May 5, 2008
Live blogging from SAPPHIRE 2008 in Orlando. Andre Salazar from Adobe is giving a session on creating engaging experiences for SAP using Adobe technology.
Main themes are Adobe has an entire group for managing the SAP partnership. Technologies highlighted include Flash, Flex, Air, PDF, and LiveCycle.
Partnership started in 2002 to replace SAP SmartForms with PDF Forms. Today, the partnership includes other technologies including Enterprise Learning (Acrobat Connect) and user experiences (Flash/Flex dashboards for SAP Analytics, RIA's within SAP).
SAP has licensed Flex for Visual Composer as well as several new areas, launching later this year.
Right now Andre is concentrating on Air. SAP is interested in Air for desktop/off-line capabilities. I'm not completely sure the way he's explaining it is connecting with the SAP audience. He's bouncing back and forth between Flex and Air, and I think that's further confusing people. They do seem to be respoding positively to the UI's that are being shown.
He's showing an example now of a company that put a Flex front end on top of SAP CRM. It's a (very) simple dashboard with charts and graphs. SAP is shipping an app later this year called Spend Analytics that's built in Flex and exposes cost and spend analysis. It's available in both Flex and Air.
Flex Islands inside of WebDynPro, also available later this year lets you embed Flex components inside the WebDynPro environment.
Excelsius (Business Objects) makes heavy use of Flex to generate rich dashboards from Excel data.
At Adobe, they use Flex and SAP for MDM Management internally.
He's now showing some more demos. The first one is the Adobe Customer Response Tool, built in Air. It's lined with SAP CRM for customer trouble ticket resolution. I see Christine Lawson's name on the demo screen ;-)
Next demo is the Adobe Directory, also built in Air. It's a little search widget that ties in with their LDAP as well as SAP's HCM system and MS Exchange. If someone in the search is available, you can pull up a map of the office and see where they sit. The latest version has voice chat too. Pretty slick.
He's now showing Acrobat Connect. It's amazing how much better Acrobat Connect is than WebEx and LiveMeeting.
Well, that's about it. Time to move on to my next session.
October 2, 2007
Back from break. The next 4 presenters are getting ready to go...
Danielle Beaumont is showing off custom skinning Flex and Air components using Fireworks. I'm not really familiar with all of the challenges associated with custom skinning (other than the fact that most Flex apps have a very similar look and feel), but I can see that what she's doing here is making a lot of people happy (loud applause).
I have to post this now. Be right back for part 3...
October 2, 2007
Live blogging from the Sneak Peeks session at Adobe MAX 2007. Sneak Peeks is one of my favorite sessions. It's always interesting to see what's on the minds of Adobe engineers, and what might be coming down the line in future releases.
They're pulling a Blues Brothers skit with Mike Downey and Marc Eaman dressed up like Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. The standard disclaimer applies - the tech previews here may or may not ever make it into products...
There's going to be a vote for best sneak at the end of the session (built with CF and Flex, of course).
First up is Karl Miller and Karl Soule from the visual communicator (Vc) team. They're showing off a new tool (version 3) for doing video production that's supposed to be easy enough for a third grader to use. It has a teleprompter interface for script reading with the ability to place content at various places throughout the timeline. Pretty simple and powerful. It can also communicate with Flash Media Server for live streaming. It can control up to 3 cameras and has both blue and green screen built in. This tool looks like it makes it very simple to do tv quality production on a laptop.
Up now is Danielle Diebler who is showing off VoIP in the Flash Player. She's also mention that P2P in the Flash Player as well as extended codecs are in the works. She's demoing an application now that built using the technology called CoCoNiki. It's an online diary that uses voice and presence awareness. The VoIP quality seems pretty good so far. She's moving on to an Air application now that also does VoIP (she's making a live call to a cell phone.
Ken Sundermeyert is up from the Flash Home for Mobile group. He says Flash Home will let you replace the home screen on your phone (has to be a Flash enabled phone, of course) with a customized Flash based screen. The market for personalization is huge (2+ billion last year, excluding ringtones). Flash Home is capable of getting web data, including from Flash Cast. It is also integrated with the device. No sandbox, so it can access phone functionality natively (address book, sms, call logs, etc.). He's demoing a custom home screen that he built that pulls up a person's location when they call by getting their phone number from the call log, checking the area code, and displaying a graphic of the city. Live demo of someone in the audience calling his phone. The wallpaper on the phone switches from blue background to the Statue of Liberty. You'll also be able to get home screens from a catalog over the air.
Geoff Baum is showing off Photoshop Express, a new online version of Photoshop built using Flex. It's not meant to replace the full Photoshop, but is supposed to provide a "consumer" alternative for performing common image editing tasks. The interface is pretty intuitive. Lots of impressive editing capabilities. It's got a timeline for edits, so you can move backward/forward in edit sequences. All of the editing is non-destructive. Very impressive stuff!
They're setting up for part 2 now, so I'm going to cut this post of here, grab a beer, then come back for more. Stay tuned...
February 1, 2006
By now, you've probably heard that Adobe released a public beta of the upcoming Flex 2 platform. What you may not know, however, is that there's also an update to ColdFusion MX 7 (Mystic) in beta as well.
This new version contains enhancements designed to support advanced Flex integration from within ColdFusion. Enhancements include an update to Flash remoting to support ActionScript 3 as well as an event gateway for communication with thenew Flex messaging service.
Adobe states that "ColdFusion simply provides the easiest way to create a publish/subscribe messaging system with Flex." I haven't had a chance to play with the Mystic/Flex 2.0 combo yet, but I'm really looking forward to the possibilities.
October 17, 2005
Mike Nimer says ColdFusion + the new Flex Builder (formerly Zorn) = WOW! So, what's new here? Basically, a new ColdFusion Adapter that uses the new AMF protocol that works with Actionscript 3.
The new adapter allows for standard data type support, ValueObjects (passing actual instances of Actionscript Classes that map directly to CFC instances and vice versa), and security roles via the CFLOGIN framework.
November 2, 2004
Kerry wins the 2004 MAX election 54 to 42 percent. The point of this post isn't political. What's interesting is that the "election" took place real-time during the keynote via SMS messaging. Participants were told to text their vote to a number given on the screen. A RIA built using Flex on the front end and Blackstone on the backend tallied the results real-time and reported them graphically on the screen. It was pretty cool to watch the graphs update in real-time as the votes came in.
More interesting was a demo given a little later where they were able to show the breakout, by state, of how people voted. This was based on an area code lookup of the captured phone numbers from the SMS voting.
The actual SMS work was handled by a new feature in Blackstone called the SMS Gateway. More on gateways later.
November 2, 2004
Although not entirely new, the team over at iteration::two has released a unit testing framework for ActionScript 2.0 called AS2Unit. The framework is available for free, and the project is currently looking for additional support from the community to help grow the project.
Update: Lance Linder points out that a 2nd unit testing framework (and more) is also available, as2lib.
March 5, 2004
I'm happy to see that Steve Rittler, long time Philly CFUG manager, has entered the world of blogging with his State of Independence blog. Steves a really great guy, and an excellent developer. Although his blog isn't specific to MAcromedia technologies (it's built in ASP.Net), Steve has a lot of insite to offer on both ColdFusion and Flash development. Look for a lot of good information from Steve in the near future.
November 20, 2003
IBM gave a sneak peak at an Eclipse plugin for developing Flex applications within Eclipse. For those of you using Eclipse for your Java (or other langs) development, having the ability to develop Flex front ends in the familiar environment of Eclipse is going to be pretty sweet.
November 19, 2003
At this morning's keynote, Rod Smith, VP of Emerging Technology at IBM gave a ringing endorsement for Macromedia's new Flex technology. His two main points:
1. J2EE is a great platform for middleware, but falls short on the client/presentation layer. 2. Flex represents a platform agnostic (meaning supported by J2EE/ColdFusion and .Net) solution for the presentation layer that appeals to traditional code based developers.
One other interesting point that I think Rod made (actually it was just on a slide) was the use of Flex with enterprise portals. I've been doing a lot of research/work with portals lately, and I think it would be really interesting to see how Flex would/could be used within the Portlet framework specified in JSR 168 and JSR 170. I'm hoping that IBM and Macromedia will have more to say on this topic soon.