Trawling through the Flex Remoting world

24 01 2008

Well, I’ve been a-reading, powering through the offerings available on the communication between .NET and Flex.

If you don’t know why, the reason is that Flex is almost completely a client-side application, and requires a server-side application to handle everything from databasing to file uploading.

Basically, everyone seems to agree on the remoting option rather than HTTP services or WebServices and fair enough. However, a lot of the documentation seems to focus around WebORB which is a pretty fantastic tool from The Midnight Coders. It is a remoting gateway that sits on IIS (requiring version 6, and thereby Windows Server 2003, I later learned) and interfaces with classes you make in .NET. There are open-source options, the main one I have been testing is FluorineFx which seems to be the newer release of Fluorine. However, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of WebORB.  But – I can develop on my own machine (running XP), which is a plus as you can imagine.

Essentially, you setup a virtual directory on IIS, running .NET 2.0 and then tell Flex to run from within that .NET application. On the .NET side, you ensure your classes use the right remoting compiler directives, and on the Flex side, ensure your actionscript objects reflect their .NET counterparts. Then in Flex, use the RemoteObject control along with a source property (which is the namespace and classname of your class) and call your methods via the RemoteObject.

Phew. It’s a bit messy comparing the different implementations of Flex remoting though, and that’s what I’m currently struggling with, not to mention, using the still-under-testing Flex 3 Beta 3.

I’ll post more, with examples, when I understand more.

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