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Laszlo and WebOrb Alternatives for Flash Integration with ColdFusion

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Initial request is same, subsequent is asynchronous. Retrieves only the data that is needed ... AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Use normal HTML editing ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Laszlo and WebOrb Alternatives for Flash Integration with ColdFusion


1
Laszlo and WebOrb Alternatives for Flash
Integration with ColdFusion BlueDragon
  • Charlie Arehart, CTO

2
Topics
  • Laszlo as an alternative to Flex
  • And as a means to obtain CFMX 7 Flash Forms
  • WebOrb as an alternative to Flash Remoting
  • And as a solution to AJAX-style development

3
About Your Speaker
  • CTO, New Atlanta Communications
  • Makers of BlueDragon, an alternative to
    ColdFusion
  • Company HQ in Alpharetta, GA, outside Atlanta
  • 8 yrs CF experience (22 yrs Enterprise IT)
  • Macromedia Certified Adv CF Developer (4/5/MX)
  • Former Macromedia Certified Instructor
  • Past CFDJ Tech Editor, frequent contributor
  • Co-author of ColdFusion MX Bible
  • Frequent speaker user groups/conferences worldwide

4
Laszlo as Alternative to Flex
  • Im guessing youre in one of 3 camps
  • Never heard of Flex or Laszlo
  • Know of Flex, but not Laszlo
  • Know of Laszlo from past, not impressed
  • Hope to show you in 15-30 minutes why you should
    be impressed with Laszlo

5
What Do Flex and Laszlo Do?
  • Both Flex and Laszlo are XML-driven engines to
    build Flash
  • Never need to open the Flash IDE
  • XML used to describe layout, data access, etc.
  • Lets see a demo

6
List.lzx
  • ltcanvasgt
  • ltdataset name"dset"gt
  • ltemployeegt
  • ltfirstNamegtJohnlt/firstNamegt
  • ltlastNamegtSmithlt/lastNamegt
  • ltphonegt617-536-7855lt/phonegt
  • lt/employeegt
  • lt/datasetgt
  • lttext datapath"dset/employee/firstName/text()"
    /gt
  • lttext datapath"dset/employee/lastName/text()"/
    gt
  • lttext datapath"dset/employee/phone/text()"/gt
  • ltsimplelayout axis"x"/gt
  • lt/canvasgt

7
Integrating with Backends
  • Can get data from server
  • Can be a static XML file, file generating XML, or
    web service
  • Lets see demos

8
list-remote-cf.lzx
  • ltcanvasgt
  • ltdataset type"http" name"dset"
    src"http//localhost/laszlo/phonebook.cfm"
    autorequest"true"/gt
  • ltsimplelayout axis"y"/gt
  • ltview datapath"dset/phonebook/employee"gt
  • ltsimplelayout axis"x"/gt
  • lttext datapath"firstName/text()"/gt
  • lttext datapath"lastName/text()"/gt
  • lttext datapath"phone/text()"/gt
  • lt/viewgt
  • lt/canvasgt

9
phonebook.cfm
  • ltcfcontent type"text/xml"gtltcfsetting
    showdebugoutput"No"gt
  • ltcfquery datasource"exampleapps" name"test"gt
  • select firstname, lastname, phone, email
  • from tblemployees
  • lt/cfquerygt
  • ltphonebookgt
  • ltcfoutput query"test" maxrows"10"gt
  • ltemployeegt
  • ltfirstNamegtfirstnamelt/firstNamegt
  • ltlastNamegtlastnamelt/lastNamegt
  • ltphonegtphonelt/phonegt
  • ltemailgtemaillt/emailgt
  • lt/employeegt
  • lt/cfoutputgt
  • lt/phonebookgt

10
Flash Forms Components
  • Laszlo also implements common Flash Form
    components
  • Tabs, Accordions, Grids, calendars, sliders, etc
  • Lets see demos tabs/grid/tree , others
  • http//www.openlaszlo.org/lps-latest/laszlo-explor
    er/components/components.lzx
  • http//www.openlaszlo.org/lps-latest/examples/comp
    onents/style_example.lzx

11
What For CFML Developers?
  • Naturally, serves as alternative to Flex
  • Can be used, free, with CF 4, 5, MX, or
    BlueDragon
  • Easier for CFML developers than using Flash IDE
  • Laszlo apps can request XML or web svcs (CFCs)
    from CFML apps
  • Laszlo apps can even be generated in CFML
  • Assuming CF engine (CFMX or BD) is implemented
    along with Laszlo engine
  • Like Flex, Laszlo is deployed as a J2EE web
    application
  • Can merge the CF/BD J2EE edition into that Laszlo
    web app
  • Then a file named xxx.cfm.lzx will be processed
    as CFML, whose output will be sent to Laszlo
  • Lets see a demo

12
Difference from Flex?
  • Flex
  • Created by Macromedia (released late 2003)
  • XML referred to as MXML
  • Uses ActionScript for programming within
    components
  • License starts at 15,000, more with support
  • FlexBuilder editor, free with server
  • Laszlo
  • Created by Laszlo Systems (released in 2001)
  • XML referred to as LZX
  • Uses JavaScript for programming within components
  • Released as open source (openlaszlo.org) in 2003
  • Support available at additional cost
  • Vendor making money also via development of
    Laszlo-based products
  • IDE4Laszlo, eclipse-based editor, free from IBM

13
Just a Knockoff?
  • Natural to assume Laszlo is just a knockoff
  • But it existed before Flex
  • Just as BlueDragon existed as a Java-based CFML
    engine even before CFMX
  • … Or that Laszlo must be lacking
  • But it solves problems Flex does not,
    particularly server-less deployment as of 3.0
  • Just as BlueDragons .NET edition solves CFML
    deployment on .NET
  • Can also build complex applications
  • (local demo) http//localhost8080/lps-3.0/demos/d
    ashboard/dashboard.lzo?fb1lzthtml
  • (web demo) http//www.openlaszlo.org/lps-latest/de
    mos/dashboard/dashboard.lzo?fb1lzthtml

14
Key Laszlo 3.0 Improvements
  • SOLO Deployment
  • Stand-alone Open Laszlo Output
  • Does not require deployment of a Laszlo server
  • Once LZX files compiled in dev, resulting SWF can
    be deployed on any web server/app server
  • Other Key Improvements
  • Optimized for Flash Player 6 and 7
  • Unicode Support
  • Resizable canvas
  • Integration with browser Javascript
  • Support for back button, right-click context
    menu, mouse wheel
  • Now called OpenLaszlo
  • Previously called Laszlo Presentation Server

15
Whos Using Laszlo?
  • Some key companies with real live apps
  • Behr Paints
  • www.behr.com Lets see a demo (152 secs) or
    visit the sites yourself
  • La Quinta Inns
  • www.lq.com/lq/map/index.jsp Lets see a demo (38
    secs)
  • Cooptual
  • www.cooptual.com Lets see a demo (30 secs)
  • Allegra
  • www.allegra.com/managementTools/meetAllergyBuddy.d
    o
  • Others at http//www.openlaszlo.org/wiki/Laszlo_A
    pplications

16
Finding Out More
  • Laszlo
  • www.openlaszlo.org
  • www.laszlosystems.com
  • Flex
  • www.macromedia.com/software/flex/

17
Other Laszlo Resources
  • Demonstrations/Examples
  • www.openlaszlo.org/lps-latest/laszlo-explorer/
  • www.laszlosystems.com/lps/laszlo-in-ten-minutes/
  • www.laszlosystems.com/developers/learn/sample-apps
    /
  • IDE4Laszlo
  • alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/ide4laszlo
  • www.mylaszlo.com
  • Free hosting of Laszlo apps, components
  • www.laszlosystems.com/services/training/
  • www.openlaszlo.org/wiki
  • www.planetlaszlo.org (blog)

18
Summary of Laszlo
  • Compelling (free) alternative to Flex
  • Latest release (3) solves issues previously held
    against it
  • Adds ability to deploy with or without a J2EE
    server
  • Whether on .NET, ColdFusion (even CF5),
    BlueDragon, etc.
  • Capable of integrating with CFML via CFCs, web
    services, on either BlueDragon or ColdFusion
  • Or simply by CFML pages generating XML
  • Can create compelling rich internet applications
  • Offers Flash Forms components, like CFMX 7

19
WebOrb for FR and Ajax
  • As before, Im guessing youre in one of 3 camps
  • Never heard of Flash Remoting or WebOrb
  • Know of FR, but not WebOrb
  • Know of FlashOrb from past, not newer WebOrb
  • Hope to show you in 15-30 minutes why you should
    be impressed with WebOrb

20
Rich Internet Apps
  • Weve heard this from Macromedia
  • Their focus is on Flash, also possible with AJAX
  • More desktop-like applications, over the web
  • Response without page refresh
  • Enhanced drag and drop interfaces
  • Lets see some demos flash ajax cfc

21
Versus Traditional Web Apps
  • Alters traditional request/response loop
  • Initial request is same, subsequent is
    asynchronous
  • Retrieves only the data that is needed
  • usually using SOAP or some other XML-based web
    services dialects
  • Flash (or JavaScript/ajax) on client processes
    web server response
  • Both client and server performance is improved
  • Far less bandwidth
  • Reduced processing on server with more powerful
    UI capability
  • Reduced processing on client through more
    effective processing

22
Concepts
  • Flash Remoting
  • Use Flash IDE to develop interfaces
  • Client/server communications via AMF
    (ActionScript Msg Format)
  • AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
  • Use normal HTML editing tools
  • Structure
  • HTML (or XHTML) and Cascading Style Sheets for
    presenting information
  • Document Object Model, JavaScript to dynamically
    display and interact with the information
    presented
  • XML, XSLT and the XMLHttpRequest object to
    interchange and manipulate data asynchronously
    with the web server

23
Many Possibilities
  • Multiple client and server-side integration
    points
  • Back-end/Server components
  • Can be CFML, CFCs, JSPs/servlets, ASP.NET, and
    more
  • Communicated directly or via web services

24
Looking at Client Code
  • Lets review both the Flash and AJAX front-ends
  • Does involve a good bit of coding
  • Each has strengths and will appeal to folks
    differently
  • Flash front-end developed with Flash IDE
  • Flash FLA file
  • AJAX front-end developed with any editor
  • HTML file
  • Do we need to fear cross-browser issues?
  • WebOrb as a framework builds in support for
    different browsers

25
About WebOrb
  • Deployable as both J2EE and .NET web apps
  • Available in two packages
  • Standard Edition
  • Free for most uses
  • AJAX in java/.net, flash in java
  • Professional Edition
  • Adds flash in .net, other enterprise features
  • 799/cpu
  • Available as free eval/dev edition
  • More than just a replacement for Flash Remoting
  • WebOrb offers several advantages
  • Rich client system (ajax via js/flash, and msg
    svr), as well as flash remoting
  • Supports calling CFCs on BlueDragon w/out Web Svcs

26
Finding Out More
  • WebOrb
  • www.themidnightcoders.com/weborb
  • http//www.themidnightcoders.com/examples/
  • Flash Remoting
  • www.macromedia.com/software/flashremoting/
  • Book
  • FlashMX 2004 Professional for Server Geeks, Nate
    Weiss
  • Comparison to other AJAX solutions (DWR,
    Ajax.NET, Sajax)
  • http//www.themidnightcoders.com/weborb/comparison
    .htm

27
Other CF/Ajax solutions
  • As long as were discussing AJAX here, some may
    want to know of other options
  • CFAjax
  • http//www.indiankey.com/cfajax/
  • See example at http//simplicityweb.co.uk/fusebox/
    fb41ajax/
  • Neuromancer
  • http//www.robrohan.com/projects/neuromancer/
  • Dan Switzers QForms
  • http//www.pengoworks.com/qforms/v2/demo/demo_dhtm
    l_xmlHttpRequest.htm

28
Summary of WebOrb
  • Compelling alternative to Flash Remoting
  • Free and commercial editions
  • Offers Flash Remoting and Ajax-based integration
  • Deployable as J2EE or .NET web application
  • Works with ColdFusion and BlueDragon (and others)
  • Capable of integrating with CFML via CFCs
  • Directly on BlueDragon
  • Or via web services on either BlueDragon or
    ColdFusion
  • Offers advantages over Flash Remoting

29
A Powerful Trio
  • BlueDragon, WebOrb, and OpenLaszlo (BlueWOOL)
  • Offer compelling alternatives to CF, Flex, Flash
    Remoting
  • Each in its own way offers advantages
  • Together, or alone, consider them where they may
    fit

30
Contact Information
  • Charlie Arehart
  • CTO, New Atlanta Communications
  • charlie_at_newatlanta.com
  • newatlanta.com/bluedragon/
  • (678) 256-5395
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