First impressions about Flash Catalyst

Yesterday I was in Milan at From A to Web and I saw Serge Jespers session about RIA workflow with Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder.

In 30 minutes he made a real Flex application that interact with Coldfusion to retrieve data from a database and he started from a normal and static AI file… that’s totally AMAZING!
Flash Catalyst will be a great software that will help us to create desktop applications and rich internet application, in particular could be very interesting to create animations and user interaction on own GUI.

When Serge showed Flash Builder he interacted with a CF script (you can work with WS, XML and other back end tecnologies also) trough a panel and in few steps he was connected to data source… COOL!
I’m so excited, Flash Catalyst will change RIA and desktop apps workflow definitely! I’m sure about that… BUT…

I’d like to investigate more about Flash Catalyst when Adobe decides to release public BETA on Labs, but I asked a couple of questions to Serge during his session to understand better the power of this new software.
For me the first problem is that FC doesn’t work with Flex Modules but only with States and in big projects it could be a problem.
Yes, you can copy MXML code and  paste on a Module, but it could be more easy to choose if you want to work with states or modules or better, export your GUI like module and not only custom component.
Another thing that I’m scared is that FC is very easy to use, open new way of business and make your daily work more fast, so designers and developers that approach for first time RIA and Desktop apps could start to release tons and tons of “bad apps” like Flash in 90s… I hope that Adobe will teach around the world with free training courses, not only with one day events, or will begin a new HORROR ERA for RIA and Desktop apps.

That’s my 2 cents, if you’d like to talk about FC on this blog, feel free to leave a comment.

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I’m the VP of Architecture at DAZN with more than 15 years of experience, a Google Developer Expert on Web Technologies and the London Javascript community Manager I had the chance to work on cutting-edge projects for mobile, desktop, web, TVs, set top boxes and embedded devices. I am currently managing DAZN, a sports video platform based on the cloud with millions of users that are watching live and on-demand contents. I'm the author of Front-End Reactive Architectures published by APress: I think the best way to use any programming language is mastering their models, that’s why I spent a lot of time studying and researching on topics like OOP, Functional and Reactive programming. In my spare time, I wrote for national and international technical magazines and editors, I'm also a technical reviewer for APress, Packt Publishing, Pragmatic Bookshelf and O'Reilly. I was speaker at: O'Reilly media webinars, O'Reilly Software Architecture (San Francisco & London), O'Reilly Fluent (San Jose), O'Reilly Oscon (London), Google Developers Summit (Krakow), Google DevFest (London), Frontend Devs Love (Amsterdam), Voxxed Days (Belgrad & Bristol), JeffConf (Milan), International Javascript Conference (Munich & London), JS Poland (Warsaw), Code Europe (Wroclaw), JSDay (Verona), CybercomDev (Łódź), Jazoon Conference (Bern), JDays (Göteborg), Codemotion (Milan), FullStack Conference (London), React London UG (London), Scrum Gathering (Prague), Agile Cymru (Cardiff), Scotch on the rocks (Edinburgh & London), 360Max (San Francisco), PyCon (Florence), Lean Kanban Conference (London), Adobe Creative Suite CS 5.5 - Launch event (Milan), Mobile World Congress (Barcelona)

6 thoughts on “First impressions about Flash Catalyst”

  1. I’ve thought the same thing myself Luca as far as designers pumping out “finished” sites straight from Catalyst. I heard a preso last week from an Adobe employee that used those words – “you could just use design-time data and just load the site up ready to go”. No!! Not sure if Adobe can educate enough to stop this from happening, but the tool needs to be at least pitched at the right level to avoid it if possible. Ultimately though, people will use tools for whatever they want. My hope is that Flash isn’t inflicted with a new wave of poor RIA sites like we had bad Flash sites in the 90’s.

  2. Thanks for the writeup Lucca. I disagree with you and Dale though. I don’t think it’s entirely bad if people are building standalone Flash content with Catalyst. There will definitely be some bad Flash out there, but that happens today. You can create some pretty compelling stuff with just Flash Catalyst. The ideal will be going from Catalyst to Flash Builder, and I think that’s where it gets exciting.

    But there will be some good uses for Catalyst alone including wireframing, prototyping, and a few standalone experiences.

    You won’t have long to wait for the public beta.


  3. Hi Ryan!

    thank you for your point of view but depends of daily workflow in a country.
    Your workflow is PERFECT in a country where everything goes well and everybody knows own position.
    In Italy, for example, I think that this line could be broken because in small teams or maybe freelances could sell RIA or desktop apps made directly with Flash Catalyst instead of create a real application.
    I’m totally agree with you and I’ll use it to make mokeup, wireframes and so on, but I’m not sure that everybody will use FC in this way.
    My 2 cents!

  4. hi, as you wrote he (serge jaspers) “made a real Flex application that interact with Coldfusion to retrieve data from a database” .. would like to do that too, do you have any tips on that ? 🙂

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