Flash/Flex/AIR to .NET Application Development Now Possible Using Visual Studio

SapphireSteel Software recently launched a new Flash IDE for Visual Studio that enables design, editing and debugging of Adobe Flash/Flex/AIR applications using the Visual Studio platform.  This new release includes a special integration with WebORB, which is an integration server created by Midnight Coders.  Adding WebORB to the Amethyst IDE literally completes the circle for full end-to-end design, development, debugging and integration of Flex/Flash/AIR to .NET applications all within the same Visual Studio session, eliminating the painful process of using multiple IDEs to complete this work. 

Beyond what Visual Studio offers, developers can expect to have the following additional features available to them without ever having to leave Visual Studio: 

Amethyst

Amethyst is used for designing, editing and debugging client-side applications inside of Visual Studio. View Video>

  • Drag, Drop and Code – developers can simply drag and drop components onto the design canvas causing the underlying MXML code to automatically be rewritten.  Similarly, changes made by editing the MXML are automatically reflected in the Designer.  The Designer also makes use of the Visual Studio Layout Toolbar and all controls in the Amethyst Designer, unlike in FlashBuilder, are ‘live’.
  • Advanced ActionScript Editing – there are 23 separate formatting option, which have all the essential features offered by C# and VB editors.  One feature Visual Studio users love is auto-expanding snippets (code templates).  Amethyst supports not only snippets, but also the ability to create or edit snippets.
  • Code Browsing & Debugging -  Amethyst extends Visual Studio’s TODO tracker, enabling developers to define their own comment types and track all comments by type in the Task window.  Amethyst’s Cylon debugger enables developers to place simple or conditional breakpoints and drill down into variables in the Watch window or in hovering debug tips inside the code editor.  Developers can also debug multiple SWFs or debug across both client and server applications in a single session.
  • Project Importer – enables the Flash IDE and Amethyst to be used in the same project within the Visual Studio environment.  In this way, Flash projects can make full use of Amethyst’s advanced code formatting, refactoring, IntelliSense and debugging and still be available for timeline-based work in Flash CS3, CS4 or CS5.

WebORB for .NET

WebORB is used for integrating and running (marshalling all communications) client and server-side applications and now runs inside the Visual Studio IDE.  WebORB includes many productivity tools used to streamline development.  View Video>

The features included in the Amethyst/WebORB plug-in include: 

  • Remoting – enables .NET applications to leverage the AMF remoting protocol for binary communication between Flash, Flex and AIR clients and .NET server side resources.
  • Code Generation – is an XSLT stylesheet (or collection of stylesheets) which contain information about a selected service (class), all its methods, method arguments, return value and all other referenced types and enumerations to produce source code, documentation and any other artifact necessary to create an integration between the client and server side class.  WebORB supports a dozen different code generators and allows developers to plug in their own custom code generators, making integration as simple as clicking a button.
  • Invocation Test Drive – supports Test-Driven Development allowing developers to invoke methods for client-to-server communication before the client is actually built, which keeps developers moving forward expeditiously.

Flex/Flash/AIR developers can download a free 60 day trial of the Amethyst IDE integration with WebORB by visiting http://www.sapphiresteel.com/Products/amethyst-ide/Download-Amethyst-Adobe-Flash

Alternatively, developers who require the full WebORB for .NET feature-set can download the latest release (version 4.3), which includes a free trial of Amethyst.  http://www.themidnightcoders.com/products/weborb-for-net/download.html 

Midnight Coders created WebORB – uniquely positioned as the only full-featured integration/media server in the world that is used to effortlessly connect various rich clients to multiple server-side resources.  WebORB is a proven solution that destroys traditional development bottlenecks, enabling rapid, cost-effective development of the most creative, engaging and responsive online applications.  Take a Guided Tour or visit www.themidnightcoders.com.

SapphireSteel

SapphireSteel Software is the developer of the Steel IDE for programming Ruby and Flex in Microsoft’s Visual Studio.  The company is a division of Rosedown Mill, Ltd., a software development and consultancy company founded in 1994.  Download a free 60-day trial of the new Amethyst/WebORB IDE Plug-in for Visual Studio.  Visit www.sapphiresteel.com to learn more.

Midnight Coders Launches New Webinar Series

Midnight Coders has launched a new webinar series designed to help developers shorten their online application development cycle and improve their online application performance.  Four dates have been set for the remainder of Q4/2010.  Developers interested in registering for these webinars can click on the links below for more information.  Registration is Free.

WebORB for Java v.4.0 Destroys Online Application Integration Bottlenecks

Addison, Texas – September 1, 2010 – Midnight Coders just released WebORB for Java v.4.0, which is a major point release that offers many new features and enhancements making online application development and integration faster and easier.

WebORB for Java is composed of six major feature categories: (1) Developer Productivity Tools, (2) Remoting, (3) Data Management, (4) Real-Time Messaging, (5) Streaming Media and (6) Security.  These features can save companies thousands of dollars by decreasing the amount of work that needs to be done in development (saves time).  WebORB also increases application performance through a more elegant approach for client-to-database communication that reduces bandwidth consumption.  Some of the new features include:

  • New Management Console – now WebORB for Java has a new look and feel making it easier to navigate for repeatable processes.  The console also provides full server configuration via the graphical configuration panels.  This includes configuration for logging categories, service browsers, code generators, response compression, configuration hot deployment, data type mappings, security settings and more. 
  • Pluggable Code Generation – WebORB provides a very powerful code generation framework that can generate any type of code or documentation based on the deployed Java classes.  Starting with WebORB 4, developers can add their own custom code generators that leverage all the features of the framework.
  • New Remoting Code Generators – added support for Swiz, Mate, Web Services, and Spring Beans.
  • Code Generation Enhancements – improves testing and delivery of better quality code.
    • Added DataTypeInitializer to all code generators
    • Added HTML wrapper for all Flex-based code generation projects
    • Added support for Java enums
    • Updated all ActionScript code generators, including PureMVC
  • WebORB Data Management for Flex (WDMF) Enhancements
    • Added automatic compile for WDMF code generation
    • Added support for UnitofWork API for better handling of database transactions
  • Support for Messaging Sub-Topics

Getting started with WebORB for Java v.4.0 is easy.  Developers can simply Download WebORB from Midnight Coders’ website.  WebORB for Java running in development mode is Free.  Learn more>>

Midnight Coders created WebORB – the most robust integration/runtime server the world over, along with RIA AppPuncher.  Midnight Coders aims to destroy traditional integration bottlenecks, enabling rapid, cost-effective development of the most creative, engaging and responsive online applications.  Visit www.themidnightcoders.com to learn more.

Midnight Coders and SapphireSteel Software Announce Partnership to Integrate Flash with .NET in Visual Studio

Addison, Texas – August 30, 2010 – Today Midnight Coders and SapphireSteel Software announce a technology partnership to provide a uniquely powerful solution to integrate the Adobe Flash Platform with Microsoft .NET.

When it comes to building Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) for the .NET environment, developers prefer to use the Visual Studio IDE.  Up until now, Visual Studio was easier for pure Microsoft environments (such as for Silverlight client to .NET services), but Silverlight doesn’t have nearly the installed base that Flash has (99% of all Internet-enabled desktops). 

With the release of SapphireSteel’s Amethyst, developers now have an easy way to create Flash-based applications right inside Visual Studio. The problem of linking Flash with .NET is solved by Midnight Coders’ WebORB which provides end-to-end client-server application development across the two platforms. The Midnight Coders and SapphireSteel Software technology partnership is aimed at implementing seamless integration of Amethyst with WebORB. This will give Visual Studio users a simple and elegant way of creating data-driven Flash Platform applications with a .NET ‘back end’.

Some of the features you can expect from both Amethyst and WebORB for .NET include:

Amethyst

  • Drag, Drop and Code – developers can simply drag and drop components onto the design canvas causing the underlying MXML code to automatically be rewritten.  Similarly, changes made by editing the MXML are automatically reflected in the Designer.  The Designer also makes use of the Visual Studio Layout Toolbar and all controls in the Amethyst Designer, unlike in FlashBuilder, are ‘live’.
  • Advanced ActionScript Editing – there are 23 separate formatting option, which have all the essential features offered by C# and VB editors.  One feature Visual Studio users love is auto-expanding snippets (code templates).  Amethyst supports not only snippets, but also the ability to create or edit snippets.
  • Code Browsing & Debugging -  Amethyst extends Visual Studio’s TODO tracker, enabling developers to define their own comment types and track all comments by type in the Task window.  Amethyst’s Cylon debugger enables developers to place simple or conditional breakpoints and drill down into variables in the Watch window or in hovering debug tips inside the code editor.  Developers can also debug multiple SWFs in a single debugging session.
  • Project Importer – enables the Flash IDE and Amethyst to be used in the same project within the Visual Studio environment.  In this way, Flash projects can make full use of Amethyst’s advanced code formatting, refactoring, IntelliSense and debugging and still be available for timeline-based work in Flash CS3, CS4 or CS5.

WebORB for .NET

  • Remoting – enables .NET applications to leverage the AMF remoting protocol for binary communication between clients and server side resources.
  • Code Generation – is an XSLT stylesheet (or collection of stylesheets) which contain information about a selected service (class), all its methods, method arguments, return value and all other referenced types and enumerations to produce source code, documentation and any other artifact necessary to create an integration between the client and server side class.  WebORB supports plugging in custom code generators.
  • Data Management – WebORB provides an extremely powerful data management framework that includes a Data Modeler, Code Generator, Test Drive, Runtime Engine and Runtime Data Management API.  The Data Modeler enables developers to perform full CRUD (create, retrieve, update and delete) operations on application data and the Code Generator exposes the server-side code as a set of remoting services invoked by the client.  The Test Drive enables developers to test integration before actual deployment.
  • Real-time Messaging and Media Streaming Runtime Engine - enables chat messaging, media streaming, media broadcast, server-initiated media streaming, media chat, and media recording—all without the need for separate products, libraries, or support contracts.  Supports RTMP/RTMPT and integrates with MSMQ.

SapphireSteel will launch Amethyst on Monday, August 30th.  The integration for WebORB and Amethyst is well underway and will launch by end-of-year. 

Midnight Coders created WebORB – the most robust integration/runtime server the world over, along with RIA AppPuncher.  Midnight Coders products destroy traditional development bottlenecks, enabling rapid, cost-effective development of the most creative, engaging and responsive online applications built with Flex, Flash, AJAX, Silverlight and HTML5.  Midnight Coders offers WebORB running in development mode for free (no time limit.) Visit www.themidnightcoders.com to learn more.

SapphireSteel Software is the developer of the Steel IDE for programming Ruby and Flex in Microsoft’s Visual Studio.  The company is a division of Rosedown Mill, Ltd., a software development and consultancy company founded in 1994.  SapphireSteel offers a free 60-day trial of its Amethyst Professional Edition.  Visit www.sapphiresteel.com to learn more.

Pixel Farm Digital Chooses WebORb for .NET to Deploy Live Multi-Player Business Simulation Games

Pixel Farm Digital  (PFD) has created a wide variety of custom business simulation games meant to emulate real-world decision-making environments for participants.  Past simulation games have included sales dialogs, collaborative process engineering, project management, leadership skills and more.  While single-learner LMS-access to SCORM-compliant courses is a frequent deployment option used by their clients, PFD also co-facilitates live training events.  These events stage business simulations as a cornerstone live training event that is formatted somewhere between a gameshow and a business-oriented LAN party.  

Participants are broken into teams that pit against each other in a real-time struggle to work within their team to prove that they’ve got what it takes to stay ahead of their competition. In many cases, the winners take home prizes.  “We aim to transform what’s ordinarily a passive keynote or powerpoint experience into an energized, interactive exercise that puts the fun first and hides the training inside,” says PFD Technology Director, Matt Weier.  “We love to see the way that participants work together and are driven by the element of competition.”

 

To manage the game state and ensure that the facilitator can control players’ screens and access to the simulation at any time, the game clients’ Flash Actionscript codebase must communicate with a central game server SQL database via Microsoft .NET.   The game server is also responsible for tracking all participant game data and driving the game leaderboard.  PFD’s simulation backbone has always been .NET, but required a layer of XML encapsulation in order to communicate complex game data between Flash and the server via SOAP requests. 

Says Weier, “With WebORB for .NET, we no longer need to parse in or out of XML.  All of our Flash objects can be sent as native serialized Flash objects.  This saves a huge amount of development time.  We’ve evaluated other remoting solutions including AMF and Flash Media Server, but Midnight Coders’ WebORB for .NET has by far provided the most accelerated workflow we’ve found.”  

WebORB for .NET is an integration platform that is used to remove the complexity of multi-tier architecture integration.  It has been shown to significantly reduce development time and cost, while improving application performance and business ROI.  Midnight Coders also offers WebORB for Java, WebORB for PHP and WebORB for Rails, enabling both client-side and server-side applications to be interchangeable, which preserves a business’ investment in technology.  Download WebORB for .NET Datasheet.  

About PFD

Founded in 1995, Pixel Farm is the Midwest’s premier full service, post-production studio offering a unique culture that fuses technology and creativity to build high-value solutions that connect people to the brands they love. PFD specializes in visual effects, finishing, animation, design, film transfer, color correction and music and holds a leadership position in the digital training and human resources community. Capabilities include HR, eLearning, Production and Post Production, Branding, Integrated Campaigns, Branded Content and Social Media.  Visit http://www.pixelfarmdigital.com or http://www.pixelfarm.com  to learn more.

About Midnight Coders

Midnight Coders specializes in solving complex integration problems, by streamlining workflow processes using technology.  Midnight Coders is the creator of WebORB – the most robust integration/runtime server the world over, along with RIA AppPuncher, which is use for application debugging and load testing.  Midnight Coders products destroy traditional development bottlenecks, enabling rapid, cost-effective development of the most creative, engaging and responsive online applications that are built with Flex, Flash, AJAX, Silverlight and HTML5.  Visit http://www.themidnightcoders.com to learn more.

Midnight Coders and Swiz Framework Join Forces to Deliver Brutally Simple Integration

Integration experts at Midnight Coders’ and framework specialists at Swiz announce a recent technology cooperation that makes integration of online applications easy, fast and less costly.

Midnight Coders' WebORB for .NET and WebORB for Java integration/media servers provide ActionScript code generation for the Swiz framework, which means that developers can develop using their favorite framework and leverage WebORB’s powerful single click code generation to create the client-to-server integration.

Swiz Enables

  • inversion of control/dependency injection
  • event handling and mediation
  • a simple life cycle for asynchronous remote methods
  • a framework that is decoupled from your application code

WebORB Enables

  • easy integration (included Azure cloud integration)
  • expedited development
  • reduced project cost
  • faster time to market
  • better application performance

Please visit www.themidnightcoders.com to learn more about Midnight Coders' products and services.

Please visit http://swizframework.org/ to learn more about the Swiz framework and how it can benefit your project.

WebORB Integration Server v.4.1 for .NET Now Runs in Microsoft Azure Cloud

WebORB creators, Midnight Coders’, has now released WebORB Integration Server v.4.1 for .NET, which now runs in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.  This latest release makes it possible for projects to run on hardware resources that expand and contract based on volume, a strategy IT teams increasingly are adopting to keep runtime and maintenance costs low.

Getting started with WebORB v.4.1 for .NET is easy.  Developers can simply Download WebORB from Midnight Coders’ website and add WebORB to their cloud projects in Visual Studio where they can leverage all of the productivity tools for development in their local environment. When deployed into Azure, WebORB will serve as a gateway that fully supports RPC remoting and messaging (publish-subscribe and RTMP) for Flex, Flash, AJAX and Silverlight clients.  Server nodes can be dynamically added to or removed from the Azure cluster based on volume of traffic or other factors.  Since the size of the deployment may change at runtime, Midnight Coders offers WebORB for Azure with an alternative, "pay-per-use" licensing approach.

Two additional features were added to make developers more productive using WebORB.  Now developers preferring to use Vector Class Mapping over Arrays can do so using WebORB v.4.1 for .NET.  Developers can also graphically configure the WebORB server from within the WebORB console, instead of through a separate configuration file.  

Please visit http://www.themidnightcoders.com/products/weborb-for-net/overview.html to learn more about and to download WebORB v.4.1 for .NET.

Midnight Coders created WebORB – the most robust integration/runtime server the world over, along with RIA AppPuncher.  Midnight Coders products destroy traditional development bottlenecks, enabling rapid, cost-effective development of the most creative, engaging and responsive online applications built with Flex, Flash, AJAX, Silverlight and HTML5.  Visit www.themidnightcoders.com to learn more.