For those reading this that do not know, I'm the CTO of Nashville-based startup Dataium, LLC. Dataium is the largest aggregator of Internet automotive shopping activity, and we're looking to hire a software engineer. We're specifically looking for someone with skills in several different technologies such as Java, Apache Hadoop, Adobe Flex/ActionScript 3, ColdFusion, and MySQL.

If you're interested in learning more, the full job description is included after the break.

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If you're planning on attending my BFlex session tomorrow on creating AIR application updaters, please click here to download the lab assets we will be using. I will have the files available on USB drives tomorrow but grabbing the assets now will get you all prepared. Be sure to also check out the prerequisites and software requirements on my session page on the BFlex Web site.

If you aren't attending my lab but you are interested in working through the content yourself, you can also download the assets. I've included my slides, a 30-page step-by-step instructions doc, and all the source code.

Update: September 12, 2010
Thanks to Joey from Nashville for pointing out I forgot to include the instructions doc in the download. I've fixed this and uploaded new download assets.


Quick Update on BFlex 2010

Posted by Aaron West at 8:24 AM in Presentations, Adobe AIR, Flex

A few things have changed with BFlex over the last week that have led me to pick up an Adobe AIR session I wasn't originally slated to teach. Other than the illustrious Simon Free's AIR session on mobile development, my session will be the only one focused on Adobe's Integrated Runtime. The downside (if there is one) to this schedule change is I don't have a specific session prepared yet. If you are going to be at BFlex I would love to hear your ideas for a hands-on session written for intermediate developers.

Here are a few ideas from myself and my twitter followers, feel free to provide your thoughts in the comments:

--creating an awesome AIR application updater that includes a force update feature
--creating screenshots of specific parts of an app and providing drag-and-drop to desktop functionality
--using the file promises API in AIR 2 to write remote files to disk
--something else AIR 2 related (native processes, etc.)

Finally, if you haven't seen the new BFlex/BFusion site (powered by Mura) released today, go check it out.


Image of Logitech Anywhere MX mouse and Flash Builder

Over the past few months I've found I use the heck out of the debug feature in Flash Builder 4. And when working on really complex Flex applications sometimes the only way to see whether my code is doing what I need is to run the application. Why? Because design view in Flash Builder 4 doesn't know how to work with popular Flex frameworks such as Swiz. At least, I've not been able to get it to work quite right for me.

Sometime last week I grew tired of pressing the debug button so I configured my Logitech Anywhere MX mouse so it initiates debugging sessions for me. It's pretty rocking. Click the image after the break to see a short video demonstration of how it works. If you want to learn more about the Anywhere MX mouse, I blogged my experience with it last year.

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I'm three days late blogging about this, but if you haven't seen Christian Cantrell's blog post of the same title you need to check it out. He shows an application he wrote that runs on five screens including Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Android. I'd argue it's more like seven screens given the different device operating systems. Christian says he wrote the application code once and different wrappers for each operating system. I know this is supposed to be possible given the Flash Player runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and Flash Professional CS5 can compile a Flash app to native iPhone code. This would get his app onto iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. But Christian says his app is able to run on all the devices because it's built with AIR. Ok, cool. I want to see /how/ though.

Christian promised to release his code as open source so inquisitive developers like me can learn more about this.


Hey folks, just a quick blog post to let everyone know I am looking to hire two great Flex developers right now. These two positions will start contract and will have an opportunity to go full-time. This is an immediate need and will pay well. I need folks who understand Flex and AS3 intimately and who know how to build fantastic looking interfaces on top of a lot of data. These positions can be filled by folks in Nashville or anywhere in the world really.

If you are looking for an awesome project that you can start on right now, please contact me so we can discuss. You can hit up my contact form and send me an e-mail, or use the Google Voice widget on the same page to enter your digits and ring my mobile.


Say it with me: SlideSix, SlideSix, SlideSix. The other day I was talking with another frequent presenter who was mentioning sharing his slides on a popular online site that rhymes with "wide snare." I asked him why he used the particular site and he really had no idea. I asked him if he had heard of SlideSix and he said no.

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I've finally gotten around to uploading my CFUnited 2009 slides to my site so folks can download all the assets. Included in the download are PDF versions of all my slides, snippets of all the code used, a Flex Project Archive of the AIR application, and instructions on how to use the code. Just press right here to download everything in a zip file. I've also embedded my slides from SlideSix below or you can click this link to view the slides directly on SlideSix.com.

To all those who attended my presentation, thanks for being a great, captive audience. It was a lot of fun to spend an hour with you doing something I love to do, write code and teach.

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I'm posting this mostly for myself, but others may benefit as well. Let me start off by saying I'm not a fan or proponent of Internet Information Server (IIS) or Microsoft in general. My personal hosting preference, which I've blogged about, is Apache running on Linux. At work most of our production Web servers are running IIS so I'm force to work with it from time-to-time. On more than one occasion I've run into the problem of IIS not understanding the .air extension of Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) applications. This is obviously a problem if you are deploying AIR install badges on an IIS server or you are pointing AIR app updates (using the built-in updater API) at a URL, since both of these involve users accessing a file that ends in the .air extension.

The solution to this problem is really simple but I've forgotten it enough that I'm posting it as a blog entry. Below are textual instructions on how to add the .air extension as a new MIME type to IIS. If you are more a visual type learner I've posted two links where other bloggers list the same instructions with screenshots from the IIS Manager application. Oddly enough I couldn't find any instructions on how to do this on Adobe's site or in Adobe technotes.

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Adobe has announced the public betas for ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder!! Over the last six months or so tidbits about ColdFusion 9 and ColdFusion Builder have been steadily released at conferences and via the global Adobe ColdFusion User Group tour (which is still going on).

Today, the general developer public can get their hands on both ColdFusion 9 and Adobe's new integrated development environment, ColdFusion Builder. Below is some really detailed information on new features in ColdFusion 9 as well as ColdFusion Builder. Following the product information are links you can use to download the public betas and try them out yourself!

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If you're still on the fence about whether you are going to CFUnited 2009 now would be a good time to make up your mind. Early bird pricing ends today after which the 3 and 4 day package prices will go up by $100 and the Saturday only package price will go up by $50. Register now to lock in the better deal!

If for some reason you aren't sure if CFUnited is for you I recommend checking out the schedule which lists all the topics and speakers. I'd be willing to bet there are lots of ColdFusion, Flex, and AIR sessions you would enjoy.


Tomorrow morning the 615Flex group (Nashville Flex User Group) is hosting a Flex/Flash Camp with six speakers giving one hour talks. I'll be giving a presentation on integrating BlazeDS, Flex/AIR, with a little ColdFusion mixed in for fun. After giving an overview of the technology behind BlazeDS and how BlazeDS messaging works I'll dive into the construction of an application in real-time. The app will demonstrate the use of BlazeDS messaging from a browser application to remote AIR clients. Registration for the event is closed but given its a free event I'd be willing to bet we'd find a place for you if you want to come out. More info is here.


Andy Matthews delivered a nice presentation last night on integrating jQuery and HTML to create Adobe AIR applications. He showed several examples including how to use AIR's file system API, how to create and deploy SQLite databases, what a .air file is and what's inside them, how to access remote resources such as ColdFusion components, and how to use Aptana to create, build, and deploy a complete HTML-based AIR application. Oh, and did I mention he built an entire AIR photo slideshow app, start to finish, in 8 minutes?

If you are at all interested in HTML-based AIR applications you should check out this hour and fourteen minute presentation.

View the Adobe Connect presentation now!


Tonight, the Nashville ColdFusion User Group is having our May meeting and the topic is jQuery and AIR: Desktop Development for the Front End Designer. Nashville's own Andy Matthews is giving this presentation which is the same one he gave recently at the cf.Objective() conference. If you missed the conference, you have a second chance to hear Andy's talk.

Folks local to Nashville are encouraged to attend in person (and RSVP here) while remote attendees can join via Adobe Connect (http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/ncfug/). Full details of this meeting are on the NCFUG site.


Several weeks ago I was talking with Liz Frederick on Twitter about an extended CFUnited call for women speakers. I had missed the original call for speakers so I made a comment about dressing up as a woman and giving a talk on integrating AIR, BlazeDS, and ColdFusion. Liz asked me to submit my topic but I didn't hold my breath it'd be chosen given how last minute it was. Needless to say I was a little surprised today when I received a DM from Liz stating my talk had been chosen.

My session, AIR Messaging: Integrating AIR, BlazeDS, and ColdFusion, might not be as entertaining without me dressed up as a woman, but I promise you'll have a stellar time if you come. You'll learn about BlazeDS and why you should consider using it in your projects. I'll demonstrate the integration of ColdFusion and BlazeDS and I'll build an application, start to finish, that utilizes the BlazeDS messaging service for real-time business communication.

On a slightly off topic note, I might bring along my sticks and hit the links. If you're into golf and you want to play while at CFUnited, hit the Contact Blog Owner link in the footer and send me a message.