Sunday, April 27, 2003

Pet Market RIA

Demo Website at :

Sample code here :

Full download on Space Desktop.

July 2002
Pet Market demo site illustrates both the benefits of rich Internet applications . Cost $64,000

Flash enables sections of screen to be updated without a page refresh based on back-end database interaction. It has gone beyond being eye candy. It is now a rich client that will radically change the way people use the web. Flash Remoting enables a Flash MX client to seamlessly interface with remote components running on an application server

All user interactions are brought into a single screen that never requires a page refresh. Browser's back button is used to navigate through the Macromedia Flash user interface.

Good stuff:
Use of Back Button: Back is undo for navigation. Lets user erase mistakes. Used well here
One page model : Everything loads in a page

Both Sun Microsystems and Microsoft had created what they called blueprint applications, which were designed to be teaching examples of how to write web applications for the J2EE and the .NET platforms.Since the Sun and Microsoft blueprint applications emulated an online pet store, the Macromedia team determined to create its own pet store, which it called Pet Market. The key value of the Pet Market blueprint application was to show developers how to create Rich Internet Applications using Macromedia's MX toolset.

Macromedia Flash Remoting enables developers can easily connect ActionScript client logic directly to remote services without writing any wrapper code, proxy code, or data marshalling code. Because the team could rely on Macromedia Flash Remoting to handle all the details of messaging, they could write code that called server-side methods as if they were local methods. In addition, Macromedia Flash Remoting allowed the client-side developers to focus on creating a high-quality user experience instead of coding and testing the client/server glue.

The file size of what we ended up with was amazingly small," he said. "It's less than the load size of a lot of web pages out there

Pet Market uses less bandwidth than the Java Pet Store and Microsoft .NET Pet Shop.
( The rich client user interface of Pet Market separates presentation and formatting from data so fewer bytes are sent over the wire.
ยท Client side processes (e.g. calculating a total, form validation) reduce the number of requests made to the server )

The Pet Market rich client user interface is much more usable than the HTML user interfaces of the Java Pet Store and Microsoft .NET Pet Shop.
Pet Market provides a far richer user experience with comparable lines of code.
Pet Market on ColdFusion MX scales under load

Typical initial loads of ecommerce sites
Macromedia Pet Market 152k 114k
(The above loads were measured after clearing the browser cache. Includes all files including HTML, CSS, XML, and image files loaded with the homepage URLs of e-commerce sites)

The table below states the amount of data stored (in kilobytes) in the browser cache for the three applications after the application is first launched.

Comparison of initial loads
Macromedia Pet Market 152k
Microsoft .NET Pet Shop 69k
Java Pet Store 59k

The application is designed as a teaching example, so the download files have the entire project including the application, the ColdFusion and ActionScript source files (comments and all), the FLA files, and even the graphics.


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