Chapter 6. Open Source Networking Solutions

“Ninety-nine percent of the people who reject using the software until it gets open sourced will never even look at its source code when it’s done.”

“Most people are not planning to use airbags in cars, but they want them anyway.”

A conversation between Yakov and Marat

The selection of a communication protocol can be as crucial for the success of your RIA as a professionally designed UI. LiveCycle Data Services (LCDS) is an excellent solution for building enterprise-grade scalable RIAs, but some enterprises just don’t have the budget for it. Many smaller IT organizations still use the more familiar HTTP or SOAP web services, because it’s an easy route into the world of RIA with only minor changes on the backend.

Now there’s a faster, more powerful open source option. In February 2008, Adobe released BlazeDS in conjunction with open sourcing the specification of the Action Message Format (AMF) communication protocol. Offering many of the same capabilities as LCDS, BlazeDS is a Java-based open source implementation of AMF, which sends the data over the wire in a highly compressed binary form.

Large distributed applications greatly benefit by working with the strongly typed data. Sooner or later developers will need to refactor the code, and if there is no data type information available, changing the code in one place might break the code in another and the compiler might not help you in identifying such newly introduced bugs.

This chapter will ...

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