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Noob needs help re offline desktop db app - is FB the right tool?

New Here ,
Jul 03, 2010 Jul 03, 2010

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Hi,

Thanks in advance for reading, and being patient with my long-winded-noobiness!

I am a self taught (read as: big gaps in my knowledge!) independent web designer/developer, with experience in developing PHP/mySQL database web-apps - both with DW, and by hand-coding.  I've been approached by a potential client asking if I could build a simple CRUD desktop application, and am trying to figure out if I can leverage my existing knowledge in doing so.  It's something I know I could develop in a snap for the web, but I'm left realizing I don't know the first thing - or even where to begin learning the first thing! - about desktop software development.  I'm hoping Flash Builder might be just the ticket for me (I'm not sure if the client will want to wait around while I learn JAVA!!), since I already own and am familiar with CS5.  I've been going over all the documentation, tutorials, etc. that I can get my hands on, but am finding my brain a little overwhelmed and frazzled, so I'm hoping one of you wonderful folk might be able to offer a simple answer!

Can I use Flash Builder / Flex to develop a strictly offline, local desktop CRUD application, but one which connects to a (local) mySQL database (ideally with PHP, since that's what I already know) - without the end-user having to separately install a local server?

If not, any suggestions?  As well as Flex, I've been looking into Java (but am finding the learning curve quite steep), and Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced (which allows you to create a runtime - but I'm finding it a bit restrictive, and would rather not have any Filemaker branding on the finished product),

In case you're wondering why I don't just convince the client to create a web-app instead, the data stored would be of a sensitive nature, and the main target demographic is baby-boomers, many of whom are still very wary of the interwebs

Thank you so much for any help you can offer!

Cheers,

David

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Advocate , Jul 05, 2010 Jul 05, 2010

Actually, I would think that Flex would be ideal using AIR with a SQLite database (the database is built in to AIR apps). However, if you've not done programming with Flex before, I won't trivialize the learning curve you have ahead of you. If you haven't already done so, go through Flex in a Week or get the latest Training from the Source for Flex 4 and get comfortable with the Flex workspace and programming environment. You'll like come to love it but it's a bit different than PHP. It would be

...

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Advocate ,
Jul 05, 2010 Jul 05, 2010

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Actually, I would think that Flex would be ideal using AIR with a SQLite database (the database is built in to AIR apps). However, if you've not done programming with Flex before, I won't trivialize the learning curve you have ahead of you. If you haven't already done so, go through Flex in a Week or get the latest Training from the Source for Flex 4 and get comfortable with the Flex workspace and programming environment. You'll like come to love it but it's a bit different than PHP. It would be an easier transition, I think, if you had a heavy background in JavaScript or Java so that you felt comfortable using OOP programming techniques. If you already structure your PHP programs with OO principles, it'll be an issue of getting used to the language and, if I were guessing, that might take you a month or two. That's my 2 cents worth.

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Engaged ,
Jul 06, 2010 Jul 06, 2010

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I think John has it nailed.  I came from a PHP/web background and it took me about a month to get comfortable with Flex.

You cannot connect directly from Flex to MySQL though, so it's either SQLite or a web service wrapper.

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New Here ,
Jul 06, 2010 Jul 06, 2010

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Thanks guys!

I got lazy once I discovered the wonderfully handy dreamweaver AIR plug-in, and have stopped (for now, at least) trying to wrap my head around Flex .

For the data, it looks like SQLite should be pretty quick to pick up(?), since I'm already familiar with mySQL

It's looking like I can just write a web-app as I normally would in DW, then click-click package it as an AIR desktop app and I'm good to go!  Amazing.

Thanks again for the help (and thank you Adobe!!),

David

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