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AutoComplete: 2500 and still going

This is my first time I am writing something for the AutoComplete component considering the fact that I am the owner of this component

Its the implementation of the famous Autocomplete text control in flex. The basic functionality is to pop up list of suggestions as soon as a user starts typing in the text box (Just like what happens in your browser firefox/IE when you start typing a URL, it searches in the history and provides similar matches)

With AutoComplete, it is more generic. It provides a way to set the filtering criteria while providing suggestions i.e unlike browser you might want to start typing the reverse string and want to display what all matches from the end.(typing com should show up all websites ending with com)

In browser when we hit more and more URLs the suggestion list keeps increasing. Similarly, in this component the new entries can be added to the local history. This is implemented using local SharedObjects. Local Shared objects are like browser cookies which allows read/write of limited amount of data on user’s computer.

If the flag keepLocalHistory is set to true, it will start adding the new entries typed by the user and later will provide them also as suggestion.

And now the best thing. Advantage of doing things flex way-AutoComplete component is build by extending ComboBox control. ComboBox control allows any item renderer to be used in the drop-down list that appears. Thus, the developer is not restricted to use only text entries in the drop-down suggestion list. He can create his own custom item renderer using images, checkboxes, radio buttons, buttons and use them in the suggestion list. The samples provided with the component on flex exchange has some samples showing this use case (Thanks to Ajit for this).

The component was posted on September 27th, 2006 and our idea was to get 500 downloads in first 3 months and 1000 downloads in the long run. These were the exact figures given by Ajit (the other guy involved with me in this). But, to our surprise on its very first day, it got 200 downloads. And now from past 4 months AutoComplete component is on the top of most downloaded components on flex Exchange.


Filed under: flex, flex component

9 Responses

  1. javaloper says:

    Thankx for giving components url 🙂

  2. javaloper says:

    Thanks for giving component URL 🙂

  3. Satish Mummadi says:

    Thanks for the auto-complete component. can you post or email me a code snippet for using reg-ex or substring filter function???

  4. Satish Mummadi says:

    Figured out the solution after looking at the source.

  5. Bob Keleher says:

    Can the component be modified so that the user has to select one of the entries in the list? In other words it would be a required list rather than a suggestion list. (I’m new to flex)


  6. shilpi says:

    I am trying to build the component using Flex Builder in Eclipse. The swc files gets generated but hwen I use the component, I get “Could not Resolve to a component implementation. Can you please send some info about how to build in Eclipse?. Thanks.

  7. shilpi says:

    Would it be possible for you to send me an Eclipse libary project that builds the component? I can look at project properties etc. to see how it is build. My goal is to extend this component (ultimately by inheritance). One reason for extending is to set listbox width to datagrid width by overriding ComboBase protected method.

    Thanks a lot.

  8. John says:

    Is there an accessible version of your autocomplete component? I would need this to support 508 accessible website.


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