Tag Archives: blazeds

Grails BlazeDS 4 Integration Plugin

One of the main goals I’ve been pursuing for a few months is the integration of Grails with Flex 4. I need to rework ConferenceGuide‘s administration backend to make it more ergonomic so that we can cover more events, and ever since I discovered Flex 4 niceties, I couldn’t think of doing that with anything else. The problem is that none of the existing plugins suited my needs. All of them cover Flex 3 only, some of them introduce a lot of complexity for CRUD generation, some of them use GraniteDS instead of BlazeDS, and the simplest plugin, grails-flex has never gone further than the experimental stage. I did a lot of experiments, talked a lot about it on Grails mailing lists, until Tomas Lin kindly explained to me that maybe I was approaching it the wrong way. I wanted a plugin that would set up a complete environment for Flex developement right in the middle of my Grails application. And I wanted that because I wanted to avoid using Flash Builder (you know… Eclipse… ierk!), mainly because the only advantage of Flex Builder 3 over IntelliJ Idea was the visual designer. But he was right, I was wrong. Flash Builder 4 DOES change everything. It does include a lot of very interesting features that greatly improve Flex development productivity, especially when it comes to integration with backend technologies. And for those features, I can only admit that IntelliJ is not up to par yet. I’m still gonna use it for the Grails part, but Flash Builder will be my environment of choice for Flex 4.

So, once I learnt more about Flex 4, BlazeDS 4 and Flash Builder 4 beta 2, it was time to reconsider my approach and develop a much simpler Grails plugin so that any Grails application could be used in combination with Flash Builder. I just released grails-blazeds plugin to do just that. Here is how it works:

  1. Install grails-blazeds plugin: “grails install-plugin blazeds”. This plugin copies a couple of configuration files into your application and imports all of the required libraries, including BlazeDS 4 and Spring-BlazeDS integration 1.5, both in nightly snapshot versions, since they have not been officially released yet
  2. Create a service to be exposed to your Flex application over AMF, or choose an existing one
  3. Add @RemotingDestination annotation to your service class, and @RemotingInclude annotation to all of the methods in this service that you wish to expose
  4. Edit web-app/WEB-INF/flex-servlet.xml (created when you installed the plugin): uncomment the context:component-scan element and set the base-package corresponding to your service class
  5. Make sure your exposed service methods don’t use Groovy classes, either as argument or return types. This is a known limitation I’m still working on, but if there are some Groovy classes here, Flash Builder doesn’t manage to generate ActionScript counterparts.
  6. Run your Grails application using “grails run-war” instead of “grails run-app”. Once again this is a known limitation: Flash Builder BlazeDS data connection plugin relies on a classical web app layout and doesn’t understand Grails dynamic layout (that is until someone manages to create a Grails data connection wizard for Flash Builder 4)
  7. In Flash Builder 4 beta 2, create a new Flex project with a J2EE server. Here are what your parameters shoud look like, “conferenceguide” being the name of my Grails application and “sarbogast” being my home directory:

  8. Click “Data” menu, then “Connect to BlazeDS…”
  9. In the “Authentication required” dialog box that appears, check “no password required” box, and click OK
  10. You should see your service appear, and you can select it and click Finish.

  11. Your service should appear in the Data/Services view. You can then compose your user interface and drag and drop your service methods to the relevant components to connect them with your Grails backend.
  12. Don’t forget to configure a channelset on your service:
    <adminservice:AdminService id="adminService" fault="Alert.show(event.fault.faultString + '\n' + event.fault.faultDetail)" showBusyCursor="true">
    <adminservice:channelSet>
    <s:ChannelSet>
    <s:AMFChannel uri="http://localhost:8080/conferenceguide/messagebroker/amf"/>
    </s:ChannelSet>
    </adminservice:channelSet>
    </adminservice:AdminService>
    

And there you go. Special thanks to James Ward, whose screencasts really helped me get it right. Now the only thing that this plugin misses, beyond the 2 known limitations, is integration with Spring Security, but this is just a start.

Enjoy!

Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! ERRATUM

OK, obviously there are 2 problems in my article on Adobe Developer Connection and I finally found the time to look into it:

First of all, there was a big error in one of the POMs in todolist3.zip. In todolist-web/pom.xml, if the first dependency looks like this:

<dependency>
<groupId>${project.groupId}</groupId>
<artifactId>todolist-common</artifactId>
<version>1.0-SNAPSHOT</version>
</dependency>

Then replace it with this:

<dependency>
<groupId>${project.groupId}</groupId>
<artifactId>todolist-config</artifactId>
<version>1.0-SNAPSHOT</version>
<classifier>resources</classifier>
<type>zip</type>
<scope>provided</scope>
</dependency>

And it should work fine.

The second error is in the article itself: of course, all of the namespace declarations should be xmlns:mx=”http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml” instead of xmlns:mx=”/2006/mxml” .

I’ll try to reach ADC editor so that they can fix those mistakes. Thanks for the feedback.

The Flex, Spring and BlazeDS full stack on Adobe Developer Connection

The last part of the reedition of my article series about Flex and Spring has been published on the Adobe Developer Connection. This episode is the last one in this improved series so if you haven’t read it yet on my blog, I think the version I gave to ADC is better.

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3

Enjoy!

Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! (Epilogue)

Thanks to Brian E. Fox, I managed to avoid duplication of Flex remoting configuration files in this project. It requires a bit of additional configuration and I hope that Maven will soon provide a simpler way to do this simple resource inheritance thing. But in the meantime, this one will work.

I’m going to update my fourarticle series to include those modifications, but for those of you who have already gone through it before the update, here are the exact modifications you need to make to the project you got at the end of Part 4.
Continue reading Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! (Epilogue)

Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! (Part 4) [updated]

[UPDATE] This article series has been reedited on the Adobe Developer Connection. For more information, see this post.

In the previous articles in this series, we did the boring stuff of setting up Spring, Hibernate and MySQL on a sample todo list server on one side, and we wrote a small useless Flex UI on the other side. In this article, we’re going to write the final UI and connect it with the Spring backend using BlazeDS. Let’s go!
Continue reading Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! (Part 4) [updated]

Maven, Flex and GraniteDS: another full stack!

For those of you looking for alternatives, it appears that the main diffuculty I had with Israfil’s maven-flex2-plugin, that is how to specify the contextRoot compiler argument, is not really a difficulty after all. I don’t know if it works with BlazeDS, but the guys behind Igenko apparently made it work with GraniteDS. I have to thank Tim O’Brien for pointing that out.

Their solution to the configuration file duplication is at least as ugly as mine, but if you’re looking for the right configuration for israfil, you can try that:

<plugin>
	<groupId>net.israfil.mojo</groupId>
	<artifactId>maven-flex2-plugin</artifactId>
	<version>1.3</version>
	<extensions>true</extensions>
	<configuration>
	<flexHome>${flex.home}</flexHome>
<dataServicesConfig>../igenko-backoffice-server/src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/flex/services-config.xml</dataServicesConfig>
		<main>Index.mxml</main>
		<useNetwork>true</useNetwork>
		<debug>true</debug>

		<extraParameters>
			<parameter>
				<name>compiler.context-root</name>
				<values><value>igenko-bo</value></values>
			</parameter>
		</extraParameters>       
	</configuration>
</plugin>

Maybe I’ll give it a shot after I finish my series. But anyways, Adobe if you can hear me, it becomes urgent for you to propose an official and well-documented Maven support for Flex 3.

Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! (Part 2)

[UPDATE 2] If you are still having version issues with the sample application featured in this article, you can get a fully upgraded version here

[UPDATE] This article series has been reedited on the Adobe Developer Connection. For more information, see this post.

In the previous article of this series, I laid the ground for what will be a step-by-step tutorial about creating a Flex/BlazeDS/Spring/Hibernate project. In this article, I will go into more detail about the creation of the Flex UI for our Todo List application.
Continue reading Flex, Spring and BlazeDS: the full stack! (Part 2)