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Moving your Flex Components from MXML to ActionScript 3

By Jeffry Houser
May 4, 2010

Moving your Flex Components from MXML to ActionScript 3 I often hear it said that all the cool kids write their Flex components using ActionScript without MXML. I’m not sure that I agree. MXML is great for layout purposes. It...

Flash Camp Coming to DC

By David Tucker
March 31, 2010

On the heels of some really cool events across the globe, another great Flash Camp is happening. This one will be taking place in Washington DC. The Capital Flash Camp is taking place on April 16, 2010 at the Heritage Center at the US Navy Memorial. The great thing is that this is within the metro region, so most anyone can make it to this location via public transit.

Flash Camp Phoenix This Week

By David Tucker
January 27, 2010

Flash Camp Phoenix is taking place this Friday (January 29, 2010) on the campus of the University of Advancing Technology. This is going to be an amazing event, and we are quickly moving toward a sell-out. This event will have some amazing speakers coming from Adobe: Ryan Stewart (Adobe Evangelist), Jacob Surber (Adobe XD Team), and Sarge Sargent (Adobe FMS Team). In addition, there also will be Christian Saylor (Universal Mind UX Team), Daniel Holth (Universal Mind Developer), Kevin Fauth (Universal Mind Developer), Dan Orlando (Universal Mind Developer), Carl Smith (nGen Works), and myself.

Using Flash Remoting for Authentication to your AFCS/Facebook AIR Application

By Russ Ferguson
November 3, 2009

If you have had an opportunity to look at the Adobe Flash Collaboration Service (AFCS) you could see that there is a huge opportunity to do interesting multi-user applications without needing to write all of the server side code. However there is the challenge of how do you control who comes into your application and what they are allowed to do. In addition, keeping your application credentials safe in case your SWF file was decompiled. So as the title suggest you can use a service like Facebook to take care of the users authentication and Flash Remoting for the application authentication.

AIR 2 Enhancements Complete Overview

By Elad Elrom
October 7, 2009

Adobe just released public information about AIR 2.0 and added new capabilities that better tie with the operation systems which gives your application more control while increasing performance. The new version will be deployed on Flash player 10 using Flex...

Welcome To The Dojo

By John Barlow
September 28, 2009

Welcome To The Dojo. That is how a friend of mine introduced me to this Javascript Framework. "The Dojo? Great, now he's going to act all mystic like and not directly answer any of my questions." I thought to myself. Turns out, he was talking about a framework that is truly awesome. I'll admit, the documentation is a bit to dig through, but hopefully my experience and previous digging will be of use to you. Don't worry, the only things being thrown around in this "Dojo" are Javascript and web programming ideas you may or may not have seen before.

RIA Unleashed Coming to Boston

By David Tucker
September 21, 2009

This has been a great year for events in the Flex and ColdFusion communities, and it's certainly not over yet. On November 13, 2009 RIA Unleashed is happening at Bentley University in Waltham, MA (Boston area). This event is offering several things that make me really excited!

A Flex Developer's Guide to User Experience Work Flows and Best Practices

By Tim Todish
September 13, 2009

UX is more than a buzz-word. It actually matters and is easier said that done. In this article we'll review some best practices you can use in your real-world apps.

50 Most Usable RIAs

By Theresa Neil
September 2, 2009

We applied two simple criteria to identify the 50 most usable RIAs: Number 1: Does it adhere to the 10 basic usability principles? Number 2: Is it really rich? Developing a product with Ajax, Flex, or Silverlight doesn't inherently make it rich. A usable RIA will embody these six principles: Make it Direct, Keep it Lightweight, Stay in the Page, Provide an Invitation, Use Transitions, React Immediately.

Flex + A Powerful Combination for Building Great, Data-Driven Web Applications

By Michael Epstein
August 24, 2009

Flex and are a powerful combination for building data-driven web applications. As a faithful reader of InsideRIA, you’re probably already aware of Flex and its leading role in the evolution of rich Internet applications, but you may be less familiar with the platform. It is, in short, the same platform that underlies the well-known customer relationship management (CRM) and salesforce automation (SFA) software. These applications "run in the cloud," hosted on servers which are secured and maintained by, and accessed via the web on personal computers and mobile devices.

Facebook App Case Study: Additional elements and gotchas

By Mirza Hatipovic
August 14, 2009

Welcome back to the series and the concluding article of the exciting facebook series. So far we worked hard to implement features like the front end, administration, loading of YouTube videos etc. In the last article the application came finally to life. We implemented a database that contains 14 levels for the game.

Help us choose the best RIA of 2009 / Adobe MAX

By Rich Tretola
August 11, 2009

We need your help. O'Reilly is conducting a competition to highlight the best RIAs of 2009. We have been compiling a list of noteworthy applications, but we want to make sure we aren't missing any. It can be especially difficult to find independent developers that aren't receiving as much attention as they might deserve. Upon completing the list we will begin voting here on InsideRIA. The finalists will be showcased at a special session at MAX 2009 where we conduct and in-depth look at each app and conduct a Q&A with the developer/development team. Please leave a comment with any submissions/suggestions. The only requirements are that the application be created/powered with Adobe tools and that they were either created, released, or updated in 2009.

Code Formatting in Flash Builder 4 (beta)

By Greg Owen
August 10, 2009

I am thrilled that there is some built-in code formatting in Flash Builder (the next, renamed version of Flex Builder) even if it is only code indenting. Especially because some of my coworkers and I disagree on correct indentation,...

Facebook App Case Study: Front-end Module

By Mirza Hatipovic
August 5, 2009

Welcome back to our exciting series. In the last article, we discussed about the administrative part of the application, where we implemented a background activity to allow every application user to upload their own videos and add mistakes. This time we will work on the front end that will be visible to everyone by default and where the main game play will take place. Before we start with the development, there are important things that need to be considered. First of all, there will be 14 levels to play, 14 levels means 14 video clips, 14 movie snippets.

Facebook App Case Study: Administration module

By Mirza Hatipovic
August 3, 2009

Last time we talked about the way how to work with YouTube videos and how to implement those into our app. We worked hard to implement typical features that can be found on most video sites like play, pause, seek etc. We even have the feature to seek through the video using the Seek Bar that we built from scratch. As we already know, there is one external library used in our application that allows us to load videos into the swf and manipulate the video using ActionScript 3.0. This is a huge advantage since the official YouTube library is written in AS2 and it does not fit our project requirements. Using the library, we were able to create video controls using pure ActionScript 3.0.

Getting started with Adobe Stratus

0 July 28, 2009

Peer to Peer (P2P) applications have been around for quite some time now. Adobe Stratus, a recently released service from Adobe in combination with Flash Player 10 provides developers all there is needed to create P2P applications today. In this article, we will cover the following

Facebook App Case Study: Integrating YouTube Videos

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 22, 2009

Welcome back to our series. In the previous article, we discussed the elements that are the necessary building blocks of the application MovieExpert ( We created the main swf, we created the invite screen, we worked hard to make the invite screen actually work on our iFrame. Now that we have all those details done, we can move on and concentrate entirely on the application in the swf file. We know that the invite screen on facebook appears only when the use installs the application, the next time he logs in, he will be redirected directly to

Facebook App Case Study: Preparing the Elements

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 8, 2009

Welcome back! Finally we will work on a real world application that will go live. The application that we will be creating will be named “Movie Expert”. One reason why I chose it is because I am an avid Movie fan and I will have lots of motivation to work on it in detail. The other reason is because it is really a sample that has the potential to utilize the facebook actionscript 3 library the proper way.

Send Gifts Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 8, 2009

Sending gifts and items are one of the favorite actions among the millions of facebook users. Friends send items to friends, "buy" gifts, "sell" virtual items etc. Honestly I am not engaged in this activity a lot on facebook, but the number of people willing to send virtual gifts, buy virtual goods is shockingly high! So this article might be underestimated on the first sight, but because I am aware of the trend of sending and receiving gifts, it is worth writing a complete article that covers the trend in actionscript. The number of possible implementations for this component is really countless and in this article we will be able to show only few of them.

Search Friends Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
July 6, 2009

Welcome back to the series. In the previous articles we discussed topics like publishing of news, sending notifications to specific friends etc. The articles covered topics that are not only bound to the user interface in the facebook application development. This time, we are going to play around with the already existing (but complex) MultiFriend component. The component from the article 11 was quite good, but it really had the potential to be a kick ass component for facebook. There were things I wanted to implement, but was not able to because the whole article covered the basic construction of the component.

Building a 3D album with FIVe3D and TweenLite

By The Tech Labs
July 3, 2009

In this tutorial I will show you how to build a simple 3D photo album in AS3. We will build an application similar to this one. I will use two AS3 libraries: FIVe3D and TweenLite, both open source. Five3D is a lightweight 3D library written by Mathieu Badimon. TweenLite is one of the many libraries available for script based animation in AS3. It was created by Jack Doyle from Greensock. It's principal characteristic is that it's small (hence it's name) and simple to use. FIVe3D and TweenLite work very well together!

Axiis - An Introduction and Tutorial

By Tom Gonzalez
July 3, 2009

This purpose of this article is to introduce developers and data visualization specialists to Axiis, which is an open source data visualization project based on Adobe Flex and Actionscript 3. While you do not have to be an expert in Flex Builder or ActionScript 3, having experience in both will make understanding this tutorial easier. Throughout the article I will assume you are comfortable with the fundamentals of building an application with Flex, and understand some of the primary language constructs embodied within ActionScript 3 and the Flex SDK, primarily MXML and Binding.

Intruction to Adobe Flash Collaborative Services

0 June 30, 2009

AFCS (Adobe Flash Collaboration Service) previously known as 'Cocomo' is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that that allows Flex developers to address a class of applications known as collaborative applications. Collaborative Applications have progressed from a nice cool thing into serious applications. Almost all of us would have participated in an online chat or a web meeting, which allows a group of users to chat, share files, do screen sharing, take polls, ask questions and receive answers, etc. AFCS aims to lower the barrier to entry for developers to bring such collaborative features into their applications.

An Honest Open Discussion on Web Standards and HTML 5

By David Tucker
June 23, 2009

We need an open honest discussion about HTML5 and what it means for the web. Unfortunately, you aren't going to get the truth from fanatics on either side, but instead we all need to examine all of the evidence and come to our own conclusions. I have spent a great deal of time analyzing the facts, and in the process I have made several observations.

User Info Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
June 17, 2009

Welcome back to the series. This time we are goings to build a really exciting component that will be used to simply display information about the user. Well, you might say why to we need such a component, is there are real purpose behind that? Well, in my opinion, yes. There are a lot of facebook applications out there done in Flash where we see information about the friends etc. During the process of facebook application development, there will always be a need to quickly display information about the specific friend. The information that is contained inside the component could be every bit of information that was entered by the user.

Publish News Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
June 17, 2009

Welcome back to our exciting Facebook ActionScript series. In this article we will discuss one of most important (and most exciting) features of the FB platform, it's the publishing of news. We all know when we log in to facebook, we see plenty of news about our friends. Some were sent by the users, some where sent by applications. In lots of cases, the action is initiated by applications. We see stuff like "FriendX has just completed level 5", "FriendY just left the building" or "John just sent something to his friends", I'm sure you saw a lot of news similar to this on FB. News are an integral part of application because it's one of the ways that the virality of applications is ensured. Suppose we have the fanciest application on FB, what value we have out of this application if we do not publish any news, if we dont make sure the friends are not notified about the action don't in the application? The application simply needs to "talk" and publish news if the application user performed some action. We need to make sure everybody knows that we just topped the high score of the player from Nigeria.

Dojo Tips and Tricks

By Matthew Russell
June 17, 2009

This article provides 10 tips and best practices (in no particular order) for maximizing the benefits that Dojo can bring to your next project. For a more thorough introduction to Dojo, see the article Dojo: The JavaScript Toolkit with Industrial Strength Mojo or pick up a copy of Dojo: The Definitive Guide.

Exploring the Data List Component in Flash Catalyst

By Chris Griffith
June 2, 2009

Now that the first public beta of Flash® Catalyst™ (formerly known as Thermo) has been released, we can start to explore some of the features that have been added since the Preview release from last November. I will assume you have worked through some of the other introductions to the Flash Catalyst user interface.

Flash Camp Orlando This Friday

By David Tucker
May 27, 2009

You won't want to miss Flash (Flex) Camp Orlando this Friday, May 29th, on the campus of UCF ($49.95 for single registration - less for groups of 3 or more). This event will have some great speakers, give-aways, and most importantly some big announcements from Adobe.

Multifriend Selection Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 26, 2009

Welcome back to our series. We will continue to work on components that will help us develop facebook applications faster and with less bugs. There is one quite useful component that will will be used throughout the facebook development and that's the MultiFriend Selection Component. There is already one developed by facebook and is displayed when using standard FBML.

Enhanced status component

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 26, 2009

In the last article we worked extensively with the ProfilePic component and showed how the component can be used in real time scenarios. We had an interesting example of a real word application with the "Would you..." application clone. I really had a lot of fun working on it and hope you too. For us it's important that we were able to work with components that where previously build based on the previous articles. The goal is not to hurt the "DRY“ principle, which means "Don't repeat your self". Every component that was created needs to reused again so no development time will be spent on them anymore, except when extending it. This tutorial will deal mostly with text. The idea of the application is the following: We need to create some sort of "Mood Checker", an application that will allow us to browse through the statuses of users.

Extended ProfilePic Component with Effects

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 8, 2009

In this article we will extend the ProfilePic component from the last article and show example of how we can use it in real world scenarios. We will create a facebook application that asks the user a question about the displayed friend. Yes, it is in fact a copy of an existing application (I don’t remember the name and I don’t want to make advertising). The application simply switches from one question to another and associates the displayed friend with the question. Like, for ex., the question appears “Would you ever like to date Monica?" and the application user can simply select between “Yes” of “No”. On the other side, you can choose if you want that the answer is send to the user as a notification. Personally I enjoyed the application and will use it as reference to make a flash version out of it. On the other side, we will use the component and add features to it so the sample will demonstrate how useful the component can be in the development process. We will have the freedom to create our own questions. They can be stored either in the database or XML, but in our case it will be stored in a flat XML file.

ProfilePic Component

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 8, 2009

In the last article we discussed how components are built with the facebook api in mind. Now it's the time to do something more with it. We know how things need to be set up in order for the components to work. We learned about sessions, about the tow frame time line structure of the components and we talked about the inheritance of the UIComponent class. The previous example leveraged just a small potion of the methods that UIComponent provides. In this article we will take more advantange of the UIComponent class in order to create a component for the profile pic.

Component Architecture for Facebook Applications

By Mirza Hatipovic
May 8, 2009

In the last tutorial we discussed the new library that was released by Adobe. The new library from Adobe fits much more naturally into the whole architecture of facebook applications that are built using the Flash platform. We need to know that the previous approach using the PHP library is not useless. In order to create stable and useful Facebook applications we need to know about many ways how to achieve the same goal. If you followed the series from the start then you are on a good way to be able to create truly cutting edge Facebook apps as we have discussed have to grab results from DB and we also make use of the ActionScript library.

Getting Started with Flash Catalyst

By Russ Ferguson
May 7, 2009

At the Adobe MAX conference in San Francisco, Adobe passed out DVD’s of both Flash Catalyst (code name Thermo) and Flex Builder 4 (code name Gumbo). These products together hope to bridge the gap between designers and developers, by giving designers the ability to control the look of the application and then handing off a project ready to be coded by a developer. This tutorial has been created with the version of Flash Catalyst that was distributed during the MAX conference last November. Since this is an early build of the software some features may change and others added before the final release.

Colin Moock video update: Extensive samples online, discounts are now live

By Steve Weiss
April 24, 2009

Just a quick follow-up to the announcement a few weeks ago about The Lost ActionScript Weekend. Two common questions have been coming in: 1. "Will these things be discounted at all?" A discount code is now in place. Here's the...

Overview of embedding SWFs into Facebook Canvas

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 9, 2009

Following the first article where we introduced the basic usage of Flash with PHP and Facebook, we are here in the second article to discuss all about the correct embedding of swf's into the facebook canvas. There are a lot of ways of how to do that and everyone of it has its pros and cons. We will discuss this in in detail in this article. Every step will be accompanied by a sample where we will demonstrate the pros and cons.

No Regrets: Implementing Undo/Redo in Actionscript 3.0

By Clive Goodinson
April 8, 2009

A Rich Internet Application without undo/redo is like a series of trap-doors: your users had better be sure about every move, because there's no going back. Implementing undo/redo isn't as difficult as you might think. In this article I'll walk you through the basics, using my Pixton comic editor as the example application. These concepts can be applied to any application that lets its users do things they might regret - or unregret!

Creating a Hello Friends App using ActionScript 3.0, PHP and Facebook API

By Mirza Hatipovic
April 6, 2009

As we all know life is much more colorful with friends, Facebook it's the best example on the internet for this case. Its even more colorful when you can use the Facebook API to create applications on that platform. Using Flash, PHP and the FB API we can utilize ActionScript OOP features to make the applications perform better then with standard FBML. I'm not trying to say here that FBML is bad, no, this series will try to teach how implement the existing knowledge of Flash into the Facebook application platform.

Free Flex Builder for Unemployed, Students and Faculty

By Mike Slinn
April 6, 2009

Adobe has a terrific offer for unemployed programmers and students: a free, fully enabled copy of Flex Builder 3!  See for yourself at https://freeriatools.adobe.comThe criteria for unemployed programmers is:To receive the product under this program, you must attest to the...

Processing AMF 3 PHP Server Object Arrays on the Flex Client Using Object Relational Mapping

By Pete Mackie
March 25, 2009

This article expands on the notion of Adobe Flex client-to-server object mapping per my first O’Reilly Inside RIA article titled AMF3 PHP Server Objects to Flex Client Object Relational Mapping ( ). You are encouraged to master the AMF 3 messaging protocol and object relational mapping basics discussed in my first RIA article. Occasionally, in this article, I refer to this first article using the notation of “in my first RIA Object Relational Mapping article,” which means navigate to the above URL for details about the basics.

Will People Learn OOP and AS3 from Video? If it's Colin Moock? We'll See

By Steve Weiss
March 25, 2009

While InsideRIA isn't about marketing, we are about letting the community know about potentially important learning resources, and face it, anything related to ActionScript that involves Colin Moock is going to be worthy of note. In three ActionScript titles...

SpatialKey - Amazing Geo-Spatial Visualization

By David Tucker
March 24, 2009

Today, SpatialKey announced a private beta. The SpatialKey team has been hard at work since InsideRIA first announced the technical preview on August 9th. This new version includes many new features and some advanced visualizations. This release demonstrates why SpatialKey is one of the most exciting RIA's I have seen recently.

Flash Text Engine

By Véronique Brossier
March 16, 2009

One of the most interesting sessions at MAX 2008 was Creating a Next-Generation Desktop News Reader by Jeremy Clark, Daniel Wabyick and Justin Van Slembrouck. It demonstrated a sophisticated and dynamic AIR news reader application using the International Herald Tribune's...

AIR plug-in based application

By Giorgio Natili
February 26, 2009

Introduction Create an AIR application based on the loading of external HTML/JS modules that use the sand box bridge in order to communicate with the main application and in order to not lose the AIR’s api capabilities. This article will...

Getting started with RIATest 2.0

By Tariq Ahmed
February 20, 2009

Who here has boat loads of dough to drop on functional testing tools? Not many do, especially in these tough economic times. But there is hope! With RIATest 2.0, this powerful product's mission is to bring user interface test automation to the masses with a low cost price point. In this article we take a look at how it works and how you can get started with improving the quality of your software.

Creating your own Side bar "widget" using SpryDOMUtils and SpryEffects! Part 2

By Arnout Kazemier
February 11, 2009

In part 1 of this article I showed you how to a build your own widget using SpryDOMUtils and SpryEffects. In this article we are going to evolve the widget, making it more powerful, unobstructive and easier to use. We...

Creating your own Side bar "widget" using SpryDOMUtils and SpryEffects! Part 1

By Arnout Kazemier
February 11, 2009

The Adobe Spry Framework is ideal for creating your own little widgets using existing Spry components as your tools. The best thing about Spry is that it requires very little knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS. With the two files...

Google Analytics within Flex/Flash Applications

By Matthew McNeely
February 3, 2009

If you have used Google Analytics to monitor and analyze traffic on a website, you were most likely impressed with the ability it gave you to understand the nature of visits to and exits from the site, learn how visitors found it, discover how much time people spent there, et cetera. Recently, the Google Analytics team announced the availability of an open source, native AS3 API that enables you to utilize Google Analytics (GA) tracking from within your RIA.

The Art of System Tray and Dock Icons

By Damon Edwards
February 3, 2009

With the explosion of Adobe AIR apps hitting the streets these days, from corporate applications to small single developer applications, it's a wonder to me how a lot of these applications forget about some of the most important aspects of an application. One being, system tray or dock icons. Lets explore the importance of these icons, and how to implement them in your own application.

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