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ArcGIS Server 9.3 Flex API


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									ArcGIS Server 9.3 Flex
        Jeremy Bixby
     City of Lenexa, KS
    December 2nd, 2008
             What is Flex?
   Powerful toolkit offering prepackaged
    code modules.
   Based on ActionScript.
   Open-Source, owned by Adobe
   Adobe sells FlexBuilder, an
    integrated development environment
         What is Actionscript?
   Common Descendent of ECMAScript
    (originally JavaScript), the web
    scripting standard.
   Syntax is C-like, but easier to work
    with then a full programming
        Flex and ActionScript
   The programmer develops highly-
    interactive web sites by using the
    Flex framework, and the ActionScript
   ActionScript compiles into the .swf
    format, or Shockwave Flash Format.
       What is the SWF format?
   Format that the Flash player “plays” when
    an internet user browses to a site which
    invokes an SWF file.
   Flash player is currently installed on
    approx. 98.9% of all internet-enabled
   Adobe offers javascript functions to allow
    the user to easily download the Flash
    Player if developer-specified version is not
    currently installed.
            Flex examples
   http://www.canvaspress.com/index.
   http://www.toyota.com
          Non-Flex examples
   http://southport.jpl.nasa.gov/
    Why Flex? Why not JavaScript or
              Web ADF?
   WebADF is much more powerful then
    the JavaScript or Flex APIs, but not
    needed for our uses.
   No good IDEs available for
   JavaScript API heavily uses Dojo.
     • Doesn’t always work
     • Frequently changes
     • Poorly documented
          Here’s why Flex!!!
   Fun to program with
   Easier to implement design patterns
   Flex, by virtue of being privately
    developed is:
    • Supported and maintained
    • Documented
    • Always works
    • Highly-Scalable
    • Generous and Helpful User Community
       Here’s why Flex (more)
   Flex toolkit is very powerful and
    allows development of very
    interactive, powerful web
   Mxml + ActionScript = whole lotta
           FlexBuilder Demo
   IDE Tools for RIA
    • Debug
    • Profile: This is cool.
    • Tools to make your life easier, like
      AutoComplete, error-checking, etc.

    • Compare and Contrast: JavaScript vs.
Tour of Flex and ArcGIS Flex APIs
   A Quick look at both APIs…
         How have I adapted?
   Started with MVC, and very strong
    tendencies towards abstraction, but
    switched to more of a component-
    driven architecture.
   Result is kind of a hybrid approach to
    RIA development.
   Any questions?

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