Connecting PHP to ActionScript and Flex using Stomp

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In yesterday’s post I talked a little bit about some of the details on how I used messaging to connect a front end on demand request to a back end scheduled data processing mechanism.  In this post we’re going to talk about how to send data from a web page to a running Flex application without using HTTP.  It is really quite easy.

First up you need a message queue that supports Stomp.  Stomp is a text-based message queue protocol that a good number of message queue applications support.  I chose ActiveMQ, mostly because of authentication issues I was running into with RabbitMQ that I didn’t have time to solve.  Stomp isn’t turned on automatically so you need to change some config settings.  I have details at my first post on how to do that.

In my demo I wanted to have real time notifications of when a sale came in from a Magento application.  So the first thing to do would be to create a queue endpoint in ActiveMQ that you can send the data to.  That’s the easy part.  Next I needed to create an observer that would be triggered when a sale is made.  Magento uses an event based system and so hooking in to that was relatively easy.  The observer looked like this:



The Logger class that it calls is where the messaging occurs.



The workings of the logger and the configuration are described in yesterday’s post.  For this notification all I needed was a simple text message stating that a purchase was made and how much.  I want to figure out how to send an AMF serialized object to a Flash front end but I haven’t had time to do that yet.  So a simple text message will do.

Once the message is in the queue we now need to retrieve it in our Flex application.  I used AS3Stomp for the connection.  What I did was create a VGroup which could pretty much be inserted on any visual component. In there I created a list element that would be populated with the individual messages that were received from the queue.  The data provider for the list is a simple array of the individual messages which had been received.

The stomp object was provided as a declaration with a method associated with it’s “message” event which is thrown every time a new message comes in.  When a new message comes in the event is fired and the messageHandler() method is called where we read the message data into a string and attach it to an object with a label property.  Then we add it to the data provider at which point the list will update itself with the new value.


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