Sunday, March 28, 2010

First impression of Adobe Flash Builder 4

Applies to: Flash Builder image

The next version of Flex Builder has been released under “Flash Builder” some days ago and so I decided to give it a try.

The following points catched my eyes in the first couple of minutes

  1. Integration of different data services through drag n drop data binding capabilities. The following list should give you an idea of the supported data services:
    image image
    Trying out the Twitter XML API ( I could generate the data model very easy. image
  2. Data service tester is really cool and gives you quickly a “good feeling” for the used service
  3. Theme browser/selector
  4. Another great improvement seems to be done on the compiler performance. It just feels much faster although I did not try yet on a big project…
  5. Generation of event handler code (at long last!;-))
  6. Refactoring support. Although quite poor at the moment. Rename and Move. That’s it!
  7. Generate setter/getter. Here is an example
  8. surely there are more new features. But for me discovery time is over now;)


Still missing

  1. Context-Menu and DnD operations in the outline view of the UI
    It’s a READONLY view! No chance to move around components or bind your service data calls here. It is a pitty! Missing the flexibility I am used from the UI structure pane in JDeveloper!
  2. Easy integration of database objects. It would be great If we could connect to a database and let Flash Builder generate corresponding server components. For now we have to generate/implement through LivecycleDS/BlazeDS/graniteDS.

    Another idea could be to create ADF Business Components and expose them as Webservice by the service data object (SDO) facility! Yeeah, this could work quickly and great cause FB has good support for WebServices.

    Anyone tried this already? Comments are welcome.



It looks like Adobe has learned some lessons from Oracles JDeveloper/ADF team. Especially the data binding/service integration facilities are comparable to ADFs data controls. But there is still a lot of work to do to get such productivity ADF makes possible;)

The UI Designer+CSS editor of course feels more “smooth” than the one of JDeveloper. But there are still missing some neat features like search boxes for ui components and properties. The non-interactive ui structure view should be fill with life! I am tired of searching manually for the desired component!

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