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Foundation Flex for Developers: Data-Driven Applications with PHP, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, and LCDS

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Foundation Flex for Developers: Data-Driven Applications with PHP, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, and LCDS [Paperback]

Sas Jacobs
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 16, 2007 1590598946 978-1590598948 1

Flex is a very powerful and versatile technology for creating web application front-ends. But what every good web application needs is a robust data source, be it XML, or a database. Flex is very adaptable in terms of connecting to data sources, and that is the main focus of this book.

In Foundation Flex for Developers, author Sas Jacobs assumes that you've got the basics of Flex down already, and explores in detail how to create professional data-centric Flex 2 and Flex 3 applications. In the first half of the book, she starts off with a brief exploration of Flex and ActionScript 3.0, before looking at application essentials in detail—creating custom components, user and web browser interactions, binding, formatting, and validating data, debugging, and more.

In the second half of the book, the focus is on connecting Flex to data sources, and covers XML, LiveCycle Data Services, PHP, ASP.NET, and ColdFusion in detail, via a series of step-by-step case studies.

  • Covers Flex application basics
  • Covers connecting Flex 2 and Flex 3 to a variety of Data Sources
  • Includes several complete case studies

What you’ll learn

  • How to create custom components
  • How to handle user and web browser interactions
  • How to debug Flex 2 applications
  • How to bind, format, and validate data
  • How to load and write external content
  • The essentials of XML, and working with it in Flex 2, including E4X
  • The essentials of Flex Data Services
  • How to build up data-driven Flex 2 applications with PHP, ASP.NET, and ColdFusion backends

Who this book is for

This book is for any Flex developer who knows the basics of building Flex user interfaces, and wants to learn how to connect their applications to data sources.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sas Jacobs is a Web developer who loves working with Flash. She set up her business Anything Is Possible in 1994, working in the areas of web development, information technology training and technical writing. The business works with large and small clients building web applications with ASP.NET, Flash, XML and databases. Sas has also spoken at conferences such as Flash Forward, MXDU and FlashKit on topics relating to XML and dynamic content in Flash. In her spare time, Sas is passionate about travelling, photography and enjoying life. One of her most fervent wishes is that Flash will take over the Web!

Product Details

  • Series: Foundation
  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (December 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590598946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590598948
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,856,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book February 2, 2008
This is not a good book to learn from unless you learn best by thinking very deeply about what the teacher says and correcting errors.
I am up to Page 27 and have worked through the first example with FlexBuilder3. The book is riddled with problems, including typographical errors, imprecise explanations, and even a conceptual error.

Example page 21: click="txtResult.text= = String( ..."
While reading this I wasted about two minutes trying to puzzle out why there would be two equals signs in a row before deciding that this is probably a typo. By working the example on my computer I confirmed this.

Example page 23: The book refers to both a NumberValidator and NumericValidator.
An engaged student will have to wonder, are there two different kinds of Validator, or is the teacher lazy? No one wants a lazy teacher but that appears to be the case here.

Example page 23: "The CDATA declaration prevents Flex Builder from parsing the contents of the..."
I believe this is an imprecision that can seriously throw someone off who is trying to learn this stuff. In fact the CDATA declaration prevents the *compiler* from parsing the contents of the... Flex Builder only gets involved because it happens to invoke the compiler, but the compiler is a separate agent here, and the critical one that should have been named.

Example page 26: "This event object will also be dispatched when the user clicks the Convert button because the validator uses the click TriggerEvent."
I don't mean to be an impertinent student, but I would suggest that this is just plain wrong and it reveals a conceptual misunderstanding on the author's part.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special January 14, 2008
To be honest, i was really excited when i saw that title "data driven applications with php,, coldfusion and lcds". what do you expect from a 600 page book that contains less than 90 pages on the topic it portrays. i have always liked the author but she disappointed me this time. its a good book yes...but if you are looking into getting deep into data driven flex applications using server side technologies like php, coldfusion etc...look else where.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not about Data-driven application June 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't enjoy this book for two reasons.
Firstly, if you are at all familiar with Flex, it was very wordy and basic. This meant that you had to spend a lot of time scanning over stuff to make sure it wasn't covering anything that you didn't already know.
Secondly, it really didn't explore the XML/AMF options or validation or data integrity or performance or data dictionary techniques. I was left with the feeling that the authors had never been involved in a large data oriented software development project.
So on the hole, rather a waste of time for me. I suspect that if you come from a Flash design background and want to move across to systems development, this might be a useful resource.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good resource if you're migrating from Flash to Flex December 30, 2009
This book a great way to get you working in Flex fast... if you already have a good understanding of AS3 from a Flash background. If you're not familiar with AS3 than there are some sticking points that slow you down. But if you're goal is to transition form working in Flash to working in Flex, then this book is an excellent place to start.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Coverage of Flex with Decent Case Studies April 28, 2008
This book was an in depth coverage of the Flex technology, from creating custom components to how to build data driven applications. There is a great chapter on integrating with the web browser using javascript or an Ajax-Flex bridge.

It goes very in depth in covering XML in Flex builder with detailed information on understanding E4X expressions. Which I will refer back to many times in my development process for these great techniques. And great best practice information for MXML.

I would have liked more coverage of how to integrate Flex with the Flash IDE type workflow. Other than creating components. There's a good but brief overview of AS3.

The case studies for connecting to data-driven applications are pretty short but useful. The PHP chapter walks though a Flex blog management system with a tabbed interface. It walks through how to set this up in with PHP code and how to connect to a MySQL database. With all the sample files available for download on the Friends of Ed website.

The book is very long (over 500 pages) and most useful for me as a desk reference when needing assistance while working with particular items in Flex. It tries to cover so much in terms of data driven technologies that the individual case studies feel a bit shallow.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn or improve their knowledge of Flex and best practices using AS3 in Flex.
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