Flex and Flash have been used to create dynamic and rich internet applications for several years. The fact that you can create compelling, user friendly commercial applications using Adobe’s Flex and Flash technologies is undisputed.
But what if you have a great idea for a commercial, multi-user, highly reliable and available business application? Your application would need to be scalable, reliable, and require world class data center services. So, what are your options at this point? First, you could spend a lot of money and a lot of time creating the infrastructure to support your application. Or, more interestingly, you could leverage the salesforce.com platform, that already has the reliability, scalability, and security built into it.
Combining Adobe’s Flex technology deployed to the desktop using the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) with the salesforce.com on-demand platform using the Flex Toolkit for Apex provides a fast track to RIA success.
Using the salesforce.com platform as the infrastructure provides everything you need to create a commercial quality, ultimately profitable application. At the most basic level the platform provides a database that is multi-tennant, easily accessible using the Flex toolkit for Apex, and truly robust from a scalability and reliability standpoint. You don’t need to build a server, hire a hosting provider, implement security from the ground up, and so on. This has been done for the 100’s of thousands of salesforce.com customers already.
Some of the other services provided by the salesforce.com platform that belong at the service tier for your application are:
- Workflow – business logic required by your application is applied to your data whether the data is managed by an AIR or Flex front end or by the web services API that is also part of the platform.
- Approvals – the ability to create multistep approval/rejection processes
- Sharing – any mutli-user application needs to provide the ability to share data between users and protect data from users
- API – a modern internet application needs to be able to interact, or mashup, with other applications
When thinking about creating a commercially successful rich internet application you should be thinking of multiple users in an organization using your application, sharing data with one another, being part of a larger business process, interacting with other applications and services and having little tolerance for downtime or unavailability. When thinking about creating a commercially successful rich internet application you should be thinking about Adobe Flex/AIR and the salesforce.com platform.