New Book: "Flex on Rails: Building Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex 3 and Rails 2"

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009.01.02 CoverSmall.jpg

Finally our book on using Flex with Rails is released and will appear over the next few days in stores around the US and is available on Amazon. I received a couple of copies from the publisher and it felt like an accomplishment to hold a physical version in my hands. I am sure my co-author, Tony, felt the same. Good job man! With this release we are also launching where you can find all the source code of the book as well as other resources related to Flex and Rails, and our blog the blog for everything on Flex with Ruby On Rails...

So here are the top 10 reasons why should you absolutely buy this book even if you are not a programmer....1) Your vision will improve 2) You'll run faster 3) Aging gets reverted 4)... Just kidding, the main reasons for us to write this book was that we really wanted to share many of the experiences and findings we had on using Flex and Rails on many projects, and we are proud of the outcome. It's a book by developers for developers. I'll be blogging in a next entry about the process of writing this book, and will create a screencast presenting the different applications we are creating in the book, so stay tuned. When writing the book we assumed that you where a developer, either a Flex developer or a Rails developer that needed to interact with the other side and wanted to add Rails or Flex to it's battery of languages. You will certainly find your way around even if you don't know Flex or Rails. In either case we didn't create a reference book so you won't find all the answers about each api that is available in both frameworks, but you will find everything you need to get started integrating Flex with Rails, and delve into wonderful world of Flex on Rails applications. For the example code we didn't want to build a large application and refine it over time through the chapters, so most chapter contain one or several working applications used to highlight the major integration aspects explained in that chapter. And Rails is just fantastic to create small applications on the fly, and Flex and Actionscript is pretty good for that too. So to give you a better overview of the content of this book I have attached the official description and the table of content. For more info come back to and I hope you enjoy the book and the sample applications. So go check it out and let us know what you think.



“There’s no question you’re going to be a better Flex and Rails developer when you’re done reading this book.”
–From the Foreword by Matt Chotin, Senior Product Manager, Adobe Systems, Inc.

Adobe Flex enables the rapid development of rich and engaging user experiences. Ruby on Rails dramatically simplifies the development of database-driven web applications. Now there’s a book that shows how to use the newest versions of both frameworks together to create state-of-the-art Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).

Flex on Rails begins with the absolute essentials: setting up your environment for Flex and Rails, passing data with XML, and integrating Flex front-ends with Rails back-ends. Then, using practical, easy-to-understand code examples, the authors take you from the basics to advanced topics only discussed in this book. Techniques covered here include 

* Constructing sophisticated interfaces that can’t be created with AJAX alone

* Using RESTful services to expose applications for access via APIs

* Testing Flex and Rails together

* Using Flex Frameworks

* Getting Flex into your build/deploy process

* And more… 

The authors also offer practical introductions to powerful complementary technologies, such as RubyAMF and Juggernaut.

Written by developers with extensive experience using both frameworks, this book covers the new Adobe Flex 3 and Ruby on Rails 2 from the ground up. Even if you have minimal experience with Flex or Rails, you’ll learn all you need to know to use them to build exceptional production applications.

Table of Contents

Foreword xv
Preface xvii
Acknowledgments from Tony Hillerson xxi
Acknowledgments from Daniel Wanja xxii
About the Authors xxiv
PART I: Flex and Rails Essentials
Chapter 1: Developing with Flex and Rails 3
Installation: What You Need to Get Running 3
The Structure of a Flex and Rails Application 6
The Example Code 9
Compiling MXML 9
Running the Rails Server 9
Summary 9
Chapter 2: Passing Data with XML 11
XML in Rails 11
XML in Flex 14
Getting XML to Flex 17
Sending XML to Rails 19
Mapping Data Types 21
Error Handling 25
Summary 28
Chapter 3: Flex with RESTful Services 29
Creating the Stock Portfolio Rails Application 29
Accessing Our RESTful Application with Flex 39
Summary 48
Chapter 4: Using Fluint to Test a Flex with Rails Application 49
Using Fluint to Write Your Flex Unit Tests 50
The Basics of Testing a Flex Application 51
Testing a Cairngorm-Based Application 59
Using Fixtures 79
Summary 83
Chapter 5: Passing Data with AMF 85
What Is AMF? 85
Benefits of AMF 86
RubyAMF 87
A Simple RubyAMF Example 95
A RESTful RubyAMF Integration 101
Summary 103
Chapter 6: Debugging 105
Logging 106
Debuggers 110
Command Line Debuggers 117
Debugging Communication 127
Summary 129
Chapter 7: Data Visualization 131
Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) 133
Advanced DataGrid 144
Charting 147
Summary 152
Chapter 8: Flex MVC Frameworks 153
What Do We Mean by a Framework? 153
Roll Your Own 154
Cairngorm at a High Level 154
PureMVC at a High Level 159
Stuff 163
Summary 182
Chapter 9: Performance and Optimization 185
Flex Performance 185
Rails Performance 206
Summary 211
PART II: Cookbook Recipes

Chapter 10: Source Control Flex and Rails Projects 215
Goal 215
Solution 215
Ignoring Files in Subversion 215
Git 217
Discussion 218
Summary 219
Chapter 11: Building Flex with Rake 221
Goal 221
Solution 221
Rake Is Your Friend 221
The Rakefile 222
Summary 225
Chapter 12: Deploying Flex and Rails Applications 227
Goal 227
Solution 227
Capistrano 227
Deploying with Capistrano 228
Summary 232
Chapter 13: Read the Source! 233
Goal 233
Solution 233
The Beauty of Open Source 233
The Rails Source 235
Flex Source 238
Generated Flex Source 240
Summary 243
Chapter 14: Using Observers to Clean Up Code 245
Goal 245
Solution 245
BindingUtils and ChangeWatchers in Flex 245
Taking Action on ActiveRecord Lifecycle Events 248
Summary 250
Chapter 15: Authenticating 251
Goal 251
Solution 251
Authenticating Users 251
Installing restful_authentication 251
Summary 257
Chapter 16: Reusing Commands with Prana Sequences 259
Goal 259
Solution 259
Sequences 259
Prana’s EventSequence 261
Summary 265
Chapter 17: Hierarchical Data with RubyAMF 267
Goal 267
Solution 267
Nested Sets 267
Summary 273
Chapter 18: Advanced Data Grid and Awesome Nested Set 275
Goal 275
Solution 275
Overview 275
Create the Rails Application and Database 275
Creating a Script to Load the Data 276
Flex Application 279
Adding CRUD 282
Summary 287
Chapter 19: Runtime Flex Configuration with Prana 289
Goal 289
Solution 289
IoC, Eh? 289
Summary 293
Chapter 20: Server Push with Juggernaut 295
Goal 295
Solution 295
Push Technology 295
Juggernaut 295
Creating the Rails Messaging Application 297
Creating the Flex Messaging Client Application 299
Summary 301
Chapter 21: Communicating between Flex and JavaScript 303
Goal 303
Solution 303
Communication between Flex and JavaScript 303
Security 303
Building the Samples 304
ExternalInterface 304
SWFObject and Prototype 305
ExternalInterface in Action 305
Flex-Ajax Bridge in Action 309
Summary 311
Chapter 22: File Upload 313
Goal 313
Solution 313
File Upload 313
Creating the Rails Application and Installing attachment_fu 315
Using Flex’s FileReference Class to Upload
One or Several Files 316
Using Flex URLLoader Class to Upload a PNG File 318
Summary 320
Index 321

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Blogger WhittierPc said...

This looks like a great book!

What I'm curious about is do you show examples of building a flex shopping cart with rails doing the heavy lifting in the back?

January 5, 2009 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger YogiFish said...

Got the book. Wow, a lot to consume. Love the fast pace of getting to the point in each chapter.

January 22, 2009 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Alexis Tejeda said...

wow,i'm geeting involved using flex with rails, and rails with flex, very nice features, but i have a problem to get the book, i'm from south-america Chile, and i want to buy it in PDF format to get rigth now the book.

March 11, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

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