Holy Crap I’m a Mobile Developer

I’m starting up new little series entitled “Holy Crap, I’m a Mobile Developer.” The idea is that somewhere along the way I developed the ability to build applications for mobile devices, specifically Android. Sadly I can’t take any credit for this. The Flash Platform engineering teams did this to me.

In my series of demos, I’m going to show how to take a static Fireworks composition and turn it into an application running on a Nexus One. I start out using Flash Catalyst to turn the static composition into an interactive one (interactive composition sounds better than “dumb prototype”). After Catalyst, I add business logic using Flash Builder. Finally I use the AIR 2.5 SDK and the Android SDK to convert it to an Android app and drop it onto my phone.

My point here with these posts is to show off just how frickin’ easy it is to get your stuff onto a mobile device with the Flash Platform. It’s so easy that I can do it. That’s not false modesty, I’m mostly a back-end ColdFusion expert; on the front-end though, I’m usually at a loss. Not with these tools, I’m not. These tools make me look like a front-end genius. So I hope you enjoy this series.

Come be Part of Adobe Developer Week

Adobe Developer Week is next week, and it is shaping up to be massive. We’ve put together a lineup of 19 sessions dedicated to current and pressing topics on the Flash Platform. In response over 20,0000 of you have signed up and are ready to learn more.

I’m personally doing two sessions:

Adobe Flash Builder 4 and Adobe ColdFusion 9

May 12, 2010 2 pm PDT

Flash Builder 4 and ColdFusion 9 were made to work with each other, literally. This session will show you the features in ColdFusion 9 that will make your Flex life easier. You will also get to see how Flash Builder’s new features help to rapidly make Flash-powered front ends for your ColdFusion back ends.

Adobe ColdFusion 9 and Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5

May 14, 2010 11 am PDT

ColdFusion has always been about RAD. It continues to be the fastest way to create back-ends for your data-driven applications. Flash Catalyst can do the same for your front ends, making it easy to create Flash-powered content that people want to use. This session will show you how Flash Catalyst and ColdFusion can be combined for some lightning-fast application development.

So go sign up and be a part of what is shaping up to be quite a massive event.

Make sure you check out the rest of the content:

  • Welcome and Introduction to the Adobe® Flash® Platform: Ben Forta
  • Building Multi-Screen Applications with the Adobe® Flash® Platform and Adobe® Creative Suite® 5: Paul Trani
  • New Features in Adobe® Flex® 4 Framework: Deepa Subramaniam
  • New Features in Adobe® Flash® Builder™ 4: Andrew Shorten
  • Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™ CS5 for Developers: Doug Winnie
  • Building Mobile Applications with Adobe® Flash® Professional™ CS5: Create a Game: Paul Trani
  • What’s New in Adobe® Flash® Builder™ for Java Developers: James Ward
  • New Features in Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1: Lee Brimelow
  • Creating Sexy Applications with the Adobe® Flash® Platform: Designer-Developer Workflow: Serge Jespers
  • A Basic CRUD Application with Zend AMF and Adobe® Flex 4 Ryan Stewart and Kevin Schroeder
  • Adobe® Flash® Builder™ 4 and Adobe® ColdFusion® 9: Terry Ryan
  • Advanced Features In Adobe® Flex®: Ely Greenfield
  • AS34J: ActionScript 3 for Java Developers: Chet Haase
  • Adobe® Flash® Platform and Salesforce.com: James Ward
  • Adobe® Flash® Builder™ for Adobe® Dreamweaver® CS5 Users: Ryan Stewart
  • Using Advanced Features with Adobe® Flex® & PHP: Ryan Stewart
  • Adobe® ColdFusion® 9 and Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™ CS5: Terry Ryan
  • Adobe® Flex® and BlazeDS Integration with SpringSource: Christophe Coenraets and Jeremy Grelle
  • Building Desktop Applications with Adobe® AIR® 2.0: Ryan Stewart

In Philly Again!

Once again, it is my pleasure to present to the hometown crowd here in Philly.

I’ll be presenting to an uber collection of Philadelphia area Adobe groups:

I’ll be presenting on what’s new in the Flex 4, Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst releases. I hope to see you all there:

Wednesday, April 28th @ 6:30pm

Wharton’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall Room
Room G65
3730 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA

SEPTA: Trolley to 36th or 37th street stations

Parking: Closest: 38th & Walnut

ColdFusion Builder Tour – LA Area

This week I’m doing two stops on the ColdFusion Builder User Group tour. Both are in the LA area.

I’ll be stopping by the The Inland Empire ColdFusion User Group meeting on April 7th at 7:00PM on the Cal Poly Pomona campus. Check out their site for directions and whatnot.

I’ll also be stopping by the LA Web Professionals meeting on April 8th at 6:30 in Hollywood. Check out their site for whatnot and directions.

I’ll be talking about ColdFusion Builder as well as Flex and Flash Builder. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Using ColdFusion and Flash Builder Together

Since the cat’s out of the bag on the fact that ColdFusion Builder comes bundled with Flash Builder, I thought it might be good to share some tips for using them together.

Flash Builder 4 for ColdFusion Developers

This video gives a little overview of using ColdFusion services with Flash Builder. It will show exactly how to pull them in and use them together.

Using Flash Builder 4 and ColdFusion Builder in an integrated workflow

This article goes over using ColdFusion services with Flash Builder. It uses ColdFusion Builder and Apptacular to generate back-end services. It then shows you how to consume them with Flash Builder. Yes, it uses Apptacular, so if you want to get your hands on that, there is a download link. The copy of Apptacular included in this article definitely works with the demo. Past that, I know I’ve added some bug fixes since then, so caveat downloader.

ColdFusion Builder and Flash Builder FREE for Education

So yeah, the title pretty much says it all. If you are a student, faculty, or staff member of an educational institution, looking to use ColdFusion Builder or Flash Builder for educational purposes, they’re free.

Go get them: freeriatools.adobe.com.

It’s important to note, that if you are looking to set up a lab of multiple computers, you don’t have to get a license for every machine or student. You can use the license we give you to install on multiple machines. Just let us know when you sign up that you intend to do so.

Upgrade from Flex Builder 3 Professional and get ColdFusion Builder

Asked a few times in various places:

If I am a Flex Builder 3 Professional User, is there a way to upgrade and still get ColdFusion Builder, since ColdFusion Builder comes with a copy of Flash Builder?

If you are a Flex Builder 3 Professional User, you can upgrade to Flash Builder Premium for $299. Flash Builder Premium has a few key features above and beyond Flash Builder, including Network Monitor, profiling tools, and unit testing support. We made a handy upgrade chart for you.

To upgrade, you can head to the Adobe store.

ColdFusion Builder GO!

I’m happy to announce that this morning, at 12:00 AM EST*  ColdFusion Builder has been released and is available for purchase. Before I tell you how kick ass ColdFusion Builder is let me answer the questions everyone has asked me that I’ve had to be coy about for the past few months.

When will it be released?

TODAY!

How much will it cost?

ColdFusion Builder Standalone will cost $299 and will include Flash Builder Standard. That’s right; you get ColdFusion Builder and Flash Builder for $299.

Flash Builder Premium will also include ColdFusion Builder for the price of $699.

Where do I get it?

http://www.adobe.com/go/coldfusionbuilder

Okay, that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about ColdFusion Builder.

I love ColdFusion Builder. Sometime during the betas I switched over to using ColdFusion Builder, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve put up with reinstalling over and over and over again through 3 public betas, and several private alphas, and several private refreshes. I’ve done this because I was excited with every drop to see what our engineers added. With few exceptions every release was a phenomenal leap over the previous versions.

Of course I’m going to say this, because I work for Adobe, right? Well I’ve griped, but gripes go inward, not outwards. (At least in the written form 😉 )

It’s not hard for me to pick my favorite feature: ColdFusion Builder Extensions. Extending an IDE isn’t a new concept. We chose Eclipse as the platform for ColdFusion Builder precisely because it was designed to be extended. But the fact that ColdFusion developers can extend Builder with the language in which they are expert instead of dropping down to Java and Eclipse development is huge. It makes the development of plugins have almost no barriers to entry. Have an idea? Write 50 lines of code and XML and there it is. We’ve already seen 30 extensions up on RIAForge before ColdFusion Builder is even out of beta. I am continuously impressed at what the community is doing in this space, and I can’t wait to see what they do after today.

Check out for yourself what the community has done at the ColdFusion Builder Extensions section at RIAForge.

It’s tough to get a sense of how good a product is when you are working this close to it. You don’t know if you have something, or you’re suffering from groupthink. But some people will always find fault, some people will always love everything. You have to throw away those opinions and focus on the rest. Doing this, I think the verdict on ColdFusion Builder is that it is a great product, an impressive 1.0 product, and it still has lots of potential for which to strive in future versions.

I think the engineers, and product manager (Adam Lehman) deserve a round of applause (and several rounds of whatever they want to drink) for their efforts.

Go get yourself some ColdFusion Builder today!

 

* Or possibly earlier.

Capital Flash Camp 2010

I’m very excited to say I’ll be doing the keynote at Capital Flash Camp 2010.

I’ve been trying to get to one of the Flash Camp events for a while, as I hear great things about them. However, I’ve had scheduling conflicts for almost all of them.

If you’re in the DC area and looking to get into Flex and the rest of the Flash Platform here is your chance. Here’s the speaker lineup:

  • Adnaan Ahmad, Anaara Media
  • Huyen Tue Dao
  • Terry Ryan, Adobe
  • Christian Saylor, Universal Mind
  • Chris Scott, Universal Mind
  • Carl Smith, nGen Works
  • Jeff Tapper, Digital Primates
  • Dave Watts, Fig Leaf Software

It’s a monster lineup that I’m proud to be a part of. So go register for Capital Flash Camp.

ColdFusion Builder Extension Using Flex

So, buried in the documentation around ColdFusion Builder is the fact that you can write extensions in Flex. I decided to fool around with this for a bit.

If you want to skip all of the demo and explanation and just try it out, feel free to pull down the extension:

Builder Stats at RIAForge

 
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9946314&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

Builder Stats – ColdFusion Extension with Flex from Terry Ryan on Vimeo.

 

So doing it is pretty easy on the Builder side:

  • Create a remote service CFC for all of the information that you want to expose to Flex
  • Have your ColdFusion Builder extension pass information to the Flex generated SWF
    • Pass any variables to the SWF just like you would pass URL variables

On the Flex side:

  • Pull in the remote service cfc as a WSDL* using Flash Builder’s Data/Services
  • Write your Flex app to use the services that get created
  • Alter the generated ActionScript classes to use a WSDL that is passed into the SWF via the URL (Flash Params)

One more thing:

I’m not sure if this is a Flex thing, a ColdFusion thing, an OS thing, a webservices thing, or a me being dumb thing, but the automatically generated WSDL for my remote service CFC was different on Windows and Mac. Consequently the SWF could call the Mac hosted WSDL but not the Windows hosts WSDL. My solution? Create a static WSDL file that had the service spelled both ways. Maybe a hack but worked like charm.

Anyway, if you want to see the code, it’s available on github:

*WSDL? Why not Flash Remoting (or ColdFusion in the Data/Services list)? Remoting needs to be configured to each system’s configuration, and isn’t very discoverable. WSDL doesn’t require knowing about the Extension user’s AMF setup; it just uses a URL, which can be easily discovered.