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Adobe Flex versus… what?

  • # October 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Hey all,

    I’m wondering if any of you have had any experience with Adobe Flex. I have a current client that is looking to add a rather large new section to his website that is pretty complex that uses locations and maps and the like. He referenced something “similar” to what he was looking for, which was a client portal that was 100% designed in Flex.

    Are there certain applications, such as possibly this type of thing, where Flex is clearly a great solution? Or can it easily be the case where javascript, css and php can get the job done and look as good without the same cost of developing within a pure Flex application. I just don’t know enough about Flex to answer it confidently.

    # October 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I think there are certainly gifted coders who could knockup a Flex style app using JavaScript, CSS and PHP (and I’m assuming a database, and external sources such as maps etc). The main difference is ease – flex has tonnes of built in tools to help you create an app – simply validating a form in PHP is at least half an hours work.

    Flex creates Flash apps, but its kind of like a graphical user interface for a flash framework. Frameworks can be found in loads of languages, not just Flash (jQuery for example is a JavaScript frame work) and help you do stuff faster.

    One of the most famous ones at the moment is Ruby on Rails, I sometimes use Django, but to keep to your question about PHP there are also PHP frameworks such as Yii (Google PHP frameworks).

    Back to the question: You can build Flex style apps in just PHP, CSS, JavaScript and MySQL – but you really wouldn’t want to as it would take forever. You could also learn a framework that would help you make it faster, but it would take a long time to be very comfortable with that framework. What would I do? I’d get a professional or a company to do it in another framework such as Rails (or just Flex lol!)

    On a final note, I’d say don’t reinvent stuff though. If there is a map based something you mentioned, Google maps has a great API which won’t need Flash… maybe you can find all the components you need dotted around, ready made for you to use.

    Cheers, Dave

    # October 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Great stuff, thanks for the reply. Yeah I definitely don’t want to reinvent the wheel… the complexity in this thing is that on top of the map there’s all kinds of custom data like specific hotels, routes, information, etc. So no matter what I think it’s going to be a pretty big endeavor.

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