Next week the Nashville ColdFusion User Group will host a presentation by Andy Matthews on integrating ColdFusion 8 and BlazeDS to create messaging services. If you're one of the many who've been searching for useful information on BlazeDS but haven't found anything, or if you've been wondering what role ColdFusion 8 plays in providing back-end functionality to BlazeDS, you need to attend this meeting.

June 26, 2008 at 6:30pm CDT

404 BNA Dr. Building 200
Suite 600
Nashville, TN 37217



twitterAIR Renaming Contest

Posted by Aaron West at 10:49 AM in twitterAIR, Adobe AIR, Flex

If you follow my twitter feed you may have seen a tweet I posted this week about getting a trademark violation e-mail from Adobe. I brought this on myself as I submitted twitterAIR to the new AIR Marketplace. Shortly after submitting it the senior product manager for the AIR marketplace e-mailed me the violation note.

So, twitterAIR needs to be renamed and I'm fine with it as I have no attachment to the name. In fact, I'm horrible with creating product names hence the original really sucky one. I decided yesterday to run a contest to see who submits the best replacement name. To give you some context I am defining "best" as the most original, catchy, interesting, easy to remember name that still keeps a correlation (somehow) with the Twitter service. Whomever submits the name I choose will receive some goodies via snail mail. I'm currently thinking of sending the Adobe AIR for JavaScript Developers pocket guide, some t-shirts, and perhaps a few other things I come up with. Feel free to submit your ideas in the comments below or e-mail them to me directly - trajik210 at gmail.

The deadline for submissions is next week, Wednesday May 28.


I'm hanging out at Webmaniacs this week and there's been a lot of confusion surrounding BlazeDS and push messaging. This confusion has been rooted in Adobe's marketing of BlazeDS including several presenters saying BlazeDS has the ability to push messages to a client just like LifeCycle Data Services (LCDS). Even this week at Webmaniacs presentations have been given talking about the differences between LCDS and BlazeDS. In a small grid of features including Flash Remoting, Messaging, and Data Management/Synchronization, the only missing check mark on the BlazeDS side was for data management and synchronization. Developers have taken this to mean BlazeDS includes the full spectrum of messaging that is included in LCDS.

Just after the introduction of BlazeDS in February, at Dealerskins we began creating a BlazeDS/HTML/Ajax/AIR application with the intent to push messages from a ColdFusion interface to an AIR application running on several dozen remote computers. After trudging our own path with BlazeDS (there is VERY little documentation and info online) we discovered you simply can't do push messaging without purchasing the full featured LifeCycle Data Services.

This week I was finally able to confirm with Adobe you cannot do push messaging in BlazeDS. Some folks have been quick to argue "push messaging" is a matter of definition or context. There are definitely different flavors of push messaging most of which are defined by whether the client is actively listening to the server or if it even knows it is in a position to receive a message from the server. Putting definitions aside, LCDS brings true push messaging to the table because it uses Adobe's proprietary Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to create a constant connection between itself and the client. BlazeDS is open source, and since RTMP isn't (incidentally, Adobe's AMF binary protocol _is_ now open source) it is not available as a channel in the BlazeDS configuration files. Your only option for implementing messaging is to create a channel for AMF polling, configure some settings for polling, and then define your message producers and consumers.

In the application we built at Dealerskins, ColdFusion was a message Producer and AIR on the desktop was a message Consumer. In other words, a ColdFusion application produced a message that was sent to a CFC which then talked to BlazeDS, which then waited for AIR clients to request/consume new messages. While this worked fine, it is in my opinion overkill as we could've written the AIR application such that it connected to ColdFusion directly (CFC) in order to get new messages.

I hope this clears up some differences in features between BlazeDS and LifeCycle DS.


The Acrobat Connect recording for Tuesday nights ColdFusion Powered AIR meeting with Zach Stepek is now available. Zach gave an excellent talk with tons of great information on powering your AIR applications with Flex using Web Services or Flash Remoting (AMF). The recording is 1 hr and 25 minutes and includes all Q&A.

Watch it here:


The general CF and Flex/AIR community are invited to attend a presentation tonight broadcasting from the Nashville ColdFusion User Group. Zach Stepek, Director of Interactive Development at Crave Media Group, LLC and author of Foundation AIR: Creating Desktop Applications with the Adobe Integrated Runtime, will be presenting ColdFusion Powered AIR. Barring any technical difficulties the preso will be available via Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional at the URL listed below. If the recording turns out, I'll post it to Charlie Arehart's UG TV sometime after the event.

March 18, 2008 at 6:30pm CST



I was recently interviewed by Dan Wilson, a zone leader at DZone, about Flex, AIR, and the twitterAIR application I created. The interview has been published and you can read it or vote on it using the links below.

Read the article:

Vote it up:


AIR Applications I'm Using

Posted by Aaron West at 8:30 AM in Adobe AIR

So there's this new thing called AIR. No I'm not talking about what you breathe or what gets compressed into scuba tanks for divers (like me) to inhale while exploring the depths of the ocean. Of course, the existence and release of Adobe AIR isn't news to you unless you've been hiding under a rock since June 2007.

While attending the annual Adobe Community Summit last year (in June) I got my first real peek behind the curtain of a pre-alpha product called Apollo. I'll admit it, I was a skeptic, especially considering Apollo wasn't Adobe's first try at creating desktop applications that were "Web-aware." Previous to Apollo/AIR, Macromedia had created a product called Macromedia Central that didn't get beyond version 1.5. Nor did it ever really get released into the wild. And while we could ponder for hours why Central didn't work Adobe's AIR is destined for greatness. The real success of AIR will come not only because of it's ubiquity in being a multi-platform runtime, but also because of it's accessibility and ease of entry to the developers of 2008. Using the tools, code, and paradigms we're already used to developers actually want to get into rich Internet applications on the desktop. In some cases I've seen programmers almost salivating at the thought of extending their application's reach to the desktop. If you don't believe me, just check out a few of the "Why AIR?" testimonies on http://www.30onair.com.

Over the next few days I want take some time to show you Adobe AIR. What better way to do this than to discuss a few AIR applications that I'm using on a day-to-day basis. It really hit me the other day when I noticed I had 3 AIR apps running on my desktop. The realization that AIR had staying power was extremely evident in that moment. Not only was I running "for fun" applications - like the one discussed below - but I was also running productivity and communications applications. These types of apps are what really pull you in because once you've used them you can't imagine losing the rich experience that adds so much to what might be a miserable one.

Continue Reading


Steve on Why AIR?

Posted by Aaron West at 10:16 AM in Adobe AIR, 30onAIR

Recorded in Nashville, TN at the Flex 3 / AIR 1.0 launch event on 2/25/2008.


Andy M. on Why AIR?

Posted by Aaron West at 5:20 PM in Adobe AIR, Flex, 30onAIR

Recorded in Nashville, TN at the Flex 3 / AIR 1.0 launch event on 2/25/2008.


Last night the Nashville Flex User Group and Nashville ColdFusion User Group held a special Flex 3 and AIR launch event. We showed the exclusive user group video produced by Adobe which included an inside look at the AIR project and the team behind the release. I gave a presentation on the business case behind Flex and AIR which included info on all the new features of Flex 3 and initial features of AIR 1.0.

We had food and drink and celebrated the event with a Flex/AIR cake (pic below). Lastly, I recorded eight 30onAIR videos which have been uploaded to YouTube and will be blogged here over the next few days.

Thanks to all those who came out for a great event. Congrats to the following people for winning our giveaways:

Enrique M. - Adobe Flex 3 Professional
T Scott C. - Sony Playstation Portable
Scott L. - ActionScript 3 Cookbook by Joey Lott
Steve B., Cutter B., and J.J. M. - Limited Edition Adobe AIR 1.0 Launch poster


twitterAIR has been updated for AIR 1.0 skipping right over AIR Beta 3. Not much has changed in the new version though. I squashed a few bugs, got rid of the zip file download (which means I can't track downloads anymore) and implemented a seamless badge install.

If you don't have the latest AIR runtime (1.0) on your machine, the twitterAIR installation will install the runtime for you. If you're running an older version of twitterAIR, just use the badge install to update your copy.

For more on the announcement of Flex 3 and AIR 1, click here.

Get twitterAIR here!


As you may have heard, Adobe has announced the release of Adobe Flex 3 and Adobe AIR 1.0.

Flex 3 is a feature-packed release, adding new UI components like the advanced datagrid and improved CSS capabilities; powerful tooling additions like refactoring; and extensive testing tools including memory and performance profiling, plus the addition of the automated testing framework to Flex Builder. Adobe AIR is game-changing in so many ways, delivering rich applications on the desktop, enabling access to the local file system, system tray, notifications and much more. Now you can write RIAs on the desktop using the same skills that you've been already using to create great web apps including both Flex and AJAX.

For a more in-depth look at Flex 3 and AIR 1.0, come out to our special meeting tonight at Dealerskins! Adobe is sponsoring this meeting with food, giveaways and a raffle copy of Adobe Flex Professional. We'll also be giving away some special goodies that won't be announced until tonight.

Links you should check out:

AIR Showcase

AIR Marketplace

Adobe Open Source

Sample AIR apps
Adobe Sample Apps: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/air/samples/
Digimix: http://www.digimix.com/
AOL Top 100: http://music.aol.com/help/syndication/desktop-widgets
eBay Desktop: http://desktop.ebay.com/
Google Analytics: http://www.aboutnico.be/index.php/google-analytics-air-beta-sign-up/
Parleys.com: http://www.parleys.com/display/PARLEYS/Parleys.com+V2+BETA+Program
twitterAIR: http://www.aaronwest.net/blog/index.cfm/2008/2/25/twitterAIR-v120-for-AIR-10-Released

Opensource BlazeDS


Flex Showcase


Why 30onAIR?

Posted by Aaron West at 9:19 PM in 30onAIR, ColdFusion, Adobe General, Adobe AIR, Flex, Flash

Adobe onAIR Europe Tour Announced

Posted by Aaron West at 10:09 AM in Adobe AIR, Flex

Mike Chambers and the Adobe crew have announced the Europe version of the onAIR bus tour. Full details are on the onAIR site. You can also read Mike's blog post about the event.

Lastly, there's a Facebook page with tour info.


Adobe's RIA technologies enable you to rapidly build and deploy the most engaging applications across browsers and on the desktop. The 615Flex user group and the Nashville CF User Group are hosting a special live event to share exciting new information on Adobe's platform tools and technologies for building RIAs. You'll see an exclusive user group video presentation by Adobe CTO, Kevin Lynch, hear some important product news, plus get your hands on some exclusive schwag and other giveaways. Be part of the fun and excitement and join the rest of the Adobe developer community by participating in this very special event.

Monday, February 25 at 7:00pm CST

Dealerskins Office
404 BNA Dr.(Suite 600 (Building 200)
Nashville, TN 37217

Map and directions: