Boot Camps: Introduction to Adobe AIR, and LiveCycle DS / BlazeDS

We’ve seen high demand for our two Boot Camps we’ll have as part of the Adobe Developer Day event on May 19th in Bucharest, Romania. Because the space we have limits the number of persons we can accept, we had to turn down a lot of people.

Because we hate to turn down people, I found a solution. We will do in the next months these Boot Camps in Bucharest (Adobe’s office), and for the people who can’t attend in person, we’ll do it online using Acrobat Connect. As a reminder these events are free.

What do you have to do? Just send me an email(s) with the one of the following session names a the subject to mihai dot corlan at adobe dot com:

These are the sessions we’ll do in our office, in Romanian

  • Boot Camp Introduction to AIR [RO]
  • Boot Camp BlazeDS/LCDS [RO]

These are the sessions we’ll do online in Romanian:

  • Online Boot Camp Introduction to AIR [RO]
  • Online Boot Camp BlazeDS/LCDS [RO]

These are the sessions we’ll do online in English:

  • Online Boot Camp Introduction to AIR [EN]
  • Online Boot Camp BlazeDS/LCDS [EN]

We are working to set up a system to sign up to these events online. For now, just send me the emails. We will notify you about the dates by email!

"Live Help / Call Center" application packaged using Flex Java WTP project and Export Flex Project Wizard

I am a little bit obsessed lately with the need to share a Flex project as easy as possible and to import a project with minimum work on my part. For example, I grabbed the LiveHelp / Call Center application made by Christophe Coenraets and I made it a single Flex with Java combined project with support for BlazeDS. What does this mean? It means if you have installed Flex Builder 3, WTP, and Apache Tomcat 5.5 you should be able to download this zip file, and then import the project using the Import > Flex > Import Flex project Wizard. You will have the BlazeDS server, Java code and Flex code in this project. After this, you’ll need to add this application to the Tomcat server. You can start the server from within Eclipse and run the mortgageapp.xml and callcenter.mxml and it should work like a charm.

However, because WTP links the name of the local JRE used in its configuration files, it is possible that the project will not work on your machine. The solution is very simple: just open the properties for the project and go to “Java Build Path”, then select the “Libraries” tab. Here you need to delete the “JRE System Library” entry and then click “Add Library” button. In the new window select the “JRE System Library” list item and click “Next”. On the next page select JRE 1.5 or newer and you are done.

Changing the JRE for the project

Adding a Flex Nature to an existent Java (WTP) project

Sometimes you already have a J2EE project (made with WTP) and you want to be able to make it also a Flex project. Probably you don’t like the idea of creating a new Java/Flex project and copy the files. Neither do I :D (If you want to create a new Java/Flex project then check my previous posts about creating a Java/Flex project and debugging this project).

Fortunately the solution is there in Flex Builder. You need to select the project in project explorer and right click to bring up the contextual menu for the project. Then you should select Flex Project Nature > Add Flex Project Nature:

Selecting this command will open a wizard that looks like the one for creating a new Flex project (the differences are that some options are disabled as the project already exists and you are just adding new things to it). So here is the first page and you can see you have the option to choose if you want to use LiveCycle Data Services / BlazeDS or not. On the second page you can enter the path for Flex WAR file (if you choose remote object access on first page). Click “Finish” and you got yourself a Java/Flex combined project.

Final words

I will not lie to you, these two features (combined Java/Flex project and Add Flex Nature) are very dear to me as I was the engineer who worked on them for Flex Builder 3 :) But besides the sweet memories and countless meetings to shape up these wizards and endless fights with my quality engineer on what should happen, I had another reason to write my first technical post on this subject: I talked in the last couple of months with Java developers who work with Flex and they didn’t know about these features yet :(

So, I am really curious if you guys find this helpful or not and if there are other things you still need (I have friends inside Flex Builder team so we can push our wishes :) ).

Debugging a combined Java/Flex project

In my previous post I described how you can install WTP in Flex Builder and how you can create a combined Java/Flex project and run it.

But what if you want to debug both the Flex and Java code from the project at the same time?

Actually, it is pretty simple. The steps are very similar with the ones described in the previous post for running the application.
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Creating a combined Flex/Java project in Flex Builder w/o LCDS/BlazeDS

Whenever I work on a Flex project with Java backend I create a project in Flex Builder that combines Java and Flex. I find that this is the easiest way to work even if I don’t touch at all Java code and I just mess around with Flex/AS files. This is one piece of news brought by Flex Builder 3.

What advantages do you have using this setup? You can edit/run/debug both Java and Flex files in the same editor and same project; you can see the changes as soon as you save the modified files.

Let’s see what you need and how you can create a combined Flex/Java project with or without LiveCycle Data Services or BlazeDS.

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