Recently I’ve been given the opportunity to work on adding LiveCycle Data Services (LCDS) samples to Tour de Flex in an effort to help ‘de-mystify’ it for developers. In my opinion it seems that many find it a bit intimidating, at least anything beyond using HTTPService, WebService or RemoteObject anyway… I think much of this is due to the lack of information on how to use it exactly (other than the super helpful coenraets.org), the confusion about configuration, (since there are so many different XML files involved) and developers not knowing exactly how to set it up with their projects to get started with it quickly and not painfully :)! I am a great example of this myself because I remember full-well the experience I had when I needed to use it on my first project and know the frustrations that could have been avoided given the right knowledge!
The overall goal of these samples is to help get developers started with showing off the many different features available in a simplified manner, along with explanatory text, source code (including server side), XML configuration file entries etc. I was involved in numerous discussions regarding these samples and how to best present them with Adobe Evangelists Greg Wilson, Christophe Coenraets and James Ward, and they had some really great ideas that I believe will be a huge benefit to the community of developers of all types. Some samples have already been added thus far (under top-level category Flex Data Access), and notes about them are listed in the QuickStart page that’s shown when you open Tour de Flex initially (on both the AIR and web versions). However, there are more to come, as well as some samples that highlight using Flex and LiveCycle Data Services with a back-end other than Java (PHP, ColdFusion, .NET, Ruby etc). As part of this goal, we’re hoping to solicit samples from other server side software companies showing how to use their APIs, so look for those in the near future. I’m also about to release a sample that shows how to work with Hibernate on the back-end with your Flex client using data services.
In addition to the samples, I’ve also started writing up some summary notes to supplement them and explain some things about LCDS overall. I’m hoping these notes will help people get started quickly since they are coming from a fellow developer’s point of view who’s sorta been there, done that and will hopefully simplify things for people beyond trying to gather it from reading the very large LCDS developer’s guide :)! That post will be coming in the next week as well so please check back again soon!