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E-commerce with FLEX. Good Idea?

 
Danilo Dadonas
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Hi. I'm gonna develop an e-commerce but I'm having problem deciding what kind of technology to use. I'd like to use flex + Java, but I never saw an e-commerce built and working over flex. What do you think?

Thanks.
 
Paul Sturrock
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There are plenty out there.

Things I would caution you with for large Flex based sites ("e-commerce" or otherwise):
  • For complex forms its not the best choice (you will find yourself reinventing the wheel a bit). Flash is best with lots of graphical interactive stuff, not things that are largely text and inputs.
  • performance testing is more complex than an HTML site
  • i18n support is in its infancy (its fine for Western character sets, but less good for RTL languages)
  • E-commerce require a quick response time or the customer goes elsewhere. A carelessly build fat client and you loose your customers
  • Container integration is poor with BlazeDS (should you use this). If you want to use a JEE container other than Tomcat/JBoss, things will go wrong.

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    Danilo Dadonas
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    Right, Paul. But what languages/frameworks would you use to develop the client side? HTML/CSS, JQuery, Servlets/JSP, Wicket, Tiles, Velocity? What kind of technologies websites like amazon.com has been used? The server side is easy to me because I've worked with java for years. And maybe it's the problem. I'm a java programmer and I have dificult do make a rich client side. That's why I'm trying to use a good RIA.
     
    Paul Sturrock
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    Can't speak for Amazon really, but ultimately their site appears to be is just HTML plus some AJAX. What frameworks they use I can't say.

    I think you are clouding the question. Its really:
  • Some plug-in technology (such as Flash, Applets, native ActiveX application)
  • or HTML (with AJAX/JavaScript frameworks if required)



  • The server side is easy to me because I've worked with java for years

    We'll that's OK, except Flex presents you with a bunch of new problems for which you usually need something like BlazeDS or LCDS.
     
    Danilo Dadonas
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    I developed some webapps with flex/blazeDS. It was a good experience. But I think it's not (maybe yet) a good idea to develop wesites.
    OK, Paul. My choice is HTML/AJAX.

    Thanks a lot.
     
    It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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