Build Hotter Apps Using Catalyst and ColdFusion

I was chatting with someone last night, and they said:

“Most ColdFusion apps are designed to be intranet apps… and boy do they look like it.”

It’s true. ColdFusion enables rapid application development, but not necessarily pretty rapid application development. However Flash Catalyst enables rapid, pretty, application development.

And let’s be clear here, pretty is not superficial. It’s not just about chrome and bling. It’s about making application that your users want to use instead of apps that your users have to use.

So if you’d like to see how to turbo charge your front end development with effective, pretty, ui’s come to my session:

How Catalyst Will Transform the ColdFusion Developer.” Friday 3:15PM – 4:15PM Ballroom D

Speaking at Wharton Higher Education Web Symposium

Once again I’m happy to be participating in an awesome Philadelphia based event.

On July 21-22 Wharton will host the Higher Education Web Symposium, an event that brings developers, designers and IT managers from Higher Education together to talk about making web experiences better. It’s open to the public, so if you are not in Higher Ed, but it sounds interesting, feel free to sign up.

I’ll be talking about Flash Catalyst, and showing how it can be used to quickly create interfaces for your web applications.

Can’t wait to see you all in Philly.

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 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

Resources for Teaching RIA using Flash Platform

This got lost a little in the shuffle around MAX. If you’re interested in teaching RIA development, or Flex development in general have we got a site for you:

Rich Internet Application teaching resources

We’ve brought together a wide range of resources for you here including small tutorials, course project ideas, best practice documents, and book recommendations. All it all, a one stop for designing RIA courses around the Flash Platform.

Flex 4 and Chromeless AIR applications

I’ve been working on a class for some of our higher education community members. I take the class from an Illustrator comp, through Flash Catalyst, then Flash Builder, and Flex to a Flex Application, then on to an AIR application. Because I’m starting in Catalyst, when I get to the AIR application I don’t really want to use AIR’s chrome. Rather, I’d like to go chromeless and let the UI handle things like closing the application and whatnot.

I found a good tutorial on doing chromeless AIR applications. But no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get rid of this big blank whitespace in my application, despite following the directions to the letter.

After a lot of trial and error it turns out that the old way of making the Application background disappear using CSS (step 6 in the article) doesn’t work with the new component model. Instead you have to use a custom skin on the WindowedApplication tag.

The following skin works for me. I’m by no means an expert at this skinning stuff yet, but it gets the job done.

Now let me make it clear. There may be another way to do this. There may be a better way of doing it. It’s also possible that this is the flat out wrong way to do it. But when I searched for this, I got nothing. So I figured, I could at least help somebody just get the job done, and worry about “the right way” later.