It provides web-tier compilation of mxml and Actionscript files on Apache and IIS server. This will enable developers to run their code like server-side scripting languages (PHP, ColdFusion etc.) i.e just code you application say myApp.mxml and run it through browser through its url (http://www.flex.com/myApp.mxml).
To give an idea about how helpful this could be just think what before this a developer needs to do test their application. Developer builds his application in some editor (for me emacs :P), compiles it and the open the created swf in the browser (with or without a wrapper HTML). But with this flex module the intermediate steps of compiling the application and opening in the browser can be skipped and the module will itself do this for him.
Moreover, downloading source codes of sample applications and trying them out is also will be easier. For people using Flex Builder, it’s always a pain to import a third party source code in your project and configuring it according to your needs. Now, you can just download the source code and copy it on your web server and see the results (No flex builder coming in between). A step further its very easy to make changes to those source codes using any editor and directly see them in the browser.
One more thing which I liked about Flex module is the nice way of showing errors (if there are any in your applications).
1 error found
ERROR : Parse error at ”.
|47||<mx:HTTPService id=”charts” url=”charts_explorer.xml” resultFormat=”e4x” result=”chartsLoaded();” fault=”populateTree()” />|
If I compare it with some server-side scripting languages like PHP, this is great. In PHP, because it is a scripting language it becomes difficult to catch errors and sometimes it shows blank screen signifying an error in the script and thus if becoms difficult to find out what part is causing error. I am sure there might be tools available for PHP which can overcome this shortcoming of PHP which I am not aware of.
If you are interested in learning more about Flex Module, Ryan Stewart has explained it very well in his blog.
For installing Flex module it asks about following things:
- Your SDK directory path.
- Your Web Server root path (For me Apache).
- Your webroot path.
- Location of the compiler cache folder