Archive for the ‘ Quickstarts ’ Category

About Hex Color Codes in Flex (AS3)

Hi folks,

I recognized a lot of views on the last post I made came from users searching for stuff like 0xFFFFFFFF color code or something in that manner. This made me suggest there are a lot of people who do not understand what this means to Flex/Flash using Actionscript 3. So here is a little explanation:

Imagine you’d have a color code like this:

0xFFFF0000

This means a full opaque red for Flex, because the whole color code can be splitted into 4 regions (called channels) : Alpha, Red, Green and Blue

So for our example above this means you’re having the following channel options:

Alpha = FF (100%)
Red = FF (100%)
Green = 00
Blue = 00

So if you want to have a full opaque Blue you would write:

0xFF0000FF

Alpha = FF (100%)
Red = 00
Green = 00
Blue = FF (100%)

Now if you want to bring in lesser opacity you just have to reduce the alpha value. So to get a half opaque Green you would write:

0x8800FF00

Alpha = 88 (50%)
Red = 00
Green = FF ( 100%)
Blue = 00

So the conclusion out of this is that you will get a bright fully opaque white with writing:

0xFFFFFFFF

And a fully transparent “black” (transparent is transparent, no matter which color you take) with the following:

0x00000000

Some people who have a good understanding of colors (not me) can mix nearly every color just by mixing the colors in their head. If you are not interested in that (like me) just take a color picker and look at the Hexadecimal Code of the color.

The above will help you to get deeper into making effects using the Bitmap and BitmapData class and their methods. You can see a really simple example in the last tutorial – it shows you how to take out specific colors from an Bitmap in Flex / Flash using Actionscript 3. So go and have some fun with Bitmaps and Colors !

How to use AMFphp 1.9 beta with Flex

One of the main reasons for using Flex is web application development, let’s take out the whole Apollo / AIR thing for a moment, so let’s have a look at fetching dynamic data from your Database. This could be done via SOAP, REST or a thousand different ways but my personal favorite is remoting best through using AMFphp. For all those of you who never heard of that take a look at their homepage an give yourself a quick start of the idea. Most important thing to know is – it is damn fast, works with php4 and 5 and is very very easy to learn. So let’s get it on …

Step 1: Get the files

First thing to do is downloading all the files you’ll need for AMFphp – get them from 5 1/2 blog.

Good, if you haven’t found them for some reason – go and get them from somewhere else damn it ! This tutorial is, like mentioned in the heading, for AMFphp 1.9 beta – if you’re working with another version don’t blame me if you can’t do exactly the same to get it running.

Step 2: Set it up

Now have a look at the zip folder, it should look like that:

Folder structure of AMFphp 1.9 beta

Step 3: Your first Service

Extract the files in a folder of your choice – now you’ll have to create a new service. A service is basically a php class containing functions to catch data from your database – but it’s not limited to that. Services go into the services folder, naming follows php class naming so the filename has to match the class name and should start capitalized. So the filename might be Products.php and it could like this:


<span style="color: #000000;"><?php

class Products
{</span>

<span style="color: #000000;">	//For people from earlier amfphp - the method table is gone finally :)</span>

<span style="color: #000000;">    	//Database connect helper function - if you don't have php5 take out the private</span>

<span style="color: #000000;">	private function connect(){</span>

<span style="color: #000000;">		//Insert your credentials here</span>

<span style="color: #000000;">		$mysql = mysql_connect(your_db_host, your_db_user, your_db_password);</span>

<span style="color: #000000;">		mysql_select_db( your_db_name );

	}

	function getProducts(){

		 //Connect to the desired database

		$this->connect();

		//Fetch Products from the database

		$query  = "SELECT * FROM products ";

		$res    = mysql_query($query);

		$products = array();

		//Put them into an Array

 		while($obj = mysql_fetch_object($res)){

			$products[]  = $obj;

		}

		//Now return the array to Flex

		<strong>return</strong> $products;

	}

}
?></span>

<span style="color: #000000;">

 

Now this is what you have to do on the server side, setup classes an services. Upload the altered amfphp directory onto your web server. You can do far more with amfphp but for now let’s head further.

Step 4: Setup your Flex project

Open up a new Project if you haven’t done so yet, what you’ll need is this source – this is the RemotingConnection Class, ok you don’t implicitly need it – but this is my way so goddamn do it.


package{
    import flash.net.NetConnection;
    import flash.net.ObjectEncoding;
    public class RemotingConnection extends NetConnection
    {
   public function RemotingConnection( sURL:String )
        {
            objectEncoding = ObjectEncoding.AMF0;
            if(sURL) connect( sURL );
        }
        public function AppendToGatewayUrl( s : String ) : void
        {
            //
        }
    }
}

Copy this into a file named RemotingConnection.as in of your flex project source folders. This is an extended NetConnection class which I will not describe any further, use it – it works 🙂

Step 5: Do some magic

This is an example how it could be done very simple to connect to the amf gateway you’ll need to do the following:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<mx:Application xmlns:mx="http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml" initialize="init()" width="100%" height="100%">
	<mx:Script>
		<!&#91;CDATA&#91;

			import mx.collections.ArrayCollection;
			import mx.controls.Alert;

			//Binding for the test Datagrid
			Bindable&#93;
			private var products:ArrayCollection

			//Since the gateway doesn't have te be initialized on every call
			//Define it as class variable
			private var gateway:RemotingConnection;

			//on Application initialize
			private function init():void{

				//Connect to the gateway
				gateway = new RemotingConnection("http://yourserver.com/amf/gateway.php");
				//Call the service defined before
				gateway.call("Products.getProducts", new Responder(onProducts, onFault));

			}

			//When products arrive from database
			private function onProducts(arr:Array):void{
				products = new ArrayCollection(arr);
			}

			//Event if loading process failed
       			public function onFault( fault : Object ) : void
       			{
       				Alert.show(fault.description);
     				//trace(fault);
      			}
		&#93;&#93;>
	</mx:Script>
	<mx:DataGrid dataProvider="{products}" width="100%" height="100%" />
</mx:Application>

 

Now do it, test your flex application – this should work in a local environment. You could also deploy it on your web server and use a relative url for connecting to the gateway. If you have done everything right the DataGrid should show the result from the database, using the field names as column headers.

From here on start reading everything you find about it and try yourself. There’s lots of documentation on the net – I started with the adobe articles on it. There’s also a lot on the amfphp site So have fun with amfPHP !