Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, ColdFusion, Machine Learning , Release Management

Adobe Flex: Article

Three RIA Platforms Compared: Adobe Flex, Google Web Toolkit, and OpenLaszlo

Strengths and weaknesses evaluated in three Report Cards

Kevin Whinnery's 2.0 A Go-Go Blog

The defining characteristic of any RIA is that it has a stateful client that is (or should be) platform and browser independent. With the advent of new RIA platforms like Flex, GWT, and OpenLaszlo, developers now have all the reach of a traditional thin-client web application with many of the useful characteristics of thick-client applications, such as the ability to maintain state on the client. Is there a clear winner of the three, one toolkit that developers should focus on at the expense of the others? I don’t really think so. They each have their strengths and weaknesses.

Here  I thought I would dedicate a little web space to throwing in my two cents about what I think those strengths and weaknesses are. Is there a clear winner of the three, one toolkit that developers should focus on at the expense of the others? I don’t really think so. Much of that decision is based on the requirements for your project. But Flex, GWT, and LZX are certainly not created equal for all tasks, and I hope to give you a sense of what tool is going to be the best choice for your project.

In grade school teacher style, I have scored these three frameworks based on my own appraisal of their utility in the area specified:

Flex Report Card:

  • Language Syntax: B
  • Development Process: C+ (B+ with purchase of the 400 dollar Flex Builder Eclipse plugin)
  • Widgets/Features/Power of Toolkit: A
  • Ease of Deployment: B
  • Server-Side Data Integration: B+
  • Client-Side Performance: A-
  • Platform Flexibility: B-

    Notes:

    Adobe Flex, in my opinion, is the most powerful of the three frameworks in terms of what you can accomplish visually with the least amount of work. Native drag and drop support for many widgets, CSS-type styling for components, and fine-tuned control over component behaviors give the developer the most tools to do wild and crazy stuff with their user interface.

    The language syntax is based on XML and ActionScript, which coupled together provide an expressive means of composing a UI. MXML tags work well to nest components and easily create layouts that are human readable. In terms of client-side performance, Adobe Flex 2 stacks up pretty well, as version 9 of the Flash Player (required for Flex 2) offers some serious performance upgrades over previous versions. Flex is agnostic in where it retrieves server-side data and provides solid functionality for SOAP web services, REST web services, and Java/ColdFusion remote object functionality (though I’ve never personally used the remote object stuff).

    In the negative column, Flex is (ironically) the least flexible of the frameworks in terms of platform, as it can only run in version 9 of the Flash Player (and it can be compiled for Adobe AIR, but that is a topic outside of this conversation). The good news is that according to Adobe, over 90% of the web community in most developed markets already have Flash Player 9 installed, and that number increases all the time. And unless you purchase the spendy Flex Builder Eclipse plugin, the Flex development cycle can be a chore, as Flex files must be compiled via a script. Also, the command line debugger is not very user friendly when compared to most modern IDE debuggers.

    See next page for GWT Report Card and OpenLaszlo Report Card...

More Stories By Kevin Whinnery

Kevin Whinnery is a core contributor and Technical Evangelist for Appcelerator, an open source Rich Internet Application framework. Prior to joining Appcelerator, Kevin has been a web developer on both the client and server side for ERP vendor Lawson Software and technical consultancy Perficient, Inc. Kevin is also the author of the upcoming book "Appcelerator In Action" from Manning Publications.

Comments (2) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
NN 05/12/08 04:50:27 AM EDT

Yeah you are right GWT is poor man's Flex.

After using GWT on two projects I am done with creating UI using Java.

Best combo is Flex + ROR or Flex + Java (server side rules no question about that)

Otherwise Appcelerator sounds great for page level RIA.

Flex Wins 02/04/08 11:28:48 AM EST

Overall Flex has the upper hand - not only has Flex Builder's price dropped (250, and don't forget that you get what you pay for with the free alternatives, ya spoiled devs...), but it's not fair to say Flex is "less flexible" on platform. You're saying it's not flexible because it only runs on the Flash 9 "platform", yet when comparing GWT's platform compatibility, you switch the definition of "platform" to the web browser (I guess). Problem is, Flash/Flex runs on that same platform, and arguably runs BETTER because it doesn't care about the browser or the OS, unlike JavaScript/Ajax. Flex is running in the "Flash VM" so it obtains platform independence quite well with that in mind. GWT... might be "pretty good", but it's basically the poor man's Flex.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...