Professional Adobe Flex 2

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Wrox's Professional Flex 2 is one of the first guides to Adobe's (Macromedia's) new web application development platform. Flex experts Simon Barber, Rich Tretola and John Bennett share their experience with Flex 2, and teach readers how to leverage the platform to build rich internet applications. Professional Flex 2 relies heavy on practical examples, making this a hands-on ...

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Overview

Wrox's Professional Flex 2 is one of the first guides to Adobe's (Macromedia's) new web application development platform. Flex experts Simon Barber, Rich Tretola and John Bennett share their experience with Flex 2, and teach readers how to leverage the platform to build rich internet applications. Professional Flex 2 relies heavy on practical examples, making this a hands-on guide that will get readers up and running with Flex 2 quickly.

Topics include:

  • Building applications with Flex Builder
  • Flex programming model
  • Using Actionscript 3.0
  • Developing applications in MXML
  • Creating UIs with Flex controls and containers
  • Data access and interconnectivity
  • Creating custom flex components
  • Charting
  • Testing, debugging and deploying Flex applications
  • and more
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470102671
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/29/2007
  • Series: Programmer to Programmer Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rich Tretola (Indianapolis, IN) is a programmer who specializes in developing rich internet applications using Flash and Flex with Java (Hibernate) for data persistence and the Cairngorm framework. He has written a number of articles on Flex, and his most recent thoughts can be found on his Flex website, EverythingFlex.com.

Simon Barber (Cape Town, South Africa) is a web developer and founder of ThoughtFaqtory, where they develop rich internet applications for clients large and small. Simon is well-known in the Flex community and has been working with the technology since its earliest alphas.

Renaun Erickson (Las Vegas, NV) is a RIA developer specializing in Flex, ColdFusion and PHP. He is an Adobe Community Expert and active in the community through his popular blog and the Las Vegas Adobe User Group.

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Read an Excerpt

Professional Adobe Flex 2


By Rich Tretola Simon Barber Renaun Erickson

John Wiley & Sons

Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-470-10267-1


Chapter One

Introducing Flex 2.0

Flex 2.0 is arguably the most important new Internet development tool set released to date. It will help speed the migration of the Internet to the Web 2.0 that we have been promised for so long now. Not only has Adobe introduced an extremely easy-to-use development environment in Flex Builder 2.0, but it has also released an SDK allowing for Flex Rich Internet Applications to be developed with absolutely no fees. So what are Rich Internet Applications? Let's start with a definition.

Rich Internet Applications

A Rich Internet Application (RIA) is an application that runs in the traditional browser but utilizes an intermediate layer that can bypass the traditional page refresh that has been a standard of most current Web applications. The most common tools that can achieve this intermediate layer include JavaScript used in Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) applications, as well as Flex or Flash using the Flash Player. Other RIA solutions include OpenLaszlo (which utilizes the Flash Player as well as Ajax), XUL (which is dependent on a Mozilla-compatible browser), and the Windows PresentationFoundation (which is part of the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0).

OpenLaszlo

Like Flex, OpenLaszlo can compile to SWF and, because it is open source, it is also free for developers to use. OpenLaszlo applications are built using JavaScript, as well as an Extensible Markup Language (XML) based programming language named LZX, and compiled to SWF. It is very similar to Flex, and because it was available for free, it garnered a larger amount of attention during the days of Flex 1.5. Because OpenLaszlo compiles to SWF, it enjoys the same write-once-run-anywhere feature that is synonymous with Flex and Flash applications. The one advantage to OpenLaszlo over Flex is that the next version of OpenLaszlo (code-named legals) will allow write-once-and-compile to either an SWF or a dynamic HTML (DHTML), or Ajax, application. The major disadvantages of OpenLaszlo are that it has a smaller set of built-in components than Flex, and it has always been at least one full version behind in optimization for the most current Flash Player.

Ajax

Ajax is a combination of HTML or Extensible HTML (XHTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript to create an application-type feel from a standard Web page request. CSS and JavaScript can be used to trigger updates to the visual aspect of the page, and XMLHttpRequests can be used to fetch data in the background of the page. The combination of these techniques allows a single Web page to change its appearance and update its data without any additional page requests from the server. There are many limitations to this type of RIA, including compatibility issues with browser versions, as well as differences in (or lack of) JavaScript support necessary for the RIA to perform as expected.

XUL

XML User Interface Language (XUL) is an XML-based language developed by the Mozilla project. It is a tag-based language that contains many predefined widgets (buttons, radio buttons, and so on) that will be rendered only by a Mozilla-compatible browser such as Firefox. Although it can also be used in the creation of RIAs, XUL has been most widely used in the creation of Mozilla applications and extensions.

Windows Presentation Foundation

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) consists of an engine and a framework that will be preinstalled in Windows Vista, and introduces Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) as a new tag-based language. XAML is very similar to MXML because it is a tag-based XML language with attributes whereby each tag creates an object model class. XAML tags are fully extendable, allowing developers to create custom classes. XAML, along with C# (which is the programming language), would correspond to MXML and ActionScript 3 in Adobe Flex.

WPF is used for both traditional desktop applications and browser-based RIAs. With Microsoft's backing, WPF and XAML are sure to make a large contribution to Web 2.0 and RIA. Microsoft has stated that it will also introduce Windows Presentation Server Everywhere (WPF/E), which will provide support for other browsers and platforms. One major advantage of WPF is that it will support three dimensions out of the box, which is something that has been lacking in the Flash Player. A disadvantage of WPF is that it does not run within the Flash Player, and it will be a long time before Microsoft can expect the same penetration of its runtime as the Flash Player.

History of RIA

Although the concept of a Web application that performs more in line with the traditional desktop application has been around for years, RIAs were first introduced by Macromedia in March 2002.

Benefits of RIA

RIAs offer many benefits over traditional Web applications. Following are a few of the many advantages of RIAs:

RIAs offer a richer interface that provides a more engaging user experience without the need for page reloads.

RIAs offer real-time feedback and validation to the user, triggered by user events.

The look and feel of a traditional desktop application can be accomplished with an RIA.

RIAs also can include a full multimedia experience, including audio and video.

RIAs have capabilities such as real-time chat and collaboration that are either very difficult or simply impossible with traditional Web applications.

Overview of Flex

Flex was developed to create a development environment that more closely resembled the traditional development environment utilized by other programming languages. The goal was to take the already tremendously successful Flash visual development environment and open it up to programmers who are more comfortable with a code-based model.

In 2004, Macromedia released Flex 1.0, which caused a buzz in the world of RIAs because it was the first time that it was possible to compile Flash SWF files from code. In 2005, Flex 1.5 was released, which was a big improvement over Flex 1.0 and included many new features. A few of the notable new features included new charting components, updates to the datagrid component, and new component-skinning techniques for more control over the look and feel of Flex 1.5 applications.

Flex 1.5 was very successful, but was still targeted to the mid- to large-size company, and it was priced that way. For smaller companies and developers, Flex 1.5 was simply out of reach because of Macromedia's pricing model. In 2006, Adobe released Flex 2.0 and announced that it was now possible to create and distribute Flex 2.0 applications absolutely free. This has created a large influx of developers into the Flex community, and shows tremendous growth potential.

Flex 2

Flex 2 is a tremendous upgrade over its predecessor. It includes a new version of the MXML tag-based language, as well as a new version of ActionScript. Adobe has built the Flex 2 Framework to be fully extendable, allowing developers to create custom components that extend or combine base components using either MXML or ActionScript 3.

Flex 2 is built to run within the all-new Flash 9 Player, which in itself includes huge performance increases over previous versions. Flex 2 includes a new development environment built on the Open Source Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) named Flex Builder 2, the free Flex 2 SDK, as well as the new Flex Data Services (FDS) application server. Flex 2 also offers a new set of charting components that are not part of the basic free versions of the Flex SDK but can be purchased separately or as part of a Flex Builder package.

Flash Player 9

In May 1996, a small company named FutureWave Software released a product that it called FutureSplash Animator. FutureSplash was released as a browser extension using the new plug-in API from Netscape. Ironically, FutureWave attempted to sell its technology to Adobe, but at the time, Adobe wasn't interested. Macromedia was interested in FutureSplash, and, in December 1996, acquired FutureWave Software. Macromedia renamed FutureSplash as Flash Player 1.0.

Following is a timeline of key events in this history of the Flash player:

1997 - FutureSplash is renamed and released as Macromedia Flash 1.0.

1997 - Flash 2 adds buttons, the Library, sound support, and color tweens.

1998 - Flash 3 adds new animations and alpha transparency.

1999 - Flash 4 adds MP3 audion streaming and motion tweens.

1999 - 100-millionth download of the Flash Player.

2000 - Flash 5 adds ActionScript 1.

2000 - Flash Player installs reach the 92 percent penetration mark.

2002 - Flash Player 6 adds support for Flash remoting, Web services, video, shared libraries, and components.

2003 - Flash Player 7 introduces ActionScript 2.0 and streaming audio and video.

2005 - Flash Player 8 adds filter effects, GIF and PNG images, bitmap caching, new video codec (On2 VP6), file upload and downloading, and FlashType.

2006 - Flash Player 9 is released and introduces ActionScript 3, E4X XML parsing, regular expressions, and binary sockets.

The introduction of Flash Player 9 in 2006 represents the most significant release of any Flash Player to date. The incorporation of ActionScript 3 brings true object-oriented programming to Flex 2 and the upcoming Flash 9 authoring tool. Flash Player 9 boasts performance increases of up to ten times over Flash Player 8. Flash Player 9 is based on the ECMAScript standard and adds new features, including ECMAScript for XML (E4X), regular expressions, a standardized event model, and binary sockets.

Flash Player 9 also includes better memory utilization, improved application initiation speed, as well as improvements in the debugger and error reporting.

Flex Builder 2

Flex Builder 2 is the new development tool that (although it is not necessary for Flex development because any text editor can be used) offers the most complete development environment for rapidly creating Flex applications. Because Flex Builder 2 has been built on top of the mature Eclipse IDE, it will be very familiar to developers who have already been developing software in other languages using Eclipse as their tool of choice. Eclipse is a development environment that was built with extendability in mind, and this can also work to the benefit of Flex developers because it can be customized to suit the needs of the Flex developer. Chapter 2 provides a more comprehensive look into Flex Builder 2.

Flex Free SDK 2

The Flex Software Development Kit (SDK) is a free download from Adobe and includes the Flex framework (component class library), compiler, and debugger. Using the text editor of your choice, you can create the ActionScript and MXML files for your application, and then compile to SWF using the SDK. The SDK allows for data communication via Web services, HTTP services, and Flash remoting with ColdFusion as the back-end server.

Flex Data Services (FDS)

FDS is the server version of Flex that must be installed under any Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) server. FDS is essentially the next generation of Flex 1.5, which was sold only as a server.

As well as a full commercial edition, the FDS server is available in an Express edition, which is free and available for commercial use (but is limited to one CPU without clustering).

FDS is made up of several components and capabilities, including the following:

Flex Messaging Services (FMS)

Publish-subscribe messaging

Data push

RPC services

Flex Messaging Services

FMS is one of the pieces that make up FDS, and it allows for the creation of applications that support real-time messaging, as well as collaboration. The messaging service has support for Java Message Service (JMS), as well as other existing messaging services, allowing for the creation of cross-platform chat applications.

Publish-Subscribe Messaging

FMS uses the producer/consumer publish-subscribe metaphor, which allows for the creation of co-browsing applications. To understand what is meant by a co-browser application, imagine a company's customer service representative being able to make edits to a form on the user's screen in real time while the user watches.

Data Push

Data push is the capability for the server to push data changes to the client without any user interaction or polling of the servers. This can be critical when an application has hundreds or thousands of users connected, and they can all see changes to business-critical data in real time. This is a feature that is available only when using the FDS server.

RPC Services

Remote procedure call (RPC) services are the suite of services used to connect to external data. They include the following:

WebService - The WebService component can be used to access any Web service that complies with the WSDL 1.1 standard and returns data formatted as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messages over HTTP.

HTTPService - The HTTPService component can send HTTP GET, POST, HEAD, OPTIONS, PUT, TRACE, or DELETE requests. It does not support multipart requests.

RemoteObjects - The RemoteObject component uses Action Message Format (AMF) to transfer data that is a binary format and is the fastest of the RPC services. It is an ideal way to interact with server-side Java objects that are within the FDS server's source path. It can also be used to connect to local or even remote ColdFusion servers. Both Java objects and ColdFusion components can be mapped to ActionScript objects, allowing for seamless integration between the server-side and client-side objects.

The WebService and HTTPService components are included for free with the Flex SDK, whereas the RemoteObject component is available only for use with the FDS server (Commercial or Free Express Edition) or ColdFusion 7.02.

Flex Charting

The Flex charting components are a set of rich charting components that enable easy development of professional dashboard and business intelligence (BI) systems. The charting components are sold as a stand-alone product or bundled with Flex Builder 2. A free trial of the charting components is available from Adobe. You can learn more about the charting components in Chapter 10.

Summary

This chapter defined RIA and gave some examples of the benefits of RIA, as well as the software options available for creating RIAs. It also provided an overview of Flex and its history, as well as the pieces that make up Flex. Most of the information on Flex covered in this chapter is covered in more depth later in this book.

Chapter 2 introduces the all-new Flex Builder 2 built on top of Eclipse.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Professional Adobe Flex 2 by Rich Tretola Simon Barber Renaun Erickson Copyright © 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xxvii
Getting Started     1
Introducing Flex 2.0     3
Rich Internet Applications     3
OpenLaszIo     3
Ajax     4
XUL     4
Windows Presentation Foundation     4
History of RIA     4
Benefits of RIA     4
Overview of Flex     5
Flex 2     5
Flash Player 9     5
Flex Builder 2     6
Flex Free SDK 2     6
Flex Data Services (FDS)     7
Flex Charting     8
Summary     8
Introducing Flex Builder 2.0     9
Flex Builder 2.0 Eclipse Standalone and Plugin     10
Creating a Flex Project     10
Flex Builder Perspectives     14
The Development Perspective Source Mode     14
The Development Perspective Design Mode     15
The Debugging Perspective     19
Debugging Your Application     19
Starting the Debugger     22
Compiling Your Application     23
Running Your Application     24
Summary     24
Flex 2.0Basics     25
Flex 2 Programming Model     25
MXML     25
ActionScript     27
Flex Class Library     30
Flex Charting Components     31
Charting Types     31
Flex Data Services     32
Data Management Service     32
Messaging Service     33
Publish-Subscribe Messaging     33
Data Push     34
RPC Services     34
FDS Alternatives     34
Summary     34
Using Flex Builder 2.0     35
Getting Started with Flex Builder     35
Learning Flex Builder     36
Flex Builder Workbench Basics     40
Flex Builder Basics     44
Working with Projects     44
Running Applications     50
Navigating and Customizing the Flex Builder Workbench     52
Developing with Design Mode     54
Building a Flex User Interface     54
Adding View States and Transitions     56
Adding Interactivity with Behaviors     56
Programming Flex Applications     57
Code Editing in Flex Builder     57
Summary      58
Developing in Flex 2.0     59
Programming Languages     61
Developing MXML Applications     61
UI Layout Using Containers     61
UI Controls     63
XML Namespaces     63
Data Binding with Components     64
RPC Services     65
Data Validation     67
Data Formatting     68
Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)     69
Skins     70
Adding Effects     72
Custom MXML Components     73
MXML     74
Basic MXML Syntax     74
MXML Naming Conventions     74
ActionScript     75
Flex Components     75
Separating ActionScript from MXML     78
Developing ActionScript Components     79
Performing Reflection     80
Handling Events     84
Event Flow     84
Event Class     85
EventDispatcher Class     85
Event Usage     86
Propagation     88
Priorities     90
Subclassing Events     91
Keyboard Events     92
Summary     93
Building User Interfaces     95
Visual Components     95
Class Hierarchy     95
UIComponent Class     96
Component Sizing     97
Event Handling     98
Styling Components     101
Adding Behaviors     103
Applying Skins     104
Modifying Components at Run-time     104
Extending Components     105
Data Providers and Collections     106
Data Providers     106
Collections     109
IList interface     111
ICollectionView     112
Collection Change Events     115
Hierarchical Data Providers     117
Remote Data Providers     119
Positioning and Sizing Components     120
Layout of Components     120
Component Sizing     121
Component Positioning and Layout     122
Constraint-based Layout     123
Getting Familiar with Flex Controls     124
Summary     125
Customizing the User Interface     127
Applying Behaviors     127
Using Behaviors     128
Applying Styles     131
Using Styles      132
Using Local, Application, and Global Selectors     133
Applying Fonts     134
Device Fonts     134
Embedded Fonts     135
FlashType Fonts     136
Skinning the Application     140
Graphical Skins     140
Programmatic Skins     141
Item Renderers     143
Building Custom Item Renderers and Item Editors     144
Item Editors     147
Overview of Cell Editing Process     147
Editable Cell     147
Returning Data from an Item Editor     148
Sizing and Positioning an Item Editor     148
Cell Editing Events     149
Tooltips     152
Creating Tooltips     153
ToolTipManager Class     155
Cursor Manager     157
Adding and Removing Cursors     157
Busy Cursor     158
Summary     159
Flex UI Topics     161
Repeaters and Containers     161
Using the Repeater Component     161
Repeater Component Execution Process     162
Using View States     165
Using Transitions     167
Transitions Applied to View States     167
Transition Event Handling     169
Transition Action Effects     170
Effects and Filters     170
Using the Drag-and-Drop Manager     171
List Control Drag-and-Drop Functions     171
Adding Drag-and-Drop Support to Other Components     172
Embedding Assets     175
Images     175
Fonts     176
SWF and Sound Files     176
Using the History Manager     177
Components with Built-in History Management     177
Adding History Management to Components     177
Flex Printing     180
Basic Printing     181
Printing Multiple Pages     181
Printing Grid Data     182
Communicating with the Wrapper     183
Flex to JavaScript, JavaScript to Flex     183
Verifying that JavaScript Has Loaded     185
Working with Shared Objects     187
Saving and Reloading Data from Shared Objects     187
Designing Accessible Applications     189
Enabling Accessibility in Your Application     189
Components with Built-in Accessibility     189
Customizing Your Components for Accessibility      189
Summary     190
Flex Data     191
Data Binding     191
Using [left angle bracket]mx:Binding[right angle bracket]     191
Binding to Variables with [Bindable]     192
Binding Directly to Component Properties     193
Data Modeling with Flex     194
A Basic Data Model     194
Using an External XML File     195
Binding a Data Model to a Custom Component     196
Binding Data to a Data Model     198
Validating Data     200
Flex Built-in Validators     200
Validating a Data Model     201
Simple Data Validation Using errorString     203
Testing Validation Events     204
Validating with ActionScript     207
Formatting Data     208
Flex Built-in Formatters     208
Formatter Errors     210
Summary     211
Flex Charting     213
Flex Chart Examples     213
Area Chart     215
Bar Chart     216
Bubble Chart     218
Column Chart     220
Line Chart     222
Pie Chart     223
Plot Chart      225
Candlestick Chart     226
HighLowOpenClose (HLOC) Chart     228
Charting Classes     229
Axis Label     229
Axis Title     230
Axis Renderer     230
Grid Lines     231
Axis Types     231
ChartItem     232
ChartItemEvent     232
Hit Data     232
Legend     232
Advanced Charting     232
Chart Events     232
Drill-Down Charts     234
Mixed Series Types     236
Multiple-Axis Charts     237
Axis Rotation     239
Charting Effects     240
SeriesInterpolate     240
SeriesSlide     240
SeriesZoom     240
Chart Style Examples     241
Summary     244
Data Access     245
Server-side Data     245
Flex Data Access     245
RPC Services     246
Data Management Service     247
Messaging Service     248
Data Services Configuration     248
Service Configuration Files     248
Message Channels      249
Data Serialization     250
Destinations and Security     258
Configuring Logging     259
Software Clustering     261
Custom Error Handling     262
RPC Service Components     263
Defining RPC Components     263
Calling a Service and Handling Results     264
RPC Services Configuration     265
Destination Configuration     265
Destination Properties     266
Flex Messaging     267
The Basics of Flex Messaging     267
Flex Messaging Architecture     268
Producer Components     269
Consumer Components     272
Message Service Configuration     274
Message Service Configuration     274
Message Service Destination Configuration     275
Building a Custom Message Service Adapter     277
Data Management Services     278
Data Management Service vs. RPC Features     278
Data Management Service Data Flow     279
Data Synchronization Conflicts     279
Distributed Data     280
Distributed Data Application     280
Class Mappings     281
Data Synchronization Handling     283
Data Management Service Configuration     284
Data Management Service Destination Configuration     284
Data Push from Servers to Client     286
Summary     286
Creating and Extending Flex Components     287
Creating MXML Components     289
Creating Simple MXML Components     289
Scoping Your Components     291
Styling Your Components     292
Advanced MXML Components     293
Adding Custom Properties and Methods to a Component     293
Creating Composite Components     295
Template Components     297
Creating a Template Component     297
Using a Template Component     298
MXML Interfaces     302
Creating Interfaces     302
Using Interfaces     302
Using IMXMLObject     303
Summary     304
Flex Component Properties     305
Elements of a Component     305
The package Statement     305
Import Statements     306
Defining the Class Name     306
The Default Constructor     306
Defining Properties     307
Defining Methods     309
Overriding Methods Using super     311
Creating a Simple ActionScript Component     313
Implementing and Overriding UIComponent Methods     314
Creating Advanced Components in ActionScript     315
Summary     318
Flex Components     319
Custom Events in Components     319
Dispatching Custom Events     319
Using Metadata Tags in Components     321
[ArrayElementType]     321
[Bindable]     321
[DefaultProperty]     324
[Embed]     324
[Event]     325
[Effect]     326
[IconFile]     327
[Inspectable]     327
[InstanceType]     328
[NonCommittingChangeEvent]     328
[RemoteClass]     330
[Style]     330
Compiling Components     332
Compiling Components with Flex SDK     332
Compiling Components with Flex Builder     332
Deploying Components     338
Summary     340
Custom Formatter, Validator, and Effect Components     341
Custom Formatters     341
Customizing the SwitchSymbolFormatter Class     341
Extending the Formatter Class     344
Custom Formatter Example     345
Formatter Errors     346
Custom Validators     347
Creating Effects     349
Extending the Effect Class     349
Extending the EffectInstance Class     350
Custom Effect Example     350
Extending the TweenEffect Class     353
Extending the TweenEffectInstance Class     353
Custom TweenEffect Example     354
Custom Effect Triggers     357
Summary     359
Programming ActionScript 3.0     361
Overview of ActionScript Programming     363
Introduction to ActionScript     363
What's New in ActionScript 3.0     364
Compatibility with Previous Versions     366
Getting Started with ActionScript     367
ActionScript 3.0 Is More than Flex     367
ActionScript 3.0 Coding Considerations     372
Running ActionScript Applications     373
Display Programming     374
Understanding the Display Architecture     374
Working with Display Objects     376
Using the Core Display Classes      381
Summary     387
Data Types and Classes     389
Value Types     389
Primitive Data Types     390
Complex Data Types     390
Dates and Times     391
Creating Calendar Dates and Times     391
Retrieving Time Values by Unit     392
Date Manipulation     393
Strings     395
Length Property     395
Characters in Strings     395
String Comparison     396
Obtaining String Representations of Objects     396
Concatenation     397
Patterns and Substrings     397
Uppercase and Lowercase Conversion     399
Arrays     399
Index Arrays     399
Associative Arrays     403
Multidimensional Arrays     407
Cloning Arrays     408
Error Handling     408
Error Types     408
Custom Error Classes     411
Exception Handling     414
Regular Expressions     415
Regular Expressions and Strings     415
Using the RegExp Class     416
Using Groups     417
XML      418
Introduction to XML     418
E4X Introduction     420
E4X Classes     420
Summary     426
Building and Deploying Flex 2.0 Applications     427
Building and Deploying Flex Applications     429
Flex Framework and Application Directory Structure     429
Flex and Flash Player Security and Technology Concerns     432
Network Security Concerns     432
Open Technology Concerns     433
Flash Player Security Features     434
Building and Deploying Applications     435
Building for Flex 2 SDK     436
Building for Flex Data Services 2     437
Compiling an Application     439
Deployment Directory Structure     442
Applying Flex Security     445
Flex Security Features     445
Improving Startup Performance     447
Startup Order     447
Using Deferred Creation     449
Deferring Component Creation     452
Using Ordered Creation     455
Using the callLater() Method     458
Summary     460
Debugging and Testing     461
Logging Overview     461
Flash Debug Player      462
Logging API     463
Compiler Logging     464
Web-tier Logging     464
Client-side Logging     464
Using the Logging API     465
Custom Logger     465
Flex Builder Debugging Tools     471
Invoking     472
Configuring     472
Breakpoints and Stepping     475
Command-line Debugger     475
Invoking     475
Configuring     476
Debugger Commands     477
Summary     478
Deploying Flex Applications     479
Deployment Considerations     479
Server-side and Client-side Caching     481
Deployment Options     485
RSL Deployment     485
Flash Player Sandbox and Cross-Domain Consideration     487
Deploying a Flex 2 SDK Application that Uses RSL     488
Compiling for Deployment     493
Troubleshooting Tips and Common Deployment Problems     497
Asset and Dependent Files     497
Run-time Data Access     498
Proxy Server     498
Accessing Server-side Resources from Different Domains     499
Deploying a Flex Data Service Application Under Tomcat     500
Configuring for FDS     506
Creating a Wrapper     508
Migrating and Transferring Files     509
Defining Features     510
mxmlc Compiler     511
Adding Features to the Wrapper     512
Creating a Wrapper that Supports Web Standards     514
[left angle bracket]object[right angle bracket] and [left angle bracket]embed[right angle bracket]     518
Using Express Install     520
Editing Your Wrapper     521
Configuring Express Install on Flex Data Services     525
Upgrading Without Express Install     526
Summary     527
Advanced Flex 2.0     529
Using the Cairngorm Framework     531
The Cairngorm Framework     531
Understanding Frameworks     532
Application Frameworks     532
Architectural Frameworks     532
Building an Application Using the Cairngorm Framework     533
Value Object and Model Locator Pattern     534
The View     537
The Front Controller, Cairngorm Event Broadcaster, and Command Patterns     541
Business Delegate and Service Locator     545
Summary      547
Using the Flex-Ajax Bridge     549
Why Use Flex with JavaScript?     549
Requirements for the FA Bridge     550
Memory-Consumption Issues     551
Flex-Ajax Bridge Samples     551
Using Flex Validators from JavaScript     551
Create Flex Components Using JavaScript     555
Summary     559
Using the ActionScript 3.0 Libraries     561
Types of Libraries     562
How to Include the SWC in Your Application     562
Building a Simple Application Using One of the Libraries     565
Summary     571
Using ColdFusion/Flex Connectivity     573
Using the Flash Remoting Update     573
Using the Flex Messaging Event Gateway     583
The Structure of Messages     585
Using the ColdFusion Event Gateway Adapter     587
Using the Flex Data Service Assembler     591
Configuring ColdFusion     591
Value Object CFC     594
EmployeeAssembler.cfc     595
The DAO.cfc     596
ColdFusion Extensions for Flex Builder 2     597
Eclipse RDS Support Plugin     597
Installation     601
Create CFC Wizard     604
ActionScript to CFC Wizard     605
CFC to ActionScript Wizard     605
Services Browser     606
Summary     606
Integration Techniques     607
Rich Media Integration     609
Integration     610
Audio     610
Video     610
Using the Camera     612
Building an Application with Rich Media Integration     613
The Inner Workings of the Application     617
Summary     620
Integration with External Applications     621
Using the External API     621
AVM1 and AVM2 SWF Communication     622
ExternalInterface and LocalConnection     625
Building Custom Tracing Utility     626
Flash Player Process Structure     626
Using LocalConnection and C# .NET Windows Application     627
Summary     641
Flex 2.0.1     643
Run-time CSS Support     643
ASDoc Tool     647
ASDoc Tags and Syntax     647
Documenting the Logger Classes     648
Using the ASDoc Compiler     649
Documenting the Logger Classes - Continued      650
Building Modular Flex Applications     657
Summary     663
Index     665
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