Last week I wrote up a few blog posts (here, here and here) about creating a Flex based dashboard that utilized message queues to pass data. It was a really fun example to write but there was one thing I did not get to implement. What I wanted to do was use the sales notification mechanism to pass PHP objects to Flex using the message queue. But I could not get the unserialization mechanism to work and so I had to settle for passing a simple message that a sale
Having done a little bit of work with Flash over the past several weeks there are a couple of things I’ve discovered as I’ve worked through some practical examples. There’s only really one thing signficant, but a couple of things that you need to be aware of when doing Flash remoting with Zend Framework.
Simple interface? Easy. Useful interface? Just a little harder.
In other words, with a simple architecture it’s easy to do. In a more useful architecture there are some things to be aware of.
While I am not a great Flash developer… OK I’m not even a good one, I have been recently been looking at ways of integrating Flash and PHP with the release of Flash Builder 4. I think that PHP is a great way for Flash developers to access their backend systems. This is not because I have anything against any other technologies that a Flash developer might connect with, but instead it is because PHP is a great language to use when another language is your forte.
Following closely on the heels of my previous blog posting on how to create a basic Hello World application using Flash RIA with Zend Framework based remoting I have created a video showing how to do exactly what I just did in the blog posting. Additionally, I have a compressed copy of the workspace I used so you can download it and run it in your own copy of Zend Studio. You will probably need to change a few settings to make it work in your IDE. Be forewarned that you will likely also need the Flash Builder 4 plugin installed. The 60 day trial should be more than enough to let you do that.
It would be a fair statement to say that I have not paid attention to Flash for several years. Obviously I know that those awesome interfaces for movie web sites are made in flash, as are those annoying video ads that start screaming at you as soon as you load up a page, competing with Megadeth on Rhapsody, cranked out on the 700 watts of power I have in my office. But the last time I really looked seriously at Flash was almost a decade ago and I was thrilled at tweening widgets from one place to another. Unfortunately, there’s not really any benefit to tweening a text box. Cool? Yes. Practical? No. So I never really picked it up. Plus I was cheap.