Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gumbo and Data

This week I was at Adobe MAX. While there I picked up a DVD with a preview of Flex Builder 4 and Flash Catalyst (Thermo.) One thing of particular interest to me was the new data-centric abilities of Flex Builder. Let's take a look at them.

Recently I finished an article for IBM on using Grails and Flex together. In the article I created a Digg-clone and used things like Flex DataGrid and Forms to browse and submit stories. I decided to see how well the new Flex Builder tools could create the same code for me. So I took the existing service and imported into Flex Builder

The screenshots give you an idea of the process. As you can see from the final screenshot, there is a lot of code generated! A service proxy and return types are both generated. Actually for each there is a base class with all of the guts and empty class built for you to customize. There is a modeling class that contains metadata about the return type. The base service class uses a new Flex class HTTPMultiService. It is a lot of code, a lot more than I wrote. Most of it seems reasonable though.

You can also generate a data grid for displaying the data. This worked perfectly for me. Gumbo also promises that in the future you will be able to generate other components, in particular a Form.

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