Presentation slides from Flash and the City 2010

Yesterday, I’ve presented at Flash and the City conference in New York City on Clear Toolkit, as an open source alternative to Adobe LiveCycle Data Services. Half of the presentation was about features and tools od Clear Toolkit 3.2, and then I’ve demonstrated our new Flex 4 spark-based DataForm container with convenient layout manager, data provider and both form and form item level validators.

The last portion of the presentation was about how to deal with unreliable messaging of BlazeDS. Interestingly enough, some people from the audience were complaining that even in LiveCycle Data Services 3, the reliable messaging part is not documented and it’s hard to get support from Adobe. If you don’t know what unreliable AMF messaging is, read this post. We already had a number of projects started form a phone call, “One of our clients doesn’t receive responses to RemoteObject requests…once in a while. Others seems to be fine. Can you help?” Yes we can.

You can download the presentation slides here.
There were no video recording crew at the conference, but due to multiple requests, I’ll record this presentation and publish it as a screencast in early June.

My special thanks to Adobe for raising LCDS prices – this means more business for us as more and more corporate clients are looking for reasonably priced solution and architect their projects using BlazeDS.
Farata Systems will gladly help our clients in building robust, scalable, and reliable Flex-BlazeDS-Java applications.

If you are new to Flex, consider taking this 5-day live online training course.

Yakov Fain

Open source alternatives to LiveCycle Data Servcies

Development of enterprise Flex/Java rich Internet applications benefits from using automated data integration solutions and productivity tools. Currently Adobe offers LiveCycle Data Services ES2 (LCDS) and open source BlazeDS 3.  While LCDS is certainly a great piece of software for those who are looking to support thousands concurrent users via the most efficient communication protocols, its high licensing cost makes LCDS not affordable for the vast majority of the enterprise applications let alone small businesses and startups.

If you are looking for an alternative solution for to integrate Flex and Java EE layers consider using GraniteDS, WebOrb, and Clear Toolkit. The first two products offer their own implementation of the AMF protocol, and Clear Toolkit uses the AMF libraries that come with BlazeDS . If you are looking for an open source implementation of the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP), the Red5 server (currently in version 0.7) may be your option.


The feature matrix below lists compares LCDS, BlazeDS, and open source Clear Toolkit. This feature matrix was created using the data from LCDS/BlazeDS comparison chart published by Adobe .

The current version of Clear Toolkit is 3.2.1. The features that are currently not available but will be implemented in Clear Toolkit version 4 by the end of 2010 and are marked as v4 in the chart below.

 

Disclaimer. I’m one of the creators of Clear Toolkit. But if the owners of GraniteDS, WebOrb, and Red5 would like to be listed here, please let me know, and I’ll gladly update this feature matrix.

Feature Matrix: Adobe Live Cycle Data Services ES2, BlazeDS 3, Clear Toolkit 3+


Feature

BlazeDS 3

BlazeDS+Clear Toolkit

LCDS ES2

RPC services

Java remoting/AMF

X

X

X

AJAX to Java

X

X

X

WS/JSON proxy

X

X

X

Messaging

Servlet-based messaging (hundreds of clients per CPU)

X

X

X

Servlet-based NIO messaging (thousands of clients per CPU)

X*

Java NIO high-performance messaging (thousands of clients per CPU)

X

Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)

X

Data throttling

v4

X

Reliable communications

v4

X

Data Management

Transaction (batch processing)

X

X

Data paging

v4

X

Lazy loading (on demand)

v4

X

Hierarchical data collections X X

Conflict resolution and synchronization

X

X

SQL adapter

X

X

Hibernate adapter

v4

X

Fiber-aware assembler

v4**

X

Offline Web applications

X

Development and deployment

Spring integration support

X

v4

X

Adobe Flash® Builder™ modeling plug-in

X

Enterprise support

X

X

RIA PDF generation

X***

X

WSRP portal integration

X

Load/stress testing tool

X

Source code available

X

X

Edge server

X

Enterprise support plans

X

X

Productivity Tools

Generator of CRUD application

X

X

Generator of ActionScript data transfer object based on their Java peers

X

X

Generator of ANT script based on the properties of Flash Builder project

X

Automated Data synchronization of AIR locale cache

X

X

Flash-based Web reporter

v4

Cost of production deployment

License type and cost

LGPL v3,

Free

MIT,

Free

Commercial, about $30K per CPU****

*   Farata Systems can develop an NIO based BlazeDS solution on a per-customer basis under a separate consulting agreement. Read and watch performance tests of our high concurrency Jetty/NIO/BlazeDS solution at http://flex.sys-con.com/node/720304


** Currently, Farata Systems is working on a solution for introducing the model-driven development to Clear Toolkit.


*** LCDS offers advanced server-side PDF generation. Clear Toolkit components support PDF generation on the client (WYSIWYG), but does not support working with forms.


**** Adobe doesn’t publish the cost of LCDS ES2 license. The price listed here is taken based on the data shared by current users whose employers allegedly paid (read the comments to the following blog post of Adobe LCDS/BlazeDS Product Manager).


I’ll be demoing Clear Toolkit in action at the Flash and The City conference in May in New York City. If you’ll be in town on May 17, consider attending our hands-on master class on modularization of Flex applications.


Yakov Fain