Archive for September, 2010

Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic ES2

A number of people have been asking about Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic and wondering what it is, exactly. I hope this condensed answer helps. You can find more details on the Mosaic site.

Mosaic, fundamentally, is about combining “super” components together in an environment that lets them communicate (messages) and exchange data (contexts). Layered on that, is the ability to create arrangements of these components in layouts that are either static or allow some degree of change by the end user.

The “super” component is the Tile: either a Flex-based application or module that is built from other Flex components or an HTML page. The Flex application Tile is usually a specific-purpose application (e.g., displays a chart) that relies on data from a back end and/or from another Tile.

Mosaic also has a repository of Tiles and Tile arrangements (Views and Panels, today) – the Mosaic catalog, from which a Mosaic developer can compose a Mosaic Application or from which an end-user may add new Tiles to their running Application and save that configuration for themselves for later use.

Mosaic “applications” combine Tiles and layout together through our XML structured format called “CRX” which is similar to Flex MXML. A simple Mosaic application might look like this:

This will display two Tiles, one on top of the other, with a Financial News area and a chart below that. The idea is that clicking on one of the articles would extract the company stock symbol and send it to the chart. While these are fictitious Tiles, you can see that each Tile could operate on its own, but together than provide a more complete package.

<catalog:CatalogReference uri=”fin_catalog” />
<view:Panel width=”100%” height=”100%”>
<view:Layout name=”VerticalLayout” verticalGap=”10″ />
<tile:TileReference name=”FinancialNews” catalog=”fin_catalog” width=”100%” />
<tile:TileReference name=”FinancialChart” catalog=”fin_catalog” width=”100%” />

The structure of the application is enough like Flex to make writing the XML fairly easy and provides a great deal of freedom to combine Tiles in interesting ways.

If this intrigues you, please visit the Adobe LiveCycle Mosaic ES2 site.