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December 5, 2007

An interoperability guide to using Flex and .NET data types

Adobe Flex and .NET programming environments offer extensive class libraries and allow broad type customizations through custom classes, inheritance, and polymorphism. As a result, mapping client-side objects to their server-side counterparts is one of the most important tasks for a developer. This becomes particularly important since a well-designed rich Internet application spans both client and server application domains, but must function as one application. This article gives a detailed overview of the default mappings between ActionScript and .NET data types. Additionally, it reviews the process of establishing custom complex type mappings.
My previous article,
Invoking .NET objects using the Flex RemoteObject API, describes how to invoke .NET methods from Flex. I recommended that you follow the steps in that article first, to ensure your development environment is configured correctly for invoking .NET methods from Flex.
The examples and solution demonstrated in this article uses WebORB for .NET, a product by Midnight Coders that facilitates connectivity between Flex and .NET. WebORB functions as a gateway between Flex clients and .NET objects. Using WebORB, your Flex applications can use the standard remoting API to communicate with .NET.
Adobe Flex Builder 2.0.1
Microsoft Internet Information Services Server (version 5.x or later)
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Microsoft .NET version 2.0 or later (installed on the system and integrated into IIS)
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Visual Studio 2003 or 2005
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WebORB for .NET version 3.1 or later
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Sample files:
Flex Builder project files: (ZIP, 34K)
Visual Studio project files: (ZIP, 17K)

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