Flex Modular Applications using Robotlegs

This is from last year and comes quite late too. For anyone starting with Flex Modular applications using robotlegs, this presentation would serve as a quick reference guide. I had intentionally kept it short, to the point, discussing about the pain points when dealing with modular application such as interaction within modules, injecting dependencies correctly when working with modules, passing data between modules. As always, I would appreciate comments, thoughts and any suggestions or improvements on suggested practices in the presentation.

Posted in ActionScript, Flex 4, Programming, Robotlegs | Leave a comment

ActionScript 3.0 Fundamentals

This was long overdue. I had organised a series of technical talks on Actionscript 3.0 (last year during Oct, Nov) with my team at Opera Solutions and these are the presentation slides highlighting our discussion points. I believe these would work as a good reference for anyone who wants a quick check on the fundamentals of the language. I hope these would be helpful, questions and thoughts are welcome :-). Here is the source code zip file used during the sessions – sample code

Posted in ActionScript, Flex, Learning, Programming, RIA | Leave a comment

Visual Experiences with Flex 4 – presentation at Adobe Summit 2010

These are the slides from my presentation at Adobe Flash Platform Summit 2010.
I had to skip some slides to get on with speed with my demos, if you are interested in checking out the rest of the slides, please feel free to check them out here or download them and use them in any way, and here is the source code from my demos.

Posted in Flash, Flex, Flex 4, User Experience, Visual Experience | 3 Responses

Failure is an option, but fear is not!

Its been quite some time that I had watched James Cameron’s Ted Talk where he shares his experiences and learnings of all his time while film making and specially from the period of making the movie Avatar. The thoughts from the talk lingered in my mind for several days and thats how i finally sat down to write this post, the learnings and experiences that James Cameron shares I think are very important and simple, and I believe that for all the years that you live and work, it is these learnings and experiences that help you grow as a person, as a human, as a constant creator and a worker. Some of the things that he pointed out which I felt are very striking -

curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.

imagination is the force that can manifest the reality.

respect of your team is more important than all the laurels in the world.

do not put limitations on yourself, others will do it for you, dont do it to yourself, take risk.

failure is not an option?, failure has to be an option, in art and exploration coz its a leap of faith, no important endeavorer involving innovation has been done without taking a risk, you hav to be willing to take risk.

failure is an option, but fear is not.

Posted in General, Learning, Life | 2 Responses

Adobe Flash Platform Summit 2010

Adobe has been organizing DevSummit since 2008, the conference is the single largest Adobe conference in India, and since then it has been a huge success, attracting developers and designers from all over India. I believe such events and engagements are very important for our professional growth, its just amazing to get to know the latest in the technology, and the opportunities to learn new stuff, well its just amazing and the fun part is meeting with new people, getting to know new perspectives. Benefits for beginners learning new tools and technologies are immense, and for pros probably conferences are the best places for them to let out their creative energies and get into discussions and debates around things that they are passionate about. I have met some really cool developers and creative people during my time at the conference and the increased participation in the conference has shown that the Flash Platform Community in India is expanding day by day. In year 2008, Adobe came up with RIA developer summit, which then in year 2009 was called Adobe DevSummit. 2009 version of Adobe developer summit in Bangalore saw a huge participation from the developer and designer community, Hyderabad and Chennai versions of Adobe DevSummits were equally successful.

2010 promises to be another fantastic year with Adobe Flash Platform Summit 2010, and this time around it will be a full two day event with specialized topics for Developers on the first day and for Designers on second day. I am all excited and looking forward to meet all the great folks in the Indian Community, our home Team of Adobe Evangelists in India has been doing a great work in organizing these conferences, the kind of hard work the team is putting in is just amazing. These guys kick ass ;-)

And ya the GREAT NEWS!! I have some Discount Coupons (a full 70% waiver on the registration fee) to give away to few people who contact me via twitter or email (reachsaurabhnarula at gmail dot com) or just leave a comment to this blog post. The coupon will allow you to register at 70% discount, 1 day admit – INR 599 and 2 day admit – INR 999 (original fee 1 day admit – INR 1999, 2 day admit – INR 2999) . Dont wait guys, these coupons are limited in supply ;-)

To know more click on this link

Cheers, meet you all soon.

Posted in Conference, Flash, Flex, India, RIA | 1 Response

Presentation on Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications

Recently I had an opportunity to speak on Web 2.0 and Rich Internet Applications at Walchand Institute of Technology(witsolapur.org), Solapur, Maharashtra. I am sharing my presentation and links to the demos in this blog post. My presentation was part of the Staff Development Program organized by the institute and sponsored by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). I had an amazing experience visiting the college, meeting students and staff members, teachers and seniors. I specially want to thank Prof. Raj Kulkarni who extended the invitation and gave me the opportunity to be part of the program. I cant express my gratitude enough towards the faculty members and my seniors, who listened to my presentation patiently and have been very receptive and encouraging. I want to thank Ramesh (from Adobe India Evangelism Team) for his kind suggestions which helped me make my presentation more effective. My presentation was a culmination of my thoughts and inspirations from Tim Orielly’s Definition of Web 2.0 and Mrinal’s presentation on Rich Internet Application. I believe Mrinal’s presentation on RIA is one of the best explanations on Rich Internet Applications, Tim Orielly’s thoughts on WEB 2.0 is a must read for anyone who is trying to understand Web 2.0.

As always, please do leave your comment, suggestions, opinions or criticism :-)

Demos – Image Gallery in Flex 4.0, Getting Started with Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5



Posted in Flex, Flex 4, India, RIA, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

My experience with Adobe Flex 3 with AIR ACE Exam

I appeared for the Adobe Flex 3 with AIR exam yesterday morning and cleared the exam with a score of 82 %. I am extremely happy and feel elated that i am now part of the Adobe Certified Expert Community. I want to thank my colleagues (past and present), friends, the Flex India Community who have been instrumental in my learning process and Adobe for giving us a fantastic framework for building some really cool applications.

I am sure many people in India and in other parts of the world must be planning to appear for the exam and to give you a gist of it, i would try to briefly tell you about my experience during certification process.

What is this exam?

The exam is Adobe Flex 3 with AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) certification exam, that leads to the accreditation of ACE (Adobe Certified Expert – product specific).

Ideal for .. / Who can take this exam?

You are a college student leaning Adobe Flex, you are a developer creating application using the framework, basically if you write code and want to take the plunge of learning flex or already well versed with the framework, then this exam is for you.

Why should i take this exam ?

You have been working with the framework and want to validate your knowledge, your skills, you want to know where you stand in terms of Adobe’s expectation from a Certified Expert.

Motivation for giving this exam ?

The fact that throughout the process of preparing for the exam, you would end up learning and exploring things to greater detail and would get to touch base with things which you might have ignored or overlooked in the past. Even if you pass or miss by a margin, the whole activity will make you understand where you stand in terms of your knowledge/skillset, this would give you a chance to analyze where did you excel, what are your strong points and where you need to work on. The learning would be immense, believe me you would end up knowing new things at the end of the certification process.

Benefits of getting certified ?

Many, recognition in the developers community, amongst your peers, stand out in the crowd, self satisfaction, a blue print of your skill set validation, chance to introspect, question / challenge yourself.

Right time to start preparing for the exam?

:) Today, now. There is no right or wrong time or if you think you should find some time or dedicate some special time, if you know you want to give this exam then start preparing for it, be conscious of the fact that you have to give the exam sooner than later, set a timeline, prepare and go ahead give the exam when you feel you are ready for it.

Right time to appear for the exam ?

When you know you are ready for it, when you know you have done good amount hands on practice, and understand the fundamentals of the framework, thats important, if you think that there is something that you still need to explore before appearing for the exam, be sure that your do it and appear for the exam with absolutely no doubts in your head.

Timeline ?

For a developer / student who has a basic programming background but has no framework knowledge – fix a timeline of 20-25 days.

For a developer / student who has a programming background and is still starting to learn the framework – 10 days.

For a developer / student who has good amount of knowledge and is hands on with the framework – 5 days.

Fix the timeline on the basis of the dedicated time you can devote in learning and practicing / writing code, the above suggestions can work out best if you can devote good number of hours during the number of days suggested.

Lets look at the exam specific details ..

How is the exam conducted ?

The exam is computer based,conducted in a proctored enviornment. Authorized Pearson VUE Testing Centers conduct the exam. To know more about the types of the exam and other information, see http://www.vue.com/adobe/

Structure of the exam ?

The exam has 50 questions in all, you get 85 minutes where 15 minutes are given for filling up the survey and for terms and conditions, rest is for the exam. Passing score is 67% and the questions are multiple choice type.

Type of questions ?

There are true / false questions, single answer / multiple answers type questions.

Exam Process ?

You start the exam process by verifying the exam no (i.e 9A0-082 ) on the first screen, you complete the terms and conditions and fill the preliminary survey, exam starts once you see the first question on your screen. The screen contains the question section, the answer / options section, on the top right you see the time left and if you want to mark your question for review.
After selecting a choice, you press next, you can also select previous and see previous questions. After completing all the questions you see the review questions screen, and review all or flagged questions and then finally click end review / review complete. The moment you complete the review, your answers are evaluated and the result is displayed to u and you click exit.
Once you complete the exam, you get a scoresheet in the end showing the grade (pass / fail), scores for each section and other important related information (links, IDs etc).
More information http://partners.adobe.com/public/en/ace/ACE_Exam_Guide_FlexAIR.pdf

Major Topics covered in the exam ?

Creating a User Interface (UI) , No of questions – 11
Flex system architecture and design, 9
Programming Flex applications with ActionScript, 12
Interacting with data sources and servers, 8
Using Flex in the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), 10

More information http://partners.adobe.com/public/en/ace/ACE_Exam_Guide_FlexAIR.pdf

My suggestions for the certification process ..

Ideally you should give the exam in two pass / phases, in the first pass you should mark flag (flag for review) on the questions which raise the slightest of the slightest doubt in your head, at the end of first pass, start again and review all the questions again carefully, in this second pass try to remove flags from the questions which give you some amount of confidence. Ideally if the no of questions in the doubtful bracket is less than 5 at the end of second pass then you are good to go :) or else you can again go for a third pass and try to minimize no of doubtful questions. Make sure that you manage your time in a such a way that you can atleast have two phases of check and revision.

In my case i had around 14-15 questions that raised eyebrows at the end of the first pass, in the second pass, the no went down to 8-9 and finally i hit end exam button, and surprisingly i had answered the same no of questions (9) incorrectly.

Preparation Material and the success mantra ..

I think the Adobe Livedocs for Flex is probably the best resource for preparing for the certification exam, its well documented with good amount of sample codes there n then after the explanation. I think the success mantra really is to follow what is specified here http://partners.adobe.com/public/en/ace/ACE_Exam_Guide_FlexAIR.pdf and be thorough with the topics in Livedocs. Livedocs offer comprehensive information, focuses on fundamentals and will give you enough ammunition and push to try things out yourself and be hands on with the topics. But this doesnt mean that one should not look at the books :), i think Livedocs can be the starting point and then you can further extend your reading by referring books.

Also do look at the mock test engine Attest implemented by PXL Designs (both pro and free version). The practice exams come really handy and can help you revise what you have learnt quickly and effectively.

what next?

Based on the results you can then start working on your week points and apply what you have learnt throughout the process in your current work and practices. And like me and others in the community do share your experience after giving the exam :P.

Imp links


Please do comment if you want me to add anything more or if you would have any question about the exam. I hope you all would find the writeup helpful. My best wishes and good luck to all of you who are planning to give the exam.

Posted in ACE, AIR, Certification, Flex | 20 Responses

my response to a query on Flex 4 at Flex India Google Group

:P well i was writing a reply to a query at Flex India Google Group and i realized that the write up was just too long coz i had so much to tell and then i thought many developers would have similar questions and i should post the reply on my blog as well for the benefit of all those developers who are still unsure about the new and upcoming changes in Flex 4, so here it is

Hi abhilash,

couple of suggestions for you..

one, if you would have been in either Hyderabad and Chennai you could have attended the Adobe developer summit which had introductory to detailed sessions on Flex 4.

if you have missed out on the sessions you can have a look at the presentations that speakers would have uploaded by now post these developer summits, go visit this site to get more information


you can also check the presentation that mrinal gave during the summit on flex 4 components that will give out some idea to you about new things in flex 4


i have given a session on skinning in flex 4, you might want to check out that presentation as well


second, flex 4 as a platform has evolved, its difficult to write a all the changes that have happened, to start of with you can check out the spec sheets at this url


to answer your questions

what is main differences to flex builder 3.0 and flash builder 4?

if you are asking about the IDE, then the apart from the name change ( flash builder) there are several enhancements in code hinting, break points, debugging, profiling features, network monitor, data model drives development etc etc.

about the SDK changes, well there are several and you need to go n read them at the adobe open source url that i mentioned above, for one the architecture has evolved and changed and now is more robust and developer and designer friendly.

Do they want to anyway merge time line based editor flash and flex!!
in future?

no this has not been the intention as far as i know, the editors are still different, coz the underlying technology is different, timeline based editors stay with flash suits and code based editors stay with flex.

also i saw flash catalyst, to develop RIA’s, is this flash catalyst
has something to do with flex related application?

Well in the entire Adobe Flash platform stack, yes it has to do a lot and its has great deal of importance, wilh flex yes, it will be significant to use catalyst with flex, the intention behind this is the developer – designer work flow, with catalyst you would have more control over this workflow and you can streamline the process and your applications and you both become mature and productive :)

post flex 4, the catalyst would be placed as a tool between the designer and developer, where in a designer can work on the designs separately and the developer can make use of it, the new language FXG facilitates this :), go ahead and read more about this.

adobe mentions future portfolios, buisness and internet websites will
be more RIA and all mostly belong to concept of flash catalyst?

post flex 4, yes to a certain extent, because it would easy to conceptualize your applications in catalyst, also transformation of your static designs from an image( built using photoshop etc) to an application would be easy.

I hope i was able to give you a sneak peak into flex 4, and i hope my responses were able to answer your questions.

Saurabh Narula

Posted in Flex, Flex 4, Flex India Group, India, RIA | Leave a comment

Presentations on Skinning in Flex 4, Flex Debugging Tips and Tricks

I gave presentations on the two topics Skinning in Flex 4 and Flex Debugging Tips and Tricks during the Adobe Developer Summit at Chennai and at Hyderabad. I have uploaded the slides and the sample code that i used during my presentations, feel free to download them.

Download the sample code here.

Posted in Flex, Flex 4, RIA | 4 Responses

Speaking at Adobe DevSummit in Chennai and Hyderabad

Adobe is organizing Developer Summit at Chennai and Hyderabad for the first time, and I have been given an opportunity to speak at both the venues.
I will be speaking about Skinning Components in Flex 4 and would give a small talk on Debugging Tips and Tricks in Flex, so if you guys are in Chennai or Hyderabad, don’t forget to attend the event.
For agenda and registration, visit the event page here.

Posted in Flex, RIA | Leave a comment
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