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The RIA Cowboy’s Portable Flex App

Posted by Sravan | November 13, 2008 .

Portable RIAs are yet to catch up. That is perhaps because most haven’t seen that possibility until Adobe released Adobe Reader 9 with a feature to natively display Flash. James Ward, the RIA Cowboy, has a wonderful tutorial to create a portable RIA with an illustration of embedding a Flex app within a PDF document.

The way it works: Open the RIA in a browser, click ‘Create PDF’ button, and a PDF with the same data embedded in it will be created. The PDF can then be saved, viewed offline, and the data refreshed through the PDF directly at a latter point of time.

The steps to follow are simple enough:

1. Create the back-end data source for the application
2. Create the basic Flex front-end application
3. Create a back-end PDF generation service
4. Create a PDF with form fields that will be used to store the data
5. Modify the Flex application to read data from the PDF
6. Add a way for the user to generate a PDF from the Flex application
7. Merge the final Flex application into the PDF template

Try it for yourself. Remember, you will need Flex 3 and Adobe Reader 9 for this to work. For in-depth description of these steps and also the source code, read his Portable RIAs tutorial.

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2 Comments so far
  1. Joseph  November 14, 2008 12:34 pm

    I wonder if this would work, if I email the pdf file to my iPhone?!
    hmmmm …

  2. Sravan  November 14, 2008 9:03 pm

    I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

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