H.264 GPU Decoding in Flash Player on Mac OS X is live [ by Thibault Imbert ]

We just pushed a few minutes ago a new version of the Flash Player 10.1.82.76 containing a nice feature that was in beta until now called “Gala”. Yes, H.264 GPU decoding in Mac OSX is now officially enabled in the Flash Player. You should notice now a nice difference when playing H.264 content on your [...]

Flash This – Not That!

Below is the first of a series of images depicting situations where you might want to use Flash along with those where you probably shouldn’t. They are based on the great Eat This – Not That! articles put out by Mens Health magazine. Now these are not hard and fast rules but instead just a general guide.

Flash This-Not That!

Look for more images in the series over the next couple of months. I won’t be using specific examples of sites that use Flash in questionable ways. If I did I would have to include several of my own previous sites :-) .

Appropriate Uses for Flash

I am currently preparing for my session at FITC San Francisco where I will talk about all of the change that is currently happening in our industry. When I say industry I am not talking solely about Flash, but rather web development as a whole. The mobile explosion is providing us with lots of exciting new opportunities, but at the same time it is making things a whole lot more complicated. Moving forward, the mark of a true web professional will be knowing when it is appropriate to employ the power of Flash and when a different technology might be more appropriate. This means you will need to start educating yourself on these alternative technologies if you are not already doing so.

In reality, the situations where using Flash is appropriate have not changed all that much. What has changed is that we can no longer get away with misusing Flash anymore. I’m sure lots of us, myself included, have been guilty of that over the years. When people do this it actually hurts Flash as a technology and makes it much harder for us to convince people about its real benefits.

Flash has always been there to allow you to go beyond the functionality that the browser enables and this will continue to be the case. Video is a great example of this. Once all browsers can support HTML5 video it makes perfect sense for simple video playback to done outside of Flash. But if you want more advanced video features then you will choose Flash. On that note, we are working on some video stuff right now that will blow your mind. More details on that soon.

So why am I saying all this? Well I am planning on providing some tutorials and blog posts that focus on situations where using Flash might be a mistake. For instance, I am planning a tutorial showing how to do a basic photo slideshow using jQuery. Two photos fading into one another is a good example of where using Flash would be overkill. You will be much more successful in your career if you are someone who simply uses the best tool for the job. It’s really that simple. Sometimes that tool will be Flash and sometimes not.

If you want to hear more come to FITC San Francisco as it has the best lineup of speakers I have ever seen at one event. FITC is generously providing readers of this blog with a special $200 discount. Just use the discount code theflashblog when registering.

The AIR Administrator’s Guide – controlling Adobe AIR in your environment

Every day I see new applications that take advantage of all of the cool features that AIR provides such as SQLite database, encrypted DB, idle detection, network detection, local file support, socket support, native integration, etc.   It is no surprise that AIR is starting to be a logical choice for many enterprise applications, especially [...]

SOA has not failed, Adobe's Enterprise Software successes

Recently I have seen more than a few people jump on the “SOA has failed” bandwagon. My perception is different. I have actually seen many platforms that adopted the core principles of SOA, as defined by the OASIS Reference Model for SOA, flourish and owners reap large rewards.

Adobe’s own platforms are a primary example of this. Having recently written about the differences in patterns of SOA vs REST within the Flash Platform, I now feel compelled to point out that SOA is far from dead. In fact, I received an internal email today within Adobe which clarifies this point. The email outlined the percentages of the top companies that are using Adobe LiveCycle ES or other Adobe enterprise software. This was published in last week’s Adobe interal business intelligence website and while I cannot divulge the raw data sources, I believe this to be accurate.

Fact: Over 27,000 Companies use Adobe Enterprise products (Connect, Flash Builder, LiveCycle).

Fact: These products embrace the concept of services to enable consumers to gain access to block of functionality encapsulated within the software. Acrobat Connect is even deployed using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

All Industries
22 of the top 25 global companies, as measured by Forbes, use Adobe Enterprise products.
23 of the top 25 U.S. companies, as measured by Fortune, use Adobe Enterprise products.
23 of the top 25 European companies, as measured by Forbes, use Adobe Enterprise products.

Banking Industry
7 of the top 10 global Banks use Adobe to deliver better customer experiences.
16 of the top 20 U.S. Banks use Adobe to deliver better customer experiences.
23 of the top 25 global Banking companies, as measured by Forbes, use Adobe Enterprise products.
20 of the top 20 U.S. Banking companies, as measured by Fortune, use Adobe Enterprise products.
10 of the top 10 European Banking companies, as measured by Forbes, use Adobe Enterprise products.

Insurance Industry
24 of the top 25 global Insurance companies, as measured by Forbes, use Adobe Enterprise products.
7 of the top 10 U.S. Insurance companies, as measured by Fortune, use Adobe Enterprise products.

This does not sound like SOA is failing to me. In fact, far from it. Services will be around for a long time in the future. Why? The concept of services is durable. It will be relevant over many generations of the same technology and it will also be a form of architecture practiced in new techologies.

One of my friends recently stated that “SOA is dead” then followed it up with “long live services“. This caused my brain to spin a bit. If an architecture has services, wouldn’t that make the architecture ipso facto service oriented? Perhaps I missed something?

If you are new to Livecycle ES and want to get up to speed, do not overlook the benefits of coming to Adobe MAX 2010. Be warned however that space is filling up fast.

Final synopsis: SOA is not dead. Services will continue to be the dominant action boundary between capabilites and consumers of those capabilities who may be from disparate domains of ownership.

Long live SOA!!!

Working with Doctrine 2, Flex, Zend AMF, and Flash Builder

I finally got some time to play with Doctrine 2 and Flex. Back in May I wrote an article about working with Doctrine 1.x and Flex (you can read the article here) and my feelings were mixed. I chatted with Jonathan Wage of Doctrine about some of the shortcomings I found in Doctrine 1.x and [...]