The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

Archive for November, 2007

The Flex Developer's Best Friend

Before I stareted developing applications in Flex, I was primarily a ColdFusion developer (and still am). OK, there was that brief time when I used PHP, but I was going through a ‘phase’. I missed the seemingly mythical debugger in earlier versions of ColdFusion, so when I started developing Flex applications, the debugger was just this thing in the toolbar that had a nifty little button, but I was really not to sure what to do with it.

Once I started to understand how to use the debugger, I learned that the debugger is my best friend and one of the greatest learning tools for Flex. Here’s an example. A little bit a go, a friend asked me a question about <mx:tilelist> and if you could figure out what row and column an item was in. Not knowing for sure, I opened up an application I knew had a tileList and added an ‘itemClick’ property which called a method I created. I added a breakpoint to the method and debugged the application. I found more information about the tileList than I could ever want. By looking at the ‘target’ of the mouse event, I discovered some properties I never knew existed, such as rowCount and ColumnCount. Using this information and the slectedIndecies you can easily figure out the row and column for any selected item.

Don’t just use the debugger when you have a problem, use it to learn more about Flex and its components. Let it become your best friend, it truly is one of the more powerful tools Flex developers have.

Model-Glue Training Prices Dropped

This is just a quick entry to point out that Alagad’s Model-Glue training prices have been dropped by 40%.&nbsp; I received some helpful feedback from the community and decided this was the right thing to do.

Anyone who has already registered will receive a refund for the difference. &nbsp;

Click here for more information on the Enterprise ColdFusion with Model-Glue training class.

Click here for the February 2008 training session to be held in Arlington, VA.

Using ColdFusion 8 with Microsoft Exchange Server

In my opinion, one of the least discussed but more useful features of ColdFusion 8 is the easy integration with Microsoft Exchange Server. Without having to navigate through the quagmire that is the Exchange LDAP directory structure, you can easily retrieve and manage mail messages, calendar events, contacts and tasks.

There are several projects I have worked on where this functionality would have been a blessing. In a recent article on Adobe Developer’s Center, I discuss one project which needed Exchange connectivity, and what I wold have done differntly using ColdFusion 8. Check out the article to see if it sparks some ideas for Microsoft Exchange integration.

Server Virtualization 2 – OVF An Industry Standard

Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, VMWare and Xensoft are colaborating in an initiative to create an industry standard for distributed virtual machines. The proposed name for the standard is OVF for Open Virtual Machine Format. This was announced on September 10, 2007 and in my opinion is another important milestone in the evolution of virtualization and is also indicative of the rapidly maturing possibilities offered by virtualization.

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