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Professional Adobe Flex 3 [Paperback]

Joseph Balderson , Peter Ent , Jun Heider , Todd Prekaski , Tom Sugden , Andrew Trice , David Hassoun , Joe Berkovitz

List Price: CDN$ 59.99
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Book Description

June 2 2009 Wrox Programmer to Programmer
With Professional Adobe Flex 3, put your prior experience with Flash, ActionScript and XML-based languages to good use and learn how to use the Flex 3 platform to create Rich Internet Applications and AIR applications. Understand the potential of the Flex 3 platform through practical examples and hands-on advice on topics like desktop deployment, developing applications in MXML, creating custom flex components, charting, targeting AIR, and data interconnectivity.

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

In recent years, Flex has become the leader in rich Internet application (RIA) development technologies based on the Flash platform, and excitement continues to build around the potential of what Flex 3 has to offer. This comprehensive, in-depth resource provides you with the foundations of Flex 3 and shows how you can maximize your use of Flex 3 to create unique experiences on the Internet and the desktop.

The team of authors distinguishes the relationships between various aspects of Flex 3 and the Flash platform, while also offering extensive coverage of client-side Flex applications development and development best practices. They explain what Flex® Builder can do, how to develop simple Flex 3 applications, and ways to use the Flex 3 framework classes and components. You'll also take a look at more advanced topics such as data integration, architectural frameworks, and advanced tools.

Packed with detailed examples throughout, this authoritative guide will get you up and running with Flex 3 quickly, regardless of your level of Flex experience.

What you will learn from this book

  • Techniques for skinning and styling Flex 3 components
  • Ways to integrate Flash-built assets into Flex 3 applications

  • Various components in the Flex 3 framework that manipulate or display data in the application

  • The Cairngorm micro-architecture framework

  • Best practices for building efficient, high-performance Flex 3 applications

  • Components of the Flex 3 toolset, including the debugger, profiler, unit testing framework, logging framework, and automation framework

  • Ways to migrate to Flex from other languages

Who this book is for

This book is for programmers and developers who are looking to leverage the Flex 3 platform to create RIAs. Experience with Flash, ActionScript, and an XML-based language is assumed.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Joseph Balderson has been fascinated by computers and programming since picking up LEGOs and disassembling nearly every appliance he could find as a child, progressing on to electronics, microcontrollers, and robotics as a teen. This interest took a detour in his college years, when he attended art school and studied poetry, philosophy, and graphic design. When he discovered Flash 4 in 1999, Joseph found his true vocation, one that would allow him to combine his passions for art and science, design, and programming under one roof.

Peter Ent is a Computer Scientist at Adobe, working with the LiveCycle team. Prior to this, Peter worked for Adobe Customer Care as a Flex support engineer and then as a technical account manager. Before joining Adobe, Peter worked in the financial services industry at State Street and Fidelity Investments. He also has experience at two startups, building software applications doing imaging and molecular modeling. Peter holds a BS in Computer Science from Syracuse University.

Jun Heider is a senior developer and technical trainer with RealEyes Media, an Adobe partner company based in Denver, Colorado, with a focus in rich Internet applications. Jun graduated from Regis University with a BS in Computer Networking and has a number of technical certifications.

Todd Prekaski has been building software since 1993 (not including his youthful days programming an Apple IIc and TRS-80). He’s been leading application development and strategy for Web-based startups and Fortune 100/500 enterprises ever since, using a panoply of technologies and platform, including Java, .NET, and LAMP. Todd is currently the chief technical architect at Beacon Street Software, based in Boston, Massachusetts. Occasionally, his thoughts show up in his blog at www.simplifiedchaos.com.

Tom Sugden is a technical architect for Adobe Professional Services. His interest in computers began in the 1980s, programming sport simulators and beep-music on the ZX Spectrum 48k. When the keyboard broke from too much Dailey Thompson, Tom upgraded to the Commodore Amiga and continued to create amateur games (but with multi-channel sound) in AMOS, before dabbling in the black art of Assembly language.

Andrew Trice is the principal architect for Flex and AIR for Cynergy Systems, based in Washington, DC. He specializes in data visualization, client/server architectures, object-oriented principles, and rich application development. He has been developing for the Web for more than a decade, with more than eight years in development for the Flash platform. Andrew has developed with Flex since version 1.5, and thrives off the creativity and rich experience that the Flex/Flash platform enables. Andrew is also a regular author for Adobe Devnet and other industry weblogs. He is known not only for Flex expertise but is also a Microsoft Certified Application Developer and possesses a wide range of knowledge regarding relational databases, AJAX/JavaScript, ColdFusion, .NET, and Java-based Web applications.

David Hassoun is the founder of RealEyes Media, LLC, a digital media firm based in Colorado that focuses on interactive motion media and advanced Flash and Flex platform applications. David has always had a passion for motion media, the power of video, and the challenges of usability and interactivity. David is an Adobe Certified Master Instructor, teaches advanced RIA classes at the University of Denver, serves as the Rocky Mountain Adobe user group manager, and has taught and developed advanced Flash and Flex application courses. As a consultant or while employed with other firms, he has worked for a wide range of companies such as American Express, Chase Manhattan, Qwest, Boeing, Macromedia, Adobe, the U.S. Air Force, Bechtel/Bettis, and many more. David regularly performs advanced code and technical best practices reviews, and has provided directional advice for international industry leaders over the past years — including many technical, courseware, and application reviews as an industry expert.

Joe Berkovitz is president of Noteflight LLC, maker of the world’s first online music notation editor, and is a senior software architect with consulting shop Infrared5. With almost three decades of designing and building world-class software, Joe brings creativity and discipline to his work in Flash and Flex. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and is the originator of the popular MVCS architecture for complex Flex applications. Joe has published several ambitious open-source projects, most recently the Moccasin graphical editing framework and Flexcover, a code coverage tool for AS3. Joe is an active pianist and composer, and performs frequently in the Boston area.


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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Flex 3 Training July 19 2009
By Kevin Carlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As usual, Wrox sets the standard among self-study books, this time for Flex 3. A multitude of bite-sized exercises steps the reader through all the fundamentals of this exciting (and complex) RIA development tool.
I personally much prefer this to the "build-one-giant-project" approach used by Adobe's "Training from the Source" book, for example.

The one area I have found lacking so far has been regarding PHP database integration. The authors cover only RESTful web services with the Zend Framework. I would have preferred seeing some examples using the popular AMFPHP and WebORB technologies as well. (Installing the Zend Framework on a Linux server seems quite a bit more involved than these other approaches, perhaps especially so for shared server users, who may rarely if ever deal with Apache configuration issues.)

For more PHP data integration options, and an encyclopedic coverage of Flex, also check out the "Flex 3 Bible", and for some good overall tips and tricks, in addition I recommend "Flex 3 Cookbook".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have July 13 2009
By shawn yale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are a professional Flex developer or someone just starting out, and you are looking for one book, this is the one. This is one of those books that you can read (and reference) over and over and learn something new each time you pick it up.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid - Something for Every Skill Level July 4 2009
By Alan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Generally, something that does many things well, doesn't do any one thing great....

This book does many things great.

How did the publisher do this? Well, by making the book 1300 pages and having 8 authors. I think of this book not as 'one big book' but more as a few smaller ones put together.

Even though I am an experienced developer, I enjoyed the 'intro' to AS and Flex bits. This is accomplished by having an easy reading - cut to the chase attitude. There are plenty of 'advanced' topics as well, and those are easy and straightforward as well.

Honestly, I don't know what else to say about this book. It's comprehensive, easy to read and is exploding with insight. Just check out the Table Of Contents and you'll see what I mean - really, check it out. Perhaps you will be surprised as I was at the range of topics it hits: from memory management with Eclipse to integration with REST/Zend, even Blaze/LCDS and FlexUint....sheesh, what doesn't it cover.

Hmm I should probably mention a weakness it has.....ahhhh... the book is heavy...? Seriously tho, I haven't had the time to read the whole thing ( did I mention it's 1300 pages ). I'm sure it has shortcomings, but over the last few weeks nothing has stood out to me as yet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the advanced Flex reference July 20 2009
By Kara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When you chose to publish a 1300 pages/8 authors book this late in the Flex 3 lifecycle, it really tells something about your ambition.
My advice, don't pass on this book, even if the vision of the Flex 4 beta might second guest you.
You will learn a lot, even if you're an advanced flex developer, and I think I will continue to reopen this book until Flex 6 or 7 is on my computer.

For example, you can't find a more comprehensive and deep documentation about Cairngorm than the 3 chapters in this book. And this book also covers some advanced topics I only found on some experts' blogs like the correct use of dictionnaries.

And if the first part of the book is easy to pick, aiming at the beginner, I even found some really good insights in it.

I think I see this book as I saw the Action Script books by Colin Moock: a book one shouldn't bother not to have.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great detailed Flex book Aug. 12 2009
By Todd Crone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've read several good Flex books (Flex Solutions, Training from the Source) and some not so good ones. This one is probably what I have wanted all along. After using Flex for 2 years I can still get valuable information out of the earlier chapters of the book. It really explains things in depth rather than just showing you how to make it work. If you are a beginner, this might not be your book although it does cover the more basic things. I think this is more for someone with at least a little experience that can appreciate understanding the how and why things work in Flex. It's a huge book with over 1300 pages. Admittedly some pages are filled with screen shots of Flex Builder and code but it doesn't feel like fluff to me.

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