You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, Machine Learning

Adobe Flex: Article

Your First Adobe Flex Application with a ColdFusion Backend

The wow factor plus usability

Flex is a complete set of tools to develop rich Internet cross-platform applications based on the Flash platform. With Flex, you can create applications that not only have the "wow factor" necessary to please clients and users alike, but the "usability factor" necessary to make your application a real success.

 Flex 2 has recently been released and can be downloaded at Adobe's Web site. This release includes Flex Builder 2 (an IDE based on Eclipse) and Flash Player 9. At Adobe's Web site, you'll also find tools specifically for ColdFusion such as the ColdFusion/Flex Connectivity package and ColdFusion extensions for Flex Builder. If you know how Flex 1.5 works, you'll be happy to hear that Flex 2 doesn't require a Flex server and that you can develop and deploy applications with Flex 2 for free using the Flex SDK (if you don't use the IDE).

A Flex application communicates to external services, and we find ColdFusion to be a perfect tool for providing those services. In this article, we'll walk you through the construction of an application with a Flex frontend and a ColdFusion backend. We believe that the integration with ColdFusion is so smooth you won't even notice you're transferring data from a remote server. The application you'll construct is a simple to-do list, but it will let us show you several Flex and ColdFusion features.

To start, you'll need the tools mentioned above, specifically Flex Builder IDE and the ColdFusion connectivity package and extensions downloaded and installed.

Setting Up Your Environment
The application will use a database with only one table, so you need to create a database with your favorite DBMS. This database should contain a table called "Task" with the following columns: id (varchar 35), description (varchar 1000), done (bit), and priority (smallint). Then register the data source in the CF administrator with the name "mytodolist."

Now you're ready to open Flex Builder and create a new project. While running the New Project wizard, specify that you'll be using ColdFusion Flash Remoting Services because the application will be communicating to your ColdFusion server via Flash Remoting rather than other alternatives such as XML or Web Services (see Figure 1). Assuming that you're running the development version on your local computer (http://localhost:8500), you can select "Use local ColdFusion server" in the second screen of the wizard. In the next screen enter "mytodolist" as the name of the project in the default location and finally, in the last screen, specify "http://localhost:8500/mytodolist/" as the Output folder URL.

The extensions you downloaded and installed include RDS support for viewing files and data sources. Make sure you have RDS enabled in your CF administrator and that you've set up the RDS preferences in Flex Builder. If your RDS connection is set up properly, you should be able to open the RDS Dataview (you can open it from Window > Other Views > RDS) and see the data source you created earlier (see Figure 2).

Running the ColdFusion Wizard
Another handy feature included in the ColdFusion extensions is the ability to run automatic generation of basic ColdFusion components. The "Create CFC" wizard will generate all the ColdFusion code you need for this application. Then you'll make a few changes to the components to meet specific needs. From the RDS Dataview, look for your data source ("mytodolist"), open the tables node, and right-click on the "Task" table to run the ColdFusion wizards > Create CFC option of the context menu (see Figure 3). This action will open a dialog that asks you what type of CFC you want and some other basic options. Make sure the CFC folder is your current project folder (mytodolist). Set the CFC package name to "mytodolist." Also check the option "The primary key is controlled by the user" because the component will set the id instead of letting the database choose the id. You also want to create an ActionScript value object that matches your Task CFC. So you need to check "Create an actionscript value object."

When you're finished, you should have three new files in your project: Task.cfc, TaskGateway.cfc, and Task.as.

Overview of the Application
The application consists of a list of undone tasks and a form to add a new task. Each task contains an icon that indicates its priority, a label that shows the description of the task, and a button that can mark the task done and remove it from the view. Figure 4 shows the finished application with styles applied.

To construct it, you'll use these components: VBox, Repeater, Panel, Button, Label, and form controls such as TextArea and ComboBox. You'll also create a custom component that will represent the view of each task item (TaskItem.mxml) and a custom component that will contain the edit form (EditForm.mxml). By creating custom components, you can reuse them throughout your application.

If you are wondering about the data, the application will get the list of tasks from a ColdFusion service and send requests to add new tasks and mark them as done.

Main Application File
The New Project wizard created an empty main application file called mytodolist.mxml. You'll use this file as the main canvas where you'll place the components and most of the ActionScript code. In a larger application, you will probably not want all your code in the same file, but for simplicity, you'll keep it there.

We have not yet described how to get the data from the server, but once the application gets the list of tasks, you'll need to store it in a local variable. To do that, declare the variable "tasks" inside a <mx:Script> block.

      import mx.collections.ArrayCollection;

      private var tasks:ArrayCollection = null;

It's important to set this variable as "bindable" because you'll use it as the dataProvider of the repeater component.

In our layout, we want to have the list of tasks vertically positioned with one task below the other. By using a VBox component, we can add all the tasks and the VBox will position them how we want them. But the task list data will come from a ColdFusion service, so you don't know how many of them there'll be. So you'll use a repeater component that will "loop" over the collection of tasks and add them to the VBox.

<mx:VBox width="350">
<mx:Repeater dataProvider="{tasks}" id="taskList">
      <TaskItem taskData="{taskList.currentItem}" />

TaskItem Custom Component
If you save mytodolist.mxml file, you'll get an error indicating the TaskItem can't be resolved. This happens because we put the tag <TaskItem> inside the Repeater but the component TaskItem doesn't exist yet.

To create this custom component, you'll go to the File menu and click on New > MXML component. It will extend the Canvas and have 100% width because we want it to take the width of the parent container: the VBox. Save it as TaskItem.mxml.

More Stories By Nahuel Foronda

Nahuel Foronda is one of the founders of Blue Instant (http://www.blueinstant.com), a web development firm specializing in Rich Internet Applications where he has been creating award-winning applications and offering training for the last five years. He also maintains a blog, called AS Fusion (http://www.asfusion.com), where he writes about Flash, ColdFusion and other web technologies.

More Stories By Laura Arguello

Laura Arguello is one of the founders of Blue Instant (http://www.blueinstant.com), a web development firm specializing in Rich Internet Applications where she has been creating award-winning applications and offering training for the last five years. She also maintains a blog, called AS Fusion (http://www.asfusion.com), where she writes about Flash, ColdFusion and other web technologies.

Comments (17)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to in[email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...