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Model Driven Development with Adobe Flex

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Adobe has announced another step forward in the Flex eco-system with the beta release of Adobe LiveCycle Data Services 3 (LCDS).  LCDS is the commercially available big brother of Blaze Data Services, Adobe’s open source data services product.  LCDS has long included advanced data management and messaging features that are often required or desirable when developing enterprise quality Flex applications.

Adobe’s Damon Cooper blogs about the release:

This public preview is the culmination of nearly 16 months of work (so far) by the LiveCycle Data Services engineering team, and while we have some ways to go before Final, we think you will appreciate the game-changing nature of this release, and it seemed time to get let the bits out for some feedback in the community.

The most game changing and interesting additions to the product in this release are the features to support model driven development and deployment. LCDS product manager, Anil Channappa, shares about the new modeling features in a recent article:

Adobe has developed a new technology, code named Fiber, which brings model-driven development to Flex developers. With Fiber, developers start by creating an application model from which they go on to develop the Flex user interface and the server business logic. It is easier and quicker to now develop Flex applications with Flash Builder 4 and LiveCycle Data Services 3.

The beta version of LiveCycle Data Services 3 provides a Fiber model run-time, and thus enables data persistence out of the box. With Fiber, data management is implicitly supported and does not require developers to create custom assemblers or employ complicated LiveCycle Data Services specific configurations. More often you can develop a functional application skeleton or prototype without ever having to write any Java or Flex code.

The new modeling features offer developers a complete front-to-back solution, including the necessary tools for building production applications. The key tool is the LCDS plug-in for the Flash Builder 4 IDE, recently released into beta, which includes a built-in modeler and strong service integration for developing the client side Flex application. There are other new features in the release, including support for reliable communication and data throttling. To learn more about the release check out Anil’s full article. Also, Adobe has published a couple of videos on the new features (one & two).

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