Welcome!

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.

<mx:Script>
   <![CDATA[
      import mx.collections.ArrayCollection;

      [Bindable]
      private var tasks:ArrayCollection = null;
   ]]>
</mx:Script>

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}" />
   </mx:Repeater>
</mx:VBox>

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. 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 business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...