Effortless Flex 4 Development

Welcome to the companion Web site for the book Effortless Flex 4 Development, written by Larry Ullman and published by New Riders in July 2010 (ISBN 0-321-70594-7). Beside the handful of pages dedicated to this edition of this book, there’s plenty of other content on LarryUllman.com that you might be interested in. Use the “Post Categories” links above to browse by general topic.

You can download the code for the book using the link below. If you have any questions or problems, I’d recommend using the book’s corresponding support forum, where you’ll get the fastest answer.

And now, the marketing!

Server-side developers learn how to leverage Flex 4 to provide a rich client-side experience using Effortless Flex 4 Development

First the Web was all static content (HTML). Then, as more was expected of sites, server-side technologies like PHP became necessary. But now Rich Internet Applications (RIA) put a lot of the functionality back in the Web browser, so a server-side technology alone will no longer suffice. Developers who have been doing server-side work for years need to broaden their horizons to provide a rich client-side experience. Enter Effortless Flex 4 Development by bestselling author Larry Ullman.

Flash-Flex is a powerful duo for providing a rich, client-side experience. The first third of this book covers the fundamentals of creating Flex apps. The second third is about getting, displaying, validating, and sending data: locally, remotely, and from the user. All server-side code in this book is PHP, and this data-centric view and larger support for PHP is a key focus in Flex 4. This second part of the book distinguishes it from the Adobe Press title Flex Training from the Source and other existing titles. The last third is about rounding out the know-how for full application development.

Taking advantage of what Flex 4 has to offer, developers can quickly learn how to create RIAs, some of which interact with PHP scripts running on the server. Adobe has open-sourced Flex and made its SDK freely available, so it is becoming more attractive to developers who prefer open-source projects over commercial ones. Flex is geared towards developers (whereas Flash is for designers, and Flash Catalyst is in between). The book will use Flash Builder (but not Flash or Flash Catalyst), and it will also talk about non-Adobe ways to develop. Since the author is writing this book as a developer/programmer for other developers/programmers (as opposed to a designers), there is a predominance of how-tos and real-world practices.


The author is writing this book as a developer/programmer for other developers/programmers (as opposed to a designers). The readers would include any of the following: those already using a server-side technology like PHP; those already doing Rich Internet Applications using JavaScript/Ajax; those already using Flex 3 or earlier; and those who don’t fit in the other categories but are curious about Flex.


Every example application from the book is now available in the following download. Currently I’ve organized the code by chapter and example within each chapter. To minimize the download, I’ve only included unique elements: custom MXML files and assets. Everything else, such as the HTML template, can be generated by your Flash Builder application or using the sources found within the Flex SDK. I acknowledge this may not be the best way to go about this, so let me know if you’d like me to prepare the code in a way that makes better sense and usability for you (in part I choose this route because I don’t want to assume everyone is using Flash Builder). The folder of code also includes one SQL document which has the commands used to create the databases in Chapters 8 and 9.

Complete Code

flex4_code.zip (729 KB, last modified 06/19/2010)