Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the Flex 2 Readiness Event at Prisma IT’s Rotterdam office. The main goal of the four day course was to provide a broad overview of Flex 2′s features. There were fourteen other attendees, from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities: a few from Adobe, a few more from our partners, plus a few of our customers.
The course began with a comprehensive overview of the various visual controls, components and containers that are available in the Flex 2 Framework. For each new concept we walked-through an example within flex builder that demonstrated the idea.
The second part of the course was more focused on accessing server-side resources using web-services, Flash remoting and Flex Data Services. In this case the example exercises used a local jrun or cold fusion installation.
Many of the new Flex 2 features were covered in detail during the course, including contraint based layouts, E4X, drop-in item renderers and the new collection classes. In addition, changes in behaviour from Flex 1.5 were also highlighted, such as the more explicit binding mechanism and the new requirements for event dispatching.
As with the software, the course is still a beta version so to some extent we were the guinea pigs. But despite a few teething problems, the pace remained consistent. There was also talk of an additional day of lab training that was still to be added to the course, which would give participants the opportunity to gauge their understanding of the material.
Overall I felt the course represented a very thorough introduction to the Flex 2 feature set and would suit a broad audience. A more advanced course is also being planned that may appeal to more experienced RIA and enterprise application developers.