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Laszlo and WebOrb Alternatives for Flash Integration with ColdFusion


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

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

  • 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

About Your Speaker
  • CTO, New Atlanta Communications
  • Makers of BlueDragon, an alternative to
  • 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

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

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

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

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

  • ltcanvasgt
  • ltdataset type"http" name"dset"
  • 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

  • ltcfcontent type"text/xml"gtltcfsetting
  • 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

Flash Forms Components
  • Laszlo also implements common Flash Form
  • Tabs, Accordions, Grids, calendars, sliders, etc
  • Lets see demos tabs/grid/tree , others
  • http//
  • http//

What For CFML Developers?
  • Naturally, serves as alternative to Flex
  • Can be used, free, with CF 4, 5, MX, or
  • 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
  • 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

Difference from Flex?
  • Flex
  • Created by Macromedia (released late 2003)
  • XML referred to as MXML
  • Uses ActionScript for programming within
  • 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 ( in 2003
  • Support available at additional cost
  • Vendor making money also via development of
    Laszlo-based products
  • IDE4Laszlo, eclipse-based editor, free from IBM

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
  • (web demo) http//

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

Whos Using Laszlo?
  • Some key companies with real live apps
  • Behr Paints
  • Lets see a demo (152 secs) or
    visit the sites yourself
  • La Quinta Inns
  • Lets see a demo (38
  • Cooptual
  • Lets see a demo (30 secs)
  • Allegra
  • Others at http//

Finding Out More
  • Laszlo
  • Flex

Other Laszlo Resources
  • Demonstrations/Examples
  • IDE4Laszlo
  • Free hosting of Laszlo apps, components
  • (blog)

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
  • 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

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

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

Versus Traditional Web Apps
  • Alters traditional request/response loop
  • Initial request is same, subsequent is
  • 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

  • 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
  • XML, XSLT and the XMLHttpRequest object to
    interchange and manipulate data asynchronously
    with the web server

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

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
  • 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

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

Finding Out More
  • WebOrb
  • http//
  • Flash Remoting
  • Book
  • FlashMX 2004 Professional for Server Geeks, Nate
  • Comparison to other AJAX solutions (DWR,
    Ajax.NET, Sajax)
  • http//

Other CF/Ajax solutions
  • As long as were discussing AJAX here, some may
    want to know of other options
  • CFAjax
  • http//
  • See example at http//
  • Neuromancer
  • http//
  • Dan Switzers QForms
  • http//

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
  • Offers advantages over Flash Remoting

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

Contact Information
  • Charlie Arehart
  • CTO, New Atlanta Communications
  • (678) 256-5395