Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Christopher Harrold, Derek Weeks, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

I Can't Wait To Get Started

How I came to give myself more work and love every minute of it

I can't wait to get started." The sentiment struck me pretty hard as I struggled to get some sleep on a packed red-eye flight leaving Las Vegas at 11 o'clock at night.

I had visions of components and Flex Forms dancing in my head and I was still reeling from the sheer sense of empowerment that I felt. It's funny, but sitting there with my laptop loaded with the ColdFusion Developers Edition and a copy of Flex Builder, I felt as if I could write the most elegant piece of Web software that my mind could conjure up. I still feel that way now.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Simon Horwith, through his blog, recruited me into checking out Adobe MAX 2006 in Las Vegas and report my findings back to you. Having never been, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Other than a lot of swag, I anticipated copious demonstrations of Adobe technology and not much else.

I was sorely mistaken.

It all started with CFUnderground on a beautiful Sunday Las Vegas morning. Having no idea what to expect when I stepped into an abandoned bar at 9 o'clock in the morning, I soon relished my time as I made some quick friends and learned something that was true during my entire time at MAX: these developers are some of the nicest and most transparent people I had ever met. Numerous times throughout the day it would not be uncommon for someone to open his laptop and expose his code, either to show you some uncanny way of overcoming some coding roadblock or ask how you could make the code better. People weren't arrogant in the way they explained things and it was welcomed when another developer would join the conversation or even just look over a shoulder to gain understanding. CFUnderground was a fantastic icebreaker, and, for me, was the first time I saw ColdFusion as a scalable object-oriented language. Michael Dinowitz gave a remarkable talk about how to think about ColdFusion in an object-oriented way (which was a helpful precursor to the 23-page article he wrote about the subject that I read just three days later). Mini-MAX soon followed (in the same bar no less) and was a rapid-fire succession of some of the speakers and topics we were going to see at MAX.

Monday morning, after some initial issues with my registration, I was presented with the marvelous MAX 2006 conference bag that would be used by many over the next few days to identify themselves in the throng of Las Vegas gamblers and gastroenterologists who had a much less exciting conference right below ours. I found the exhibit hall to be a great hideout during the pre-conference and in between sessions as developers took root in MAX beanbags and couches strewn all about when they weren't trying to pilfer swag away from the vendors that were strewn about as well. The conference store was stocked (although the Flex books flew off the shelves like they were printed on sheets of $100 bills) and there was always something interesting going on in the small pockets of people gathered around a laptop looking at some chunk of code or wild Flash movie.

Tuesday is when things really began to roll with the first of three keynote sessions. The first keynote was kicked off by an awesome performance from the Blue Man Group and then went on a whirlwind tour of some of the really exciting things that Adobe has up its sleeve. It started with a talk about the marriage of Adobe and Macromedia and gave way to demonstrations of some of the new features in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Acrobat, and other things. Ben Forta rocked by showing off the ColdFusion/Flex Wizard in Flex Builder where, in a matter of minutes, he was able to create an entire Flex front-end and ColdFusion back-end to a few tables he had written for a Flex version of iTunes. From there Kevin Lynch took the stage to demo Apollo, the Adobe desktop publishing application. It was cool that it wasn't this new complicated architecture that we'd all have to learn and pore over to get things published. It was a way for us developers to take the stuff we're doing already with ColdFusion and Flex and bring it to the desktop. Needless to say, it started the conference on a good note. Well, that and the $100 million venture fund announced by Adobe to invest in Apollo developers.

The Wednesday keynote focused on Verizon and the ability of U.S. phones to run Flash content now through Brew and the different ways Flash developers can get their content to those phones. The "Can you hear me now?" Verizon guy made an appearance as well as the Flash-enabled Chumby. Thursday was sneak peek day as features were finally revealed from Fireworks to Dreamweaver and, of course, ColdFusion. Ben Forta took the stage aptly dressed as Scorpio Man as he and Tim Buntel showed off the ColdFusion eight-server monitoring tool and the much anticipated cfimage tag. There was some other cool stuff in the form of Soundbooth, the Flex-AJAX bridge, a demo of the ability to export MXML from Fireworks, and a very welcome debugger panel to be found in Flash 9. The keynotes were quite a production as over 3,000 people converged into the giant auditorium each morning in fervent anticipation of hearing the morsels of information Adobe was going to release next.

The developer sessions were something that I would really come to appreciate as being the greatest part about MAX. Gone was the lofty manager-speak and 25-cent developer phrases - here's where we got down to code and, at the risk of sounding like a haughty superficial mind shrink, I really enjoyed watching people who knew what they were talking about teach their chosen craft. Any Google search will return the content of those sessions but certainly not the spirit - I learned so much from the guy sitting next to me or from the bowling-shirt-wearing ColdFusion team member who always seemed eager to answer my constant barrage of what I thought to be annoying and elementary questions. Two really great sessions from this track were the "Component Development to ColdFusion MX 7" session taught by Dave Gallerizzo and "Leveraging ColdFusion Components in ColdFusion" taught by Ray Camden (who is about as pleasant and approachable as they come). The Flex sessions were simply amazing and as I sat through them I had to bolt myself to the chair so I wouldn't run out to try all of the new effects and techniques that they were covering. The "Leveraging Flex 2 and Flash Player 9 for Truly Cinematic Experiences" session given by Alex Uhlmann was, well, truly cinematic and the "Building Rich Internet Applications with Flex Builder" by Mark Shepherd was as great a teaching session as it was an example of how fast someone who is experienced with Flex and ColdFusion can build a working and impressive application in a brief amount of time. In short, I couldn't take enough notes and I find myself wishing now that I had had more time to attend more sessions - there was simply too much for one person to take in at once.

So here I am back on the plane. It's funny, but as I'm sitting here thinking of the various development projects that I know I have to rework, based on my new understanding of how to em ploy the various Adobe products I use on a day-to-day basis - I can't help but think of how my users are going to react to the new things they're about to experience. What are they going to say when I plunk down that first Flex app in front of them and they see how much more quickly and easily they can do their jobs than previously thought. What are they going to say when the time it used to take me to develop a Flash application drops by 75% or when I ask them to download their first Apollo app to use right from their desktop? Although MAX is a slickly produced and well-funded event, it's really the developers who made the experience for me - the networking alone is worth the price of admission. I left knowing that the ColdFusion/Flex/Flash community isn't one of fierce competition and cutthroat politics, but of friends and a general spirit of cooperation. I'll certainly be coming next year - even if Simon doesn't pay my way again.

More Stories By Paul Mignard

Paul Mignard is an application developer for Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, where he uses ColdFusion, Flash, and Flex. When not working he is usually trying to keep his blog updated at www.onekidney.com and loves spending time with wife, family, and friends.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...