For years, Java has been used to develop Web applications that allow users to access server-side data through user interfaces presented in a Web browser. Generally, the user interfaces for these applications have been presented to the user as HTML by using technologies such as Java Server Pages (JSP) to insert server-side data into the user interface to create dynamic, data-driven applications.

Flex offers another possibility for Web application user interfaces — the highly visual, fluid, and rich experience provided by Adobe Flash Player and Flash movies. Flex puts the richness and power of Flash into the hands of application developers by providing a software development kit and user interface components that allow developers to create Flash applications by using familiar software development tools and methodologies.

When you integrate Java and Flex in a Web application, you get the best of both worlds. You get the power and stability that Java provides on the server side and the rich, dynamic user interfaces that Flex and Adobe Flash Player make possible. In this book, you learn to marry the two to create applications with the data your customers need and the visually compelling user experience they want.

There are many applications on the Web — some you probably use without even knowing it. When you want these online applications to offer a richer experience to the end user, you need to use the right tools.

Flex is one of these tools, but that only accounts for half ...

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