Debugging data in Flex – Flash remoting AMF data watch

November 30th, 2005

   Currently, we rely on AMF binary format to exchange the data between client and the server.
   There are only 5 known tools to me that are able to deserialize the binary AMF data into text with a debug purpose

  • Macromedia NetConnection Debugger
  • URL: Using the NetConnection Debugger in Flex.
    Pros:
    – Free
    Cons:
    – UI sucks, difficult to treat the data.
    – No performance data of the remote call (time spent, overall data served)
    – Object hierarchy was diffcult to read, especially with large data objects
    – Debugging requires special configuration in flex-config
    – Debugging requires import of extra classes adds overhead to compiled swfs
    – Difficult to debug on production systems not configured for testing
    – It does not display other pertinent information like xml and text requests

  • Flex Builder 1.5 Network Monitor built-in
  • Pros:
    – Included in the package
    Cons:
    – Requires Flex Builder

  • Charles
  • URL: http://xk72.com/charles/flash-remoting-amf.html
    Pros:
    — it works
    — trial mode lasts for ever ( requires every 30 minutes restart)
    — UI is moreless OK
    Cons:
    –price 50$ per copy,
    –400$ site license

  • ServiceCapture
  • URL: http://kevinlangdon.com/serviceCapture/
    Pros:
    — UI is very sleak
    — Under constant development
    Cons:
    — license costs 35$ per 1 seat

  • Mkulu QA Proxy 1.0 Beta
  • URL: http://apps.mkulu.org/qaproxy/beta.shtml
    Pros:
    –Free
    Cons:
    — Cumbersome setup

    To sum up:
       ServiceCapture is the best, I would like to have this tool at my hand, but it will cost the company 7 flash developers x35$ = 220$

       Currently, we rely on AMF binary format to exchange the data between client and the server.
       There are only 5 known tools to me that are able to deserialize the binary AMF data into text with a debug purpose

  • Macromedia NetConnection Debugger
  • URL: Using the NetConnection Debugger in Flex.
    Pros:
    – Free
    Cons:
    – UI sucks, difficult to treat the data.
    – No performance data of the remote call (time spent, overall data served)
    – Object hierarchy was difficult to read, especially with large data objects
    – Debugging requires special configuration in flex-config
    – Debugging requires import of extra classes adds overhead to compiled swfs
    – Difficult to debug on production systems not configured for testing
    – It does not display other pertinent information like xml and text requests

  • Flex Builder 1.5 Network Monitor built-in
  • Pros:
    – Included in the package
    Cons:
    – Requires Flex Builder

  • Charles
  • URL: http://xk72.com/charles/flash-remoting-amf.html
    Pros:
    — it works
    — trial mode lasts for ever ( requires every 30 minutes restart)
    — UI is moreless OK
    Cons:
    –price 50$ per copy,
    –400$ site license

  • ServiceCapture
  • URL: http://kevinlangdon.com/serviceCapture/
    Pros:
    — UI is very sleak
    — Under constant development
    Cons:
    — license costs 35$ per 1 seat

  • Mkulu QA Proxy 1.0 Beta
  • URL: http://apps.mkulu.org/qaproxy/beta.shtml
    Pros:
    –Free
    Cons:
    — Cumbersome setup

    To sum up:
       ServiceCapture is a winner, I would like to have this tool at my hand, but it will cost the company 7 flash developers x35$ = 220$

    As a result: We had purchased 10 licenses of ServiceCapture tool

    Why Flex is more superior over open-sourced Laszlo? Here is my take

    November 21st, 2005

       While there is quite a number of technoolgies aiming to ease the life of modern RIA developer ( Droplets, Xamalon/XAML/Sparkle, Laszlo, JSF, XUI, XUL based stuff, SwixML, Thinlets, XSWT, Luxor, Keystone, Jazilla, Vexi, Ajax, etc… thanks for this list Tariq Ahmed from Flexcoders mailing list we the three contenders for the final choice as main technology to deliver RIA applicatiion at client.

       The conteders are: Flash, Flex and Laszlo. No surprise, here.

       We selected Macromedia Flex as our initial choice in summer 2005 and we do not yet regret about it.

       The selection creterea were: the exisitng developer base, the innovation development done with this technology, the solid widget library, AMF binary protocol support, final download size of SWF, final time of the development to name a few.

       I would like to hear more both from strong opponnnets of Flash and Laszlo technologies how those technologies can be superior over Macromedia Flex to deliver enterprise level RIA in web-browser.