Flex 3 with Java

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Author(s): Satish Kore
ISBN: 1847195342
Published: June 2009
Relevance: 3/5
Readability: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

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This book provides a comfortable way to learn and work quickly Flex 3 and ActionScript 3 together with Java. Through steps instructions and not overhelming heavy theory.

The content offers a good basis for beginners in Flex 3 and ActionScript 3. Furthermore including how to work with Flex Builder 3 about its configuration, use, and debugging. And some concrete introduction and handle about blazeds. Below the TOC of this book:

  • Chapter 01: Installing and Configuring Adobe Flex
  • Chapter 02: Introduction to Flex 3 Framework
  • Chapter 03: Introduction to ActionScript 3.0
  • Chapter 04: Using External API and LocalConnection
  • Chapter 05: Working with XML
  • Chapter 06: Overview of LiveCycle Data Services and BlazeDS
  • Chapter 07: Flex Data Access Methods
  • Chapter 08: Communicating with Server-side Java
  • Chapter 09: Debugging Techniques
  • Chapter 10: Styling your Application
  • Chapter 11: Packaging and Deployment
  • Chapter 12: Internationalization and Localization
  • Chapter 13: Creating an E-commerce Application

Now an expanded summary for each chapter

Chapter 01: Installing and Configuring Adobe Flex

Here the author start quickly about the introduction for the open source Flex 3 SDK and the explanation for its directory structure, futhermore covering about configurations files like flex-config.xml and mxml-manifest.xml, even including how configure JVM settings in the jvm.config.

Concrete covering for Flex compilers are included too like compc and mxmlc. Now is the turn about the installation process, based in a good amount of images; after this, the author proceed to create a Flex project, again based in a good amount of images.

Chapter 02: Introduction to Flex 3 Framework

The author explain us about how Flex works including a valuable image for a better understanding, even explaining about compiling and running a Flex application. The author then go deeper to MXML, with a good explanation and covering about its namespaces, following with Containers, covering:

  • Layout manager
  • Layout containers (Box, HBox, VBox)
  • Navigator containers
  • Form containers

Many of these containers are covered with well theory, sample code, step instructions and important images to get a better understanding.

Now events in MXML are covered, snippet code is available, same appreciation for Validating and formatting data, following with Data Binding.

We follow with creating MXML custom components, based in steps instructions, including a good amount and important of snippet code. To end the chapter Flex itemRenderers are covered.

Chapter 03: Introduction to ActionScript 3.0

This chapter cover quickly with concrete theory and snippet code the most important and basic features of a programming language like variables, access modifiers, packages, classes, interfaces, functions and methods, setter and getter methods, flow control and looping, exceptions and error handling.

The follow is about using ActionScript 3.0 with MXML covering many things quickly and including too events (Registering, Dispatching).

Chapter 04: Using External API and LocalConnection

This is a shortest chapter, covering among many things Calling JavaScript code from ActionScript and Calling ActionScript code from JavaScript, both covered with concrete theory and snippet code, covering something important too like LocalConnection, including many snippet code and theory of course.

Chapter 05: Working with XML

Starting with a brief introduction about XML and moving quickly to E4X, including good theory and important snippet code and a big table for XML operators, same appreciation for XML object and XMLList object.

Covering too using XML as dataProvider with important snippet code, same appreciation about Loading external XML documents.

Now is the turn of the most important, an example about a book explorer, practically nine pages about good theory and important code is available, including an image about what you should expect.

Chapter 06: Overview of LiveCycle Data Services and BlazeDS

This is the second shortest chapter, where after to include a brief introduction about remoting and messaging implementations to communicate with different server-side technologies. LiveCycle Data Services is covered, valuable theory included, then Blaze is covered, based in pure theory, therefore the author cover smartly the differences between them, well covered really even including a table comparison of its features of each one.

Chapter 07: Flex Data Access Methods

This is an important chapter, starting covering the HTTPService class offering a snippet code about the structure of this tag in MXML and the explanation of each attribute, then an example is included practically in three pages, even including HTTPService class in ActionScript.

Now the author cover the WebService class like the previous paragraph explaining each attibute of this tag in MXML, including an example code, adding practically three pages about a WSDL document, including too WebService class in ActionScript, and even how to work with SOAP headers.

Now is the turn to cover RemoteObject class, again including the explanation of each attribute for this tag in MXML, following with an example well covered in practically nine pages with detailed instructions and valuable code like Java, ActionScript and of course MXML code.

Then we turn to something very important, Flash Player security sandbox, here the author cover about the cross-domain policy file which is crossdomain.xml. The chapter ends with the creation of a proxy service, which includes three pages of steps instructions with snippet code.

Chapter 08: Communicating with Server-side Java

This is other shortest chapter, starting quickly with HTTPService class, including complete code for .mxml, .jsp and .java files, even working with JSON. You can see the output results through images.

Chapter 09: Debugging Techniques

Other shortest chapter, covering among many things Flash Debug Player, client-side logging and Flex Builder Debugger, including many images about this perspective like Debug view, Variables view, Breakpoints view, Expressions view.

Chapter 10: Styling your Application

This is other shortest chapter, here the author work closely with CSS, in three ways like:

  • Using inline styles
  • Using external CSS files
  • Loading stylesheets at runtime

Based in concrete theory, snippet code, steps instructions and output images.

Chapter 11: Packaging and Deployment

Starting quickly with packaging which includes the explanation of the files and folders into your bin-debug folder, same appreciation for blazeds.war. The author cover too about Flex Ant Task where after of a long theory includes an Ant task compiling Flex application, then the author offer us the complete content of the build.xml file.

Now is the turn for Deployment where the author use images to show us how configure the properties for the Flex Compiler and how export our project (Export Release Build). To end the chapter the author offer us Flex deployment options covering Using a single SWF file deployment and Using web-tier compilation based with pure theory.

Chapter 12: Internationalization and Localization

Starting quickly covering Internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n), then the author proceed to teaches us how create a resource file, well covered in six pages based in step instructions, snippet code and images for configuration for the Flex Compiler.

The follow section to end this chapter is creating resource modules covered through five pages, based again with step instructions, sample code and two images showing the output results.

Chapter 13: Creating an E-commerce Application

This is an interesting chapter, where all the most important topics covered through the book now is applied in a sample application, therefore the author show us an image about the general anatomy of the application, following with almost three pages of images of the output application’s execution, then comes the huge amount the code, practically twenty five pages! of sample code and steps instructions, the code covered is for Java, JSP, CSS, MXML (even with custom components), ActionScript, after this, a table about directories and files is shown to let us see how the files are distributed in the application.

The book teaching approach is well done, covering practically from the scratch the most important topics to learn quickly Flex 3 and ActionScript 3 to work together with Java. You going to learn many components in both representations like MXML and AS (ActionScript) even including valuable images about the manipulation and edition of your code through Flex Builder 3, including its configuration, use, and debugging.

Practically to give you a global idea, see the TOC above and return here, therefore consider practically that each chapter includes concrete and long well explained theory, good amount of complete and snippet code for Java, MXML, AS, CSS, easy steps instructions to follow, images to give a better idea about what you should expect if you execute some application and by other hand how to complete the idea about the manipulation or use of Flex Builder 3. Even covering some third-party tools.

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