Posts in Category "Flex Builder"

Flex Builder 3 Extensibility API Reference

Flex Builder 3 provides an API to extend Flex Builder. Basically, these are Javadocs for developers familiar with Eclipse and who want to write extensions to Flex Builder.

I mention this here because I just now discovered that this documentation is only available from Flex Builder local help. It does not show up in our LiveDocs site, and search engines will not point to it (They will now, thanks to this blog entry 🙂

Here is where you find this documentation in Flex Builder 3:

From the Help Menu Select Help Contents. Then expand the Adobe Flex Builder 3 Extensibility node and click Flex Builder 3 Extensibility API Reference.

The reference contains APIs to extend the Code Model and the Design Model. Each section also contains an introduction that helps you get started.

Actually, I don’t know how to use this API or I’d write more about it. But I did find this blog entry from the Thinking Digital archives that enhances the introductory material provided in Flex Builder help.

We are also interested if anyone is actually using this API reference. Comments are welcome.

The Security Sandbox in Flex Builder 3

We recently received a question from a user about Flex Builder security sandbox settings. I thought the answer to this question would be of general interest.

Question: In Flex Builder 2, the security sandbox settings for both debug mode and release mode was local-trusted. In Flex Builder 3, why is release mode now local-with-network?

Short Answer: Whether a given SWF, when run locally in a non-trusted location, is local-with-filesystem or local-with-network is a compilation setting. This setting is stored as a flag in the SWF header and is the only compiler flag. The default is local-with-network and has not changed in Flex Builder 3.

What is new with Flex Builder 3 is that we no longer put the release SWF inside the trusted debug output folder by default. The advantage to the developer is that the release SWF will run in the same security sandbox in which it will be deployed. Thus you get accurate application behavior instead of the more permissive local-trusted, which is only available to the developer.

Detailed Answer: In Flex Builder 2 we put the release SWF alongside the debug SWF, which was inside an output folder that we configured the flash player to trust for the following reason:

You could click, debug, and launch your application and have it access network services without first configuring the project to host the SWF on a web server (and thus have to launch it with a proper http:// URL). Basically, you can launch your application from the file system using file:/// URLs.

The problem with this approach is that when testing the release SWF, even if you edited the launch URLs to use http://, you would be running the application out of local-trusted instead of the actual deployment sandbox (remote).

There are other problems with this arrangement, such as facilitating the accidental deployment of both debug and release SWFs in the output folder.

So, for Flex Builder 3 we separated the notion of the Run button from the release SWF. The Run button merely launches the debug-capable SWF with debugging turned off. The Export Release Wizard creates the actual release SWF. Flex Builder 3 encourages you to put the release SWF somewhere other than your debug output folder. Thus, to test the release version, you must launch and test it as an end user would using a browser and web server (that is, unless you actually want the end user to try to run it locally).

Note: Use the custom compiler option, use-network=false, if you want to override the Flex Builder default compiler option. This would change the settings to local-with-filesystem.

Master-Detail Flex Application

I’m an Adobe writer assigned primarily to Flex Builder and the Flex SDK. I joined Adobe in October of 2007 and have spent the first few months learning and using Flex and Flex Builder.

I’ve recently completed my first Flex application, and am using this blog to write about my learning experience, and also to describe some of the concepts behind the application that make it work. Actually, these are two applications that work together, vRadio and RadioLoginDB.

These applications illustrate how to use Flex to create a master-detail application that accesses data from a PHP server, and also incorporates PHP sessions.

At the end of this posting is a list of documentation sources I used to learn how to create the applications. I also have links to the source files.

vRadio and RadioLoginDB applications

I have always been a fan of Community Radio, and in the past I’ve Googled “Community Radio” to find new stations to listen to over the web. I created the vRadio application to provide a Flex alternative that lists Community and Talk radio stations, providing details about each station including station name and location, station graphic, and clickable links to open the station. RadioLoginDB is a CRUD application to update the database of radio stations used by vRadio.

vRadio is a Master-Detail application, and corresponds to many type of applications that present stored data in a variety of presentation formats, and also provide forms for updating the data.

What is interesting about the the vRadio application is the way Flex handles XML data using the E4X format. By providing an XML feed into the vRadio application, the application displays the XML data in a tree view. When the user clicks a node in the tree, details are displayed.

Continue reading…

Adding Java Development Tools to Flex Builder Standalone

Many Flex, Adobe AIR, Adobe BlazeDS, and Adobe LiveCycle ES developers choose to use the Eclipse plug-in configuration of Flex Builder so that they can develop Java code in the same IDE that they use to develop the MXML and ActionScript code. While the standalone version of Flex Builder does not contain tools to edit Java code by default, you can install them as Eclipse plugins. That lets you use the standalone version of Flex Builder to edit Java code.

To install the Java development tools in the standalone version of Flex Builder:

1. Use the Help > Software Updates > Find and Install menu command to open the Install/Update dialog box

2. Select Search for new features to install.

3. Click Next.

4. In the results, choose Europa Discovery Site.

5. Click Finish.

6. Select the Java Development package to install.

7. Click Next.

8. Accept the license.

9. Click Finish.

Note: You might be prompted to install additional plugins required by the Java Development package.

To change perspective:

1. Use the Window > Perspective > Other to access all perspectives.

You can also click the Open Perspective button in the upper-right corner of the workbench window, then select a perspective from the pop-up menu.

2. Select Java from the list of perspectives.


Stephen Gilson
Flex Doc Team

Documentation for the Flex Skin Design Extensions

This article describes how to create skins for Adobe Flex applications by using Adobe Flash CS3, Adobe Illustrator CS3, Adobe Photoshop CS3, and Adobe Fireworks CS3, and then import the skins into a Flex Builder project. To create skins, you must install the Flex Skin Design Extensions from Adobe Labs.

Download the PDF: Importing Skins into Flex Builder.