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    CSV / XLS Exporting in Adobe Coldfusion 9


    Let’s talk about XLS Exporting in Adobe Coldfusion 9 (Excel Spreadsheets). ColdFusion has this neat little tag called cfspreadsheet. It allows the writing of, updating of, and reading of CSV/XLS files in ColdFusion. This is a handy tool for exporting dynamically generated queries. It can make XLS Exporting in Adobe Coldfusion 9 very simple and easy to implement. For example, generating reports and listings of information. Adobe documented the cfspreadsheet tag as such:

    1. Manages Excel spreadsheet files
    2. Reads a sheet from a spreadsheet file and stores it in a ColdFusion spreadsheet object, query, CSV string, or HTML string.
    3. Writes single sheet to a new XLS file from a query, ColdFusion spreadsheet object, or CSV string variable.
    4. Add a sheet to an existing XLS file.

    The description as outlined above shows that this tag is very useful, and can write XLS files from cfquery objects, csv string variables, or html strings. You can also write a custom ColdFusion function to upload an XLS file, read the content, and input it into a database. However, XLS Exporting in Adobe Coldfusion 9 has its downsides. (more…)

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    NetConnection: Flash Remoting in smaller AS3 projects


    What is NetConnection? Located in the flash.net package, NetConnection inherits from EventDispatcher and then Object. It is a simple way to open a connection to a remote server, call services from it and then implement the return values into your ActionScript 3.0 project. This works even in standalone Adobe Air applications. Although it is not the best option for larger projects, it is a simple way to call remote services from a server without having to set up Value Objects, let alone a complex system. (more…)

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    Creating ASDocs with ANT & Flash Builder Part 3. Customizing the Documentation Template.


    3. Customizing the HTML template for your Flash Builder Project.

    There’s no point doing good work if others don’t know about it or can’t understand what you did. When it comes to developing lengthy applications a well written documentation is a must. A well written documentation which compliments your project’s design shows commitment to the project and a professional feel.

    In Part 1 of this tutorial we covered ANT installation. Part 2 explains the best practices for writing comments inside your project’s classes which later are read by ANT and included in the project documentation. Part 3 is the final part of this series. It will help you understand how your documentation is structured, and what can be done to customize the HTML template used by ANT to generate the documentation.
    The default documentation template is the same as the one used by Adobe to document the ActionScript 3.0 language. Here is a link which I am sure you have visited before:


    Good to know:

    What are HTML templates? An HTML template is a ready-made design of the HTML page. The HTML template usually include most of the source files necessary for further customizing the template. It can be edited using WYSIWYG editors such as Frontpage, Dreamweaver etc.

    CSS – Cascading Style Sheets is a language used to create stylesheets in which you can describe presentation semantics, its used mainly with HTML and XHTML pages. It can also be used with Adobe Flash Builder and other. It’s a good practice to separate the styling of your project in a CSS file. This way the designer and the developer for example can work together and have a smooth workflow.

    Where is the template used by ANT ?

    The path to the template should look like this:
    /Applications/Adobe Flash Builder 4.5/sdks/4.5.0/asdoc/templates/.

    Inside the “templates” folder you will find all the components that make the HTML template. You cannot modify the template directly, but you can create a copy and assign it’s path in the ANT build script instead of using the default.

    The CSS:

    Through this CSS file you can assign styles to all the components that make your documentation pages. You can easily make changes to the documentation pages by modifying the styles.css (path: /Applications/Adobe Flash Builder 4.5/sdks/4.5.0/asdoc/templates/style.css).

    In order to modify an element’s style you need to begin your declaration with the element’s class name. From then it’s simple. Assign the new properties as shown on the image above.

    You can see the class names of the elements you would like to modify by opening the .html files of the template. Here is an example that shows where and how the class is defined for the elements and also how the stylesheet is assigned to the HTML page. If you have found a CSS stylesheet that fits your needs you could even save time and assign it instead of the default one. Then just make sure to change the class names for the elements that require customization. The global settings would stay the same.

    Manipulating the HTML itself:

    You could manipulate the HTML directly and change the layout of your page as well. I would recommend using Dreamweaver or other free editing software both for the CSS and the HTML. This would help you edit quickly and to see the results immediately as Dreamweaver for example has views that allow you to see the modifications live as you are making them.

    Finishing up:

    The range of modifications you can make to your template has almost no limits. All you need is a basic understanding of the HTML and CSS language and a good editor software.

    Once you are ready to use the template or test it you need to assign it inside your build.xml file. (explained in Part 2) Here’s the example syntax:

    <arg line="-templates-path '/Applications/Adobe Flash Builder 4/sdks/4.1.0/asdoc/YourTemplateName'"/>

    Above is a snippet of one of CuriousMinds’ project documentation build.xml files.  As you can see there are settings editable directly through the build.xml file like the window-title and other. One of my favorite things to do is to make sure the company branding is displayed as well as the client’s. An ideal place for the Author’s name and the Company branding is the footer (line 66).

    This is all there is to customizing you template. If you have any questions post and I will try to be quick to answer.

    Happy coding!

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    Flex and Spring: Communication over BlazeDS – Part I


    Leveraging a Spring backend in your Flex application can be a great way to gain access to powerful java tools and server technologies, but getting your client and server all wired up can be pretty challenging, especially for the newcomer. I recently had the opportunity to explore this Pandora’s box, and came up with a Flex-Java solution that may work for you, depending on your project’s needs. In this series of tutorials I want to share with you the way in which I went about getting my application up and running in hopes that other newbies out there might have some success integrating these technologies.


    AS3 Components for IOS, IPad and IPhone. Or what to do while waiting for Adobe to update FlashBuilder


    We’ve been playing with FlashBuilder 4.5 over here for the past few weeks, and we are pretty impressed. However one major setback remains: There are no mobile components for available for iOS devices. In the current 4.5 build, with AIR 2.6 an iOs project can only be a pure AS3 project no mxml or spark classes are allowed. This presents some real problems for developer who are used to having the prebuilt interactivity available. Luckily, there are some libraries out there that may help. Unfortunately none of them are idea. Read on to see what we have come up with.