Flex & Ruby on Rails

August 23, 2007

Recently I been looking into Adobe Flex and AIR and found promising. Flex been in market for couple of years and recently opensourced by Adobe (SDK is Free but FlexBuilder is NOT. But you could build Flex apps in any editor and compile with SDK).  Flex Applications are run inside browser in Flash Player where as AIR makes applications build with flex run as desktop applications.  

The good thing about Flash or Flex application is it looks and run identically in all browsers and environments  where as similar thing is hard to achieve with pure DHTML or Ajax.   Microsoft is also developing a similar product named “SilverLight” a browser plugin similar to Flash to run RIAs.

While all these are nice enhancement to Front-end, your backend still remains same.  Flex/AIR/SilveLight can talk with Java, .NET or PHP backend services and present the data in more exciting way.  Same as the case for Ruby on Rails.

In fact Rails makes serving your models as XML lot easier with ‘to_xml’  method and flexible functions like ‘respond_to?’  to sniff whether client wants HTML or XML. So it shouldnt be any harder to mix some flex in your app.

These are some resources to get your feet wet:

http://www.liverail.net/flex

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/articles/flex2_rails.html

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