Foundation Flex for Developers
May 21, 2008 Source article

From the Back Cover

Flex is a very powerful and versatile technology for creating web application front-ends. But what every good web application needs is a robust data source, be it XML, or a database. Flex is very adaptable in terms of connecting to data sources, and that is the main focus of this book.

In Foundation Flex for Developers, Sas and Koen assume that you've got the basics of Flex down already, and explores in detail how to create professional data-centric Flex 2 and Flex 3 applications. In the first half of the book, she starts off with a brief exploration of Flex and ActionScript 3.0, before looking at application essentials in detail—creating custom components, user and web browser interactions, binding, formatting, and validating data, debugging, and more.

In the second half of the book, the focus is on connecting Flex to data sources, and covers XML, LiveCycle Data Services, PHP, ASP.NET, and ColdFusion in detail, via a series of step-by-step case studies.

  • Covers Flex application basics
  • Covers connecting Flex 2 and Flex 3 to a variety of Data Sources
  • Includes several complete case studies

In this book you'll learn

  • How to create custom components
  • How to handle user and web browser interactions
  • How to debug Flex 2 applications
  • How to bind, format, and validate data
  • How to load and write external content
  • The essentials of XML, and working with it in Flex 2, including E4X
  • The essentials of Flex Data Services
  • How to build up data-driven Flex 2 applications with PHP, ASP.NET, and ColdFusion backends

Summary of Contents

  • Chapter 1 Introduction to Flex
  • Chapter 2 Working with ActionScript 3.0 in Flex 3
  • Chapter 3 Creating Custom Components
  • Chapter 4 Interacting with Users
  • Chapter 5 Interacting with Web Browser
  • Chapter 6 Working with Data in Flex Applications
  • Chapter 7 Introduction to XML
  • Chapter 8 Using XML in FLex Builder
  • Chapter 9 Flex Data-Driven Controls
  • Chapter 10 Debugging Flex Applications
  • Chapter 11 XML CAse Study
  • Chapter 12 ColdFusion Project
  • Chapter 13 ASP.NET Case Study
  • Chapter 14 PHP Case Study


  • Chapter 15 Introduction to LifeCycle Data Services
  • Chapter 16 LifeCycle Data Services Case Study

Who is this book for?

This book is for any Flex developer who knows the basics of building Flex UIs, and wants to learn how to connect their applications to data sources.


Foundation Flex for Developers is an in depth coverage of the Flex technology, from creating custom components to how to build data-driven applications. There is a great chapter on integrating with the web browser using JavaScript or an Ajax-Flex bridge. It also goes very in depth in covering XML in Flex builder with detailed information on understanding E4X expressions, and provides with great best practice information for MXML.

The case studies for connecting to data-driven applications are pretty short but useful. The PHP chapter walks though a Flex blog management system with a tabbed interface. It walks through how to set this up in with PHP code and how to connect to a MySQL database. The reader is facilitated with all the sample files available for download on the Friends of Ed website.

However, the book has shortcomings since there can be found problems, including typographical errors, imprecise explanations, and even a conceptual error.

Conisdering all said above, we recommend this book as a desk reference when needing assistance while working with particular items in Flex.

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