.

Serge starts with the introductory speech about Flash Platform; in continue with Ben starts his speech from Features and Availability of Flash Platform Technologies. Everyone in the Summit was thrilled and freezed for few minutes, not because of the climate, Features and Futures of Flash Platform technologies are the key reasons for the Freeze. Ben speech is all about Business terms of Adobe, since he is from Cold Fusion Team; Serge speech is related to the Key Features of Flash Platform Technologies which includes Flex, Flash Player and AIR.  During this, Serge put a challenge to himself. Here is the Challenge, “I’m going to build the Flex Application starting from the Design to Back End Connectivity within 15 minutes”, everyone in the Summit was murmured with themselves about this hard challenge . Finally he had finished the Challenge within the given span of time, which shows the POWER of Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder. During this challenge everyone was keen to watch his activities, it was very interesting . After this interesting Challenge, the video was played from Adobe Flash Team; it’s all about the Features of Flex and AIR Applications in the Commercial world.

Adobe Flex 4 SDK Features Explanation by

Anirudh Sasikumar, Technical Evangelist

He talks about the following main things in Flex 4 SDK over Flex 3 SDK,

  • Spark Architecture having advanced UI Components this is fully based on the skins. They have introduced lots of pre-defined skinnable components. It is the cool feature.
  • MXML 2009 it’s about new tags and namespaces in Flex 4; more tags available for Playing with Effects and Animations even skins. Separate namespace for Spark Architecture like <s:ComponentName/>, we can also use the existing MX components.
  • Flex 4 Effects – what are all the new ways and tags available for Effects and Animation (I like this very much, since it has plenty of new things for play) .
  • Layout – They have introduced a new Layout Components namely Group,VGroup,HGroup and many more..
  • FXG – Flex Graphics Components. This is very cool one.
  • Finally Advance CSS having more style selectors – we can use descendant and ID selectors, and multiple style name in the styleName attribute.

In general Flex 4 SDK mainly concentrated on Designer – Developer Contract.

Adobe Flash Catalyst Features and Demo by

Harish Sivaramkrishnan, Platform Evangelist

He starts his demo from Adobe Photoshop towards Flash Builder. He developed the mini Twitter application in Flex using PS, FC and FB.  He gave simple four steps for this Application Development; here is the steps you go,

1. UI Creation in Photoshop / Illustrator / Fireworks
2.    PSD / AI / FW files to Flash Catalyst ( FC )
3.    Conversion of UI parts to Flex UI Components. (PSD Layers to Flex components)
4.    Flash Catalyst to Flash Builder ( FXP to Flex )

FXP is the File format of Flash Catalyst to Flash Builder. We can also test and run the Design from Flash Catalyst by pressing Ctrl + Enter. He insisted this shortcut .

About the developed Twitter Application,

Components: One Text Input

One Data List (New list on Flex 4 SDK).

Itemrenderers :  Image (Profile Image), Label( Tweets) and one more label for Profile Name.

This itemrenderer used in the DataList to show the list Tweets and Profile Image of the Particular person (typed from the TextInput). He completely designed this Renderer in Flash Catalyst and switched to Flash Builder by importing the FXP file. In Flash Builder, the FXP file provides the Complete Package Structure (model/view/components) and main.mxml file. Then he has added the Twitter API inside this package and configured with real time Twitter Site. Application is finished within 30 minutes. Everyone gave their applause.

In Flash Catalyst we can do the following main things,

  • Build and design the New Components apart from the imported UI elements.
  • Simple states effects and transitions.
  • Itemrenderers creation.
  • Apply the event handlers for the UI Components.
  • SWF file creation.

Flash Builder 4 – Deep dive into the Data Centric Development by

Mayank Kumar, Computer Scientist.

He talks about the RPC Services in detailed. He demonstrated the simple employee application, with the integration of MySQL database using Apache server. It shows the Powerful feature of Flash Builder 4.

In this Employee application, he fetched the Employee details from the MySQL database using simple configuration in the Flash Builder. It is the great feature of Flash Builder. It really saves the developer time.  He also added two line codes to create the form (details of the particular employee).

The application is like this:   First Name and Last Name in the DataGrid, while selecting any item in the Grid, the Employee details will be displayed in the Form.  We need not write any code for this form, using simple wizard we can create.  This wizard is full of Configuration of Services.
The interesting thing here is Automatic Paging; it saves more space in the Browser. Next interesting thing is, If any item  fetched from the DB, it is stored internally, if the same item needed in future, we need not make a new service call to get that item.  It will get the data from the internal storage and display. It’s the power of DataCentricDevelopent (DCD) framework in Flash Builder.

In Flash Builder we have the following new features,

  • Services Panel like Properties and Navigator Panel, which will help us to integrate with backend connectivity. The back end connectivity might be J2EE , PHP , .Net , Ruby, WSDL and ColdFusion services.
  • Pre-defined Themes availability.
  • ActionScript Doc. availability.
  • Auto Event handlers and getter/setters generation.
  • Profiler for performance and memory leakage analysis.
  • Unit testing facilities.
  • Report Generation.
  • Live Recording of the application.
  • DataCentricDevelopment (DCD) framework.
  • Custom File Templates (we can customize the MXML file structure for maintaining uniformity across all the developers). My favorite one .
  • SVG Support.

LCDS / BlazeDS ES for J2EE Integration by

Sujit Reddy G, Technical Evangelist.

He started the discussion from comparison of LCDS and Blaze DS.  Both are used for J2EE integration. BlazeDS is the OpenSource having minimum features compared to LCDS ES. Live Cycle Data Services – Enterprise Services (LCDS ES) 3 Beta having powerful features for the Integration. It can support AMF/AMFX encoding as well as SOAP related web services. It has improved RTMP / RTFMP Streaming facility.

They have introduced new DataModel – FIBER for flexible Data Objects management between Flex and J2EE.  This Data model provides the Entities, Services and Annotations details of the Class and Data Objects present in the server. The File format of this DataModel is .FML ( Fiber / Flex Markup Language).   Due to short span of time, he unable to demonstrate the Integration of Flex with LCDS 3.

Mobile Applications Development using Flash Lite by

Raghuram CG, Senior Program Manager.

The theme of this topic is Create -> Package – > Distribute -> Discover.

This session was started with N95 application demonstration; in the pipeline they have shown Flash Lite 3.1 in mobiles. Finally he deployed some Flash Lite Applications in mobile using Adobe Mobile Packager. The output of this Adobe Mobile Packager is .CAB file, which is capable to install the application in most of the mobile devices.

Finally the Adobe Team shown some interesting on Flash Player availability and its upcoming features. Everyone in the Summit was excited. According to the survey Flash Player playing major role in the WEB WORLD. There are millions of Flash Player download everyday, Adobe Team said. Adobe AIR is about 27+++  millions at the desktop. This shows the Power of my favourite Flash Platform.

This is my Experience from Adobe DEV summit, 2009 Bangalore. I know, I missed some points .
Hope you will get some idea on the Flash Platform Technologies. .

Oh ! oh !! I forgot to say, it was the Gooooooood Lunch .