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December 5, 2007

Invoking .NET objects using the Flex RemoteObject API

There are several well-known approaches for integrating Adobe Flex and .NET. Primarily the approaches center around REST and XML web services. The Flex remoting approach of using the RemoteObject MXML or API is the least known and understood, however. The benefits of remoting over other alternatives are tremendous. They include significant performance improvements, reduced development costs, and a more natural client/server integration.
This article gives an overview of integrating a Flex client application with a remote .NET class. Additionally, it reviews sample .NET code that you can deploy in an ASP.NET application and expose as a Flex remoting service. Finally, the article demonstrates how to create a Flex client application and invoke a remote method on the deployed .NET class using the RemoteObject MXML/ActionScript API.
The solution demonstrated in this article uses WebORB for .NET, a product by Midnight Coders, which 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_net_integration (ZIP, 2K) – Contains and SampleFlexToDotNetProject.mxml
Visual Studio project (C#) (ZIP, 26K)
Visual Studio project (VB.NET) (ZIP, 32K)

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