BlazeDS is free and enables java-based services for your Flash & Flex apps.
BlazeDS is the server-based Java remoting and web messaging technology that enables developers to easily connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real-time to Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR applications for more responsive rich Internet application (RIA) experiences.
BlazeDS consists of three key services:
- The Remoting Service allows your Flex application to directly invoke methods of Java objects deployed in your application server.
- The Message Service provides a publish/subscribe infrastructure that allows your Flex application to publish messages and subscribe to a messaging destination, enabling the development of real-time data push and collaborative applications.
- The Proxy Service allows your Flex application to make cross-domain service requests in a secure and controlled manner. In other words, it allows your Flex application to access a service available on a different domain than the domain from where the application was downloaded (without having to deploy a crossdomain.xml policy file on the target domain).
There are certainly other free and commercial options. A well known one also comes from Adobe, LiveCycle DS.
There are many resources which compare these two products. Ben Watson says – LiveCycle Data Services is ultimately targeted at large enterprise deployments for web-based applications that would serve thousands of clients and as such is priced accordingly. We have heavily invested for several years now to make a very unique, highly performant and valuable product for a very small market and as such we priced accordingly and turned the BlazeDS version over to the open source community, ultimately satisfying most of the use cases for free.
Installation Instructions for MacOSX
1. Download the ‘Turnkey’ here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/blazeds/BlazeDS
2. Unzip it anywhere you want
3. Open Mac OSX’s Terminal.app
4. Navigate to your blazeds install folder (use the ‘cd’ command)
5. Start Server – Run “tomcat/bin/startup.sh”
6. Start DB – Navigate to the /sampledb/ folder FIRST, then run “./startdb.sh”
7. Open a webbrowser to “http://127.0.0.1:8400/samples/testdrive.htm”
8. Hit Ctrl+C within terminal (to end step 6 that is still running)
9. Repeat step 4
10. Stop Server – Run “tomcat/bin/shutdown.sh”
I have used a wide variety of backend technologies. For whatever reason I spent years with clients who preferred a LAMP stack with PHP connecting to Flash and Flex via AMFPHP (another great product). So much of my experience lies there, and .NET. However I’m excited by proven, free products like BlazeDS and am excited from my setup and research and doing a few simple demos. Perhaps soon I’ll post some demos. Stay tuned!
Do you have experience with BlazeDS? Please comment below.