UX, ECM, BI, and Semantic Tech Open Source, HTML5/JS, TypeScript, Flex, Mobile, Alfresco/CMIS, BI/Visualization, SemanticWeb/SPARQL/RDF/OWL

17. June 2012

FlexibleDashboard now has Mobile AIR support for iOS/iPads and Android Tablets

FlexibleDashboard, an open source dashboard project for BI dashboards/mashups, etc., now has a Flex Mobile AIR version in addition to Desktop (Desktop AIR and Flex in browser) versions. An Android build is available for download, and the iOS version can be built from the common source.

FlexibleDashboard used the esria dashboard as a starting point and evolved it with added flexmdi cascade/tile (esria pod drag/drop in tile mode), more pods, both Flex in Browser and Flex+AIR versions, port from Flex 3 to Flex 4,  and pods in separate Flex modules. Example pods using Spring ActionScript to have different configs for individual pods and config of a simple IDataService with either SOAP, XML, or RemoteObject BlazeDS datasources (see GridPod and ChartGridPod) were also added.

FlexibleDashboard has the following pods: esria charting pods with quietly scheming animation (line, bar, pie charts),  JasperReports viewer, BIRT Report viewer, OLAP pivotable grid with XMLA datasource support and MDX query editor (from Grebulon sourceforge project), Pentaho Charts sample, a simple BlazeDS data pod, Flex SWF pod, Calendar, HTML viewing (IFrame, AIR HTML, mobile StageWebView versions),  and some AIR only (Desktop and Mobile) pods (HTML browser, Google gadgets, Liferay portlet widget, and Local Files browser).

For mobile, only the bare minimum was done: pod min/max/close button hit areas was increased and mobile versions of pods displaying HTML were created (the snapshot feature of the flexcapacitor WebView Flex UIComponent StageWebView wrapper helped to support cascading mode html pods with only the topmost being in StageWebVeiw mode and the other being in bitmap snapshot mode.) Other pods were unchanged and don’t have mobile specific UI (but stuff still works, even  mx chart drill down with touch).  Also, the original app projects were split into separate app / library / modules projects to facilitate sharing with the new mobile app / library projects.

It took an error message on iOS about not being able to load module SWF (Duh!) to get me to change the mobile project to link pod code instead of loading modules. Android Mobile AIR was able to load modules, but mobile Flex app projects in Flash Builder doesn’t have module setup and won’t build the app using framework RSL even though its in the UI. So I ended up just having a single mobile app project for both iOS and Android that doesn’t use modules (desktop AIR and in-browser Flex app projects still use modules).

Plan in the future to have some sort of HTML5/JS Dashboard project like FlexibleDashboard   (with web app and PhoneGap mobile app variations).  Also plan to add support for semantic data sources / semantic data integration, and more visualization support.

Steve Reiner

Integrated Semantics

@stevereiner on Twitter

26. June 2011

Flexible Dashboard, FlexibleShare, and Flexible Liferay updates

  FlexibleDashboard

FlexibleDashboard

FlexibleDashboard is a dashboard application / framework focused on the uses of dashboards for BI / Reporting / Charting. It started with esria dashboard code and evolved from there, adding flexmdi cascading / tiling (esria pod drag/drop in tile mode), more pods, pods in Flex modules, Spring ActionScript configurable pods, and both Flex+Browser and Flex+Air versions. 

Additional pods beyond the esria charting pods include: JasperReports viewer, BIRT Report viewer, OLAP pivotable grid with XMLA datasource support and MDX query editor (from Grebulon sourceforge project), Pentaho Charts, GridPod, ChartGridPod, calendar, and iframe html. The AIR version has additional Flex+AIR pods: webkit HTML, web browser, Google gadgets, Liferay portlet gadget, and a local files browser.

In February, FlexibleDashboard was ported from Flex 3 to Flex 4 in build3, including a first pass of using spark controls instead of halo controls. I got mostly through porting the esria dashboard part, then discovered code by Greg Lafrance (who later wrote a 4 part Adobe devnet series of articles part1, part2, part3, part4)  that helped me port the remaining parts of the esria code in FlexibleDashboard. I also used a skin from flexdevtips for pod windows.  Instead of porting the full flexmdi code to Flex 4 / spark, all the style setting code was removed, and just the basic parts were ported.

In April, build 4 of FlexibleDashboard added having pods built in separate flex modules and instead of having the esria style hardcoded switch on pod type to pod class, the module path is listed in the pods xml files on each pod. 

Build 4 also introduced having each use of a pod/module configurable separately with Spring ActionScript in a separate context xml file (in src/spring-actionscript/ dir). This is currently used in 3 differently configured GridPods and in one ChartGridPod.  A similar approach could be used with other Flex frameworks that support modules (Parsley, etc.).  The GridPods and ChartGridPod  just reference a data service interface IDataService, and the particular data service implementation is configured and injected / autowired with Spring ActionScript. 

Build 4 also has 3 simple data service class implementations (SoapDataService, XmlDataService, RemoteObjectDataService) which get data via BlazeDS (or from LCDS).  The shared ChannelSet for the grid pods is configured in src /spring-actionscript/ application-config.xml   The esria dashboard like config is still in data/ FlexibleDashboardPods.xml (or in data/ FlexibleDashboardAirPods.xml for the AIR version).

 FlexibleShare

FlexibleShare

FlexibleShare adds the following to FlexibleDashboard: FlexSpaces pods for Alfresco document management along with Flex based collaboration pod front ends (wiki, blog, calendar, doc lib, discussions) to an Alfresco Share backend.  FlexibleShare was ported from Flex 3 to Flex 4 in May.  The additional pods are now in Flex modules too.

FlexibleLiferay

FlexibleLiferay extends FlexibleDashboard to provide a Flex portal container for Liferay.  The Flex+AIR client is able to get all of the places/layouts, tabs, and portlets you would normally see as a Liferay portal user and display them using a Flex based container with an HTML control for each portlet (doesn’t support pure Flex/Flash portlets yet).

The basic idea was for a Flex Portal, instead of starting from scratch, leverage the server side and services of an existing portal. Another use case is for views from an existing portal can be included in a larger enterprise Flex application.  Note that FlexibleDashboard and FlexibleShare can also display individual Liferay portlets in a configurable pod using the Liferay widget, just not whole existing portal layouts.

Recently FlexibleLiferay was ported from Flex 3 to Flex 4. The server side code was changed from Liferay 5.x ext environment code to a simpler web plugin for Liferay 6.x. The FlexibleLiferay client uses BlazeDS/AMF to remote to Java APIs provided in the web plugin. Built versions of the AIR client and the server piece (web plugin) are now available (previously there was only code available in the svn).

2. October 2009

FlexibleDashboard, FlexibleShare, FlexibleLiferay

FlexibleDashboard+AIR

FlexibleDashboard (new google code project)
1. Has both Flex+Browser and Flex+AIR versions
2. Based on the non doc mgt code from FlexibleShare
3. Based on esria dashboard / adobe flex devnet dashboard sample with added flexmdi cascade/tile (esria pod drag/drop in tile mode)
4. Flex+Browser pods: line, bar, pie charts, form, todo list, JasperReports viewer, Pentaho dashboard, BlazeDS samples, external Flex app SWFLoader, calendar, iframe html (iframe has not hiding issues)
5. Flex+AIR additional pods: webkit HTML, web browser, Google gadgets, Liferay portlets, local files browser

FlexibleShare
1. Now has Flex+Browser in addition to Flex+AIR
2. Adds Alfresco, Alfresco Share, LiveCycle Content Services features to FlexibleDashboard

FlexibleLiferay+AIR

FlexibleLiferay (new google code project)
(Flex+AIR based portal container application for Liferay)
1. Can display regular Liferay portlets (JSR-168, JSR-286, HTML/Ajax etc.)
2. All of Liferay backend, standards it supports can be leveraged
3. Can display Flex portlets (swfs) without html wrapper (no need for special handling of restarting when resize portlet) from within a portlet war
4. Leverage Liferay app catalog to also manage Flex portlets
5. Leverage Liferay security / authentication (ldap, sso, etc.) to also manage Flex portlets
6. Flex portlets can take advantage of AIR specific features (native desktop file drag / drop, native clipboard, local files, offline db)
7. No Flex+Browser version yet due to iframe issues

FlexibleLiferay Implementation:
1. Uses BlazeDS to remote to some Java Apis added via Liferay Ext environment (used Liferay 5.2.3)
2. Built on top of FlexibleDashboard

FlexibleLiferay Implemented:
1. Sign in (Login dialog), Sign out
2. My Places menu
3. Display of tabs for pages in selected place
4. Display of a Liferay pod (uses HTML with Liferay widget) for each portlet in selected page

19. May 2009

FlexibleShare+AIR (dashboard/portal for Alfresco, LiveCycle): build1 available

A first build and source for FlexibleShare+AIR, an open source, Flex based dashboard/portal container focused on document management (Alfresco, Adobe LiveCycle Content Services ES), collaboration (Alfresco Share),  and BI/charting/reporting, is now available on the Alfresco Forge and on Google Code.

As a Flex based dashboard for FlexSpaces view pods (doc mgt, wcm, search, workflow tasks), its further along. (Note that the WCM pod is commented out in data/pods.xml).

The Flex based pods (blog, wiki, discussions, doclib, calendar) for Share back-end are prototypes. No commenting/reply feature yet. The calendar doesn’t hook into the Share backend yet. The Share dashboard html pod runs the Share overall dashboard (no pods for individual Surf dashlets yet).  (Note that you need to confgure Share pods with the correct site short url name in the siteUrlName attributes in pods.xml)

The Charting, Pentaho charting, JasperReports report viewer pods are samples only (additional BI/reporting capabilities to come). Liferay html pod runs the full Liferay portal (no pods for individual Liferay portlets yet).

FlexibleShare uses the Esria dashboard sample. I still need to look into leveraging the  Anvil project to provide more modular support for loading Flex portlets. (Note see previous blog post with more details on FlexibleShare)

Do to use of AIR, you can drag desktop files into FlexibleShare folder views. Regular AIR drag / drop also allows you to drag files from the local files pod to folder view pods and between folder view pods. Calais semantic auto-tagging, tag suggesting can be used in Doclib pods and in the search pod (switch from having the “simplesearch” pod to the “search” pod in pods.xml), and setup the Calais key / set enableCalais in FlexSpacesConfig.xml

To get FlexibleShare to run on LiveCycle Content Services (8.2.1), FlexSpacesConfig.xml needs to be changed following its LiveCycle comments (different setting for alfresoUrlPart, set isLiveCycleContentService value to true, and set serverVersion to 2.1 to reflect its embedded Alfreso. Also in data/pods.xml comment out the tasks pod, and remove the pods in Share section. Note: for FlexibleShare on LiveCycle on non localhost, currently need to recompile with service-config.xml changed.

FlexibleShare Document Management (WCM pod not shown) screenshot (click on for larger):

FlexibleShare+AIR  document management

FlexibleShare Collaboration screenshot (click on for larger):

FlexibleShare+AIR Alfresco Share Collaboration

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