Flex Custom Components Tutorial
Adobe Flex comes with a great number of built-in components, which are suitable for the majority of your needs. But once in a while you may need to implement your own components. There are two ways to do this. The first is to combine existing Flex components into a new one. The second is to write your own Flex component from scratch. This tutorial will only engage in the second choice: Implementing custom components from scratch.
Adobe already has a looong book about this. It is 226 pages long! That's a lot of pages to read, just to get started doing custom Flex components. But it is good, and quite detailed, so long term you might want to check out this book. But, there is something missing in this book, I think:
An example of a component being developed from start to finish, with discussions of each individual part implemented. That is what I will try to do in this tutorial. Both to keep the tutorial short, and to avoid too much repetition in the ether.
By the way, here is the link for the Adobe book:
When do you need to implement your own Flex components?
Like I said earlier, in most situations you can get away with combining existing Flex components. But in the following situations you may need to develop your own Flex components:
Visual Flex Components
Flex comes with a bunch of built-in data visualization components, for instance for showing graphs, bar charts, pie charts etc. But as far as I can read, you need to be using the Flex Builder Pro before you can use these components without watermarks. Not exactly what you are looking for, is it? So, you may need to develop your own data visualization components to avoid this (if you think it's worth the time, versus just buying Flex Builder).
You may also have a need for a visual component that doesn't come with Flex already. In that case there is no way around implement your own Flex component for the purpose.
If you have something you want to animate, like bouncing balls, moving objects etc. you may have to implement that as a Flex component yourself.
If you want to implement games, you may have to implement a few Flex components for use in this game. If you are interested in game development in Flex, I have a tutorial discussing how to implement Tetris in Flex. It comes with complete source code for a working Tetris implementation. Here is the link:
What's in this Flex Custom Components Tutorial?
Below is a list of the texts in this tutorial. First I'll introduce you to the case of this tutorial: A simple bar chart. Then I'll take you step by step through it's implementation, including how to load the data to display from the server (NOTE: this tutorial is still in the making).
|Flex Custom Components|
|Flex Custom Components Introduction|
|The Bar Chart Case|
|Flex Component Basics|
|Flex Component With Data Provider|
|Flex Component With Server Side Data Provider|