CFUnited: Flex 101

Welcome from the ColdFusion/Flex Coding Kitchen. Idiot-boy (me) forgot to pack the powercord for my laptop when I transferred things into my new CFUnited backpack. The good news? Forty minutes into the 3-hour session and they are still covering the install for all of the various components that are needed (I did this in advance since I signed up for the class a month ago).

We know now, from Ben Forta's keynote, that Flex Builder 2.0, Flash Player 9, and all of the other nifty stuff involved (i.e.: CF 7.0.2 updater, etc.) were officially released at midnight last night.

OK, one hour in and we're now starting some training. Our presenter is showcasing an example of an online MP3 player designed in Flex. This leads into discussion on the Eclipse based Flex Builder IDE, showing the basics of the design view.

This example app is using web services calls to a CF component. He's done this to show that weeb services calls are possible for data access (through PHP, ASP, etc), though it's possible (even preferrable) to access the CFC through Flash Remoting or Flash Data Services. Ben had stated, in the keynote, several advantages to integrating CF and Flex, including using FDS for real-time data record state management within multiple concurrent transactions. This functionality is only available with ColdFusion.

Now going through creating an app from scratch, utilizing Flex's wizards to 'create' the initial application. This wizard will generate your beginning data access objects for the tables of the db specified, with CRUD methods and all. You can set up pages (views) with reference to tables, query objects, foreign keyed data, etc. Some confusion among other attendees about the difference between the query builder and the form designer, which appear very similar and give you a great deal of flexability for quickly designing your views, even around complex data sets. It'll even set up a basic (no true starting functionality) authentication set up on specified page views when you ask for it. He hit 'Finish', watched the files auto-generate, hit 'Run', and...BAM! There it was! Basic, but functional. Next he adjusted the login/logout methods in the auto-generated CFC, recompiled, and BAM! There it was. So simple. I can't tell you how smokin' this is.

Wonder what we could have gotten through if everyone had started prepared?

CFUnited Begins

So, here we are, in the keynote for CFUnited, Day 1.

Last night Aaron West and I went to the MiniMax conference, put on by Adam Bell. Adam is an interesting character, and a lot of fun to speak with. He has a varied background from many different geographical areas, and currently works out of L.A. Aaron spoke on the CF Application framework, Simon Horwith on Flex, and many other great speakers doing quick, 15 minute presentations on various Adobe products.

This morning, after a late wake up, I met up with Aaron and headed for the conference center. While Aaron was registering (I registered last nigt) I stepped out for a smoke with Simon Horwith. He filled me in on the 'secret' he couldn't let out of the bag last night. Ben Forta is going to announce (in just a moment) what went live on the Adobe site at midnight, the final release of Flex 2.0. Exciting news!

Anyway, signing off for now. I want to listen to Ben's keynote. More as the day goes on...