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Flex 3 with Java: Is flex matured enough to really support enterprise applications?

manoj r patil
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 181
Is flex 3 matured enough to support the big enterprise applications?

Following are my issues/concerns:
1. Flex Builder is too resource hungry and it is too slow. One deployment cycle on enterprise level application is taking few minutes. One option is to disable auto build but then will have to wait till it compiles mxml into .swf file successfully otherwise go back and correct the flex errros.
2. memory intensive at client side esp. when dealing with too many popup windows.
3. How does garbage collector of flash works? - I still could not read enough on this.

Does this book "Flex 3 with Java" address the above issues directly/indirectly so that one can give appropriate design thoughts much in advance before implementation?


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Paul Sturrock
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Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Yes. I'm currently using it to write one.


1. Flex Builder is too resource hungry and it is too slow. One deployment cycle on enterprise level application is taking few minutes. One option is to disable auto build but then will have to wait till it compiles mxml into .swf file successfully otherwise go back and correct the flex errros.

FlexBuilder does need work I'll agree. But we don't find it excessively slow - our application is c3000 as and mxml files it build is 10 seconds or so.


2. memory intensive at client side esp. when dealing with too many popup windows.

As with any RIA (Applets, AJAX, ActiveX) this needs testing. You can write any application badly this is up to the developer its not something that is intrinsic to a technology.


3. How does garbage collector of flash works? - I still could not read enough on this.

Have a read of this.


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manoj r patil
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 181
Thanks for the response, Paul.

But we don't find it excessively slow - our application is c3000 as and mxml files it build is 10 seconds or so.

My flex code size is 20 Mb and java code (we are using spring) is ~17Mb. This size is excluding any external libraries. If I modify any single mxml/.AS file and wanted to test, it takes almost 3-4 minutes to update and deploy it on JBoss and then compile it to .SWF file. This performance is on 32bit XP with core 2 duo machine and 2GB RAM. I tried different ways, used different forums and tried to implement the ways suggested but could not get enough success. Even if I have set the IDE to build the project incrementally, still it seems that its validating the whole project and mxmlc seems to be taking more time.


Have a read of this.

I have checked this thread quite often where Alex tries to address the queries to his post. Even from that blog, I found many users who are complaining about this issue. One thing I read on Adobe site only that even if you de-reference the UI object, until you don't remove its events explicitly, it won't be free for Garbage Collector. This seems strange to me.

There may be something seriously wrong with the architecture (we are following cairngorm) but the issue I am facing is limited community support. When we tried to find Adobe consult in my area (I stay at Pune, India), we could not get any who would be really proficient in solving such problem.
Paul Sturrock
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Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336


This size is excluding any external libraries. If I modify any single mxml/.AS file and wanted to test, it takes almost 3-4 minutes to update and deploy it on JBoss and then compile it to .SWF file. This performance is on 32bit XP with core 2 duo machine and 2GB RAM. I tried different ways, used different forums and tried to implement the ways suggested but could not get enough success. Even if I have set the IDE to build the project incrementally, still it seems that its validating the whole project and mxmlc seems to be taking more time.

I'm guessing you use Eclipse's deploy mechanism to publish the application to your server? Personally, I'm not too keen on this approach. We use Ant with Windows file junctioning to deploy our application so there is no need to move swfs (or html, css, js, jsp etc.) to deploy the applciation and it builds ok. The 10 seconds I talked about is the time to compile the swf which is the bit I think is a little slow, especially if you compare it to a similaraly sized applet project in Eclipse. The Flex project is one of around 30 application components that make up our app. - the whole application is in the region of 900MB and a build from clean of the whole lot this way takes about five minutes on a simmilar speced machine to your own.

I'd have a look at how you do your build, there may be a better way, but it doesn't sound like its FlexBuilder per say that is the issue, its more probably the applciation server integration which is a problem in all types of application (have a read of this).
manoj r patil
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 181
Yes, you are right that I was talking about integrated development on eclipse with flex builder. Actually when we are making any GUI changes, it becomes handy to test on the integrated environment though we are now living with one workaround that we have disabled the flex auto-deployment and to test the changes, we run one script which copies modified flex files to the JBoss deploy folder and then we test it. Here we are saving lot of time.

When we do production release using ANT, it takes <5 sec to prepare the war file and around 25-30 seconds to compile the mxml to swf. Please note that we are compiling mxml at run time and it will happen once in its life for that server instance.

PS: The survey results you have referred are interesting, would contribute there.
 
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