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

    A structure to leverage ActionScript development

    September 29th, 2005

        In my company, we will use SVN as control version tool ( BLITZ already uses SVN, why cannot we?) and we will have certain ActionScript code conventions rules (Peter Elst did a good presentation on this topic AS 2.0 Best Practices in July 2005).

    We’d like to step one more step further, but we failed to found a tool that automatically checks the ActionScript code style – something similar to Java CheckStyle, a tool that Java programmers are accustomed to.

    ServiceCapture – is your eyes to watch the data passed via Flash Remoting

    September 23rd, 2005

    I am falling into love with ServiceCapture tool that deserializes and displays all Flash Remoting (AMF) traffic in a simple-to-use interface.

    Right, I admit I copy pasted the sentence above from the official site, but it is true.

    serviceCapture gives a developer an good insight on how and what 🙂 data is transmitted between server and client by using AMF protocol. It shows the name of the service called, the name of the method of the data called, the all data being transmitted deserialized.

    The tool shows also some performance data of the remoting call as well (data served in bytes, time spent on the call).

    The tool has a reasonable price tag 34,99$ and I would recommend it to any flash developer who is using Flash remoting in his/her projects.