Who is Using Flex?
Flex is a key part of SAP’s plan to improve the quality of their user interfaces. In a recent itworld.com piece, James Governor explained the need for SAP to pursue improvements in their user interfaces.
"Anything that improves SAP's interfaces, which are hideous and hard to use, is a good thing," said James Governor, an industry analyst with RedMonk LLC.Spend Analytics is SAP’s first full-blown effort with Flex:
SAP has just developed its first application based entirely on Flex, called Spend Analytics, for aggregating and analyzing spend data, said Matthias Zeller, a senior Adobe product manager, in a presentation at Tech Ed.HP has also pushed ahead with Flex, launching a Print Studio recently built using Flex. Adobe’s Mike Potter announced the release of the new application on his blog this week. He outlines how the application works, and observes:
This is a really nice looking Flex application that doesn't look anything like a typical Flex application. Kudos to the HP team for doing such a great job on it.Google has joined the Flex developer community with a Flex version of their Searchmash application. Adobe’s Mike Potter makes a few observations on their Flex implementation:
There are a few interesting things about this Flex application. First of all, for video searches you can play the videos right in the search results, without having to visit the site. A nice touch, though the way they've implemented it could be done in an HTML page as well (the videos play on the right side of the results - it would be neat to play the search results themselves).In addition to those adopting Flex, Adobe has formed a few interesting partnerships, including a recent alliance with Business Objects. PCWorld.com details the partnership:
The second interesting thing that they've done is embed Google Maps in their Flex application. I haven't had time to figure out how they've done this (are they overlaying the HTML over the Flex application, or have they built a Flex version of Google Maps), but either solution would be really cool.
Adobe Systems Inc. is teaming up with Business Objects SA to add business-intelligence capabilities to rich Internet applications (RIAs).Along with a growing number of groups building Flex applications, Adobe is boasting a number of notable early adopters to their Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). The Register notes a number of the companies highlighted at the Adobe Max 2007 conference:
… Adobe and Business Objects also will explore technology to integrate Adobe's Flex development environment and Xcelsius to make it quicker and easier for developers to create more visually interesting business-intelligence applications.
Adobe paraded a string of early adopters at its Max 07 conference in Chicago to reinforce the message AIR is ready for action. AOL, eBay, PayPal, Business Objects, SAP, Yahoo! and Salesforce.com showed off desktop applications developed using AIR, Flex and Flash.Adobe has created a lot of buzz of late. There are certainly a number of interesting adopters to put some substance behind all the hype.
ILOG Elixir provides visualization capabilities for Flex
- 2D chart extensions with radar charts (also named spider charts)
- Full 3D charts including bar/column, area, line and pie
- Treemap charts, for analyzing large data sets
- Planning and scheduling displays, such as Gantt charts
- Organizational charts
- Maps for creating interactive dashboards
Scripting languages are back with a vengance
ECMAScript is a skill every J2EE developer should develop. The ECMAScript community needs the influence of good design and pattern usage that is (usually) found in the J2EE community.
But, I would like to note that the programming paradigm is quite different to JS/web-based apps. It is not web programming, but rather client-server, much like Java applets (in fact, I like to think of Flex as Java applets done right). So, there is quite a learning curve in terms of architecture.
Re: Flex Showcase
Without any prior knowledge of Flex/Flash we built our application in less than two weeks. The integration between Java and Flex is super simple and getting started with Flex is just a walk in the park.
The tool support is very good too with Flex Builder you get the familiar surroundings of Eclipse and you are off and running without much problems.
The one thing that is missing is better tools for continuous integration and better plugins into Maven for building Flex applications.
Re: Flex rocks
It uses iframes and is a little buggy. The browser is basically applying things over top the flex content.
This is a very interesting idea but the place where flex goes wrong in my mind thinking compiling everything up into a single unaccessible file is ok. Text is a good thing and the reason why silverlight will gain some speed. But in the end the silverlight will fail because it is to basic and a more comprehensive actionscript solution will be released.