PDA

Click to See Complete Forum and Search --> : Stock tracking application



dgrigg
10-22-2003, 09:10 AM
www.stockaholic.ca

This is a application that I recently completed.

It uses a SQL Server backend, Flash Remoting w/Cold Fusion and Communication Server.

Many of the components within the application were developed by myself (ie windows, time selector).

CNL83
10-22-2003, 10:26 AM
I received an error " No such ticker symbol exists " When I looked up AOL and the requested quote.

1) How was Flash Remote utilized in this?

2) What source are you using to pull this information?

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 10:39 AM
I received an error " No such ticker symbol exists " When I looked up AOL and the requested quote.

I just tried AOL too and got the same message. That message is returned from the web service if they cannot find the symbol in their database. Very strange, I will have to look into it.



1) How was Flash Remote utilized in this?

Flash remoting is used to pass all the user data to and from the database. All the user info, user portfolio and alerts are stored in the database. Remoting is also used to communicate with the web service provider to get the stock lookups and quotes and convert the gif graph images that are returned from the web service into jpegs that Flash can load.



2) What source are you using to pull this information?

Xignite is the web service we are using for all the stock lookup and quote information.

CNL83
10-22-2003, 10:45 AM
Wouldnt this have been easier just to do it the old fashion way in ASP or .net?
There are three applications you have to work in right now.
Im not knocking this down, in fact I Love the concept. Let me know how that aol thing goes.

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by CNL83
[B]I received an error " No such ticker symbol exists " When I looked up AOL and the requested quote.


http://media.aoltimewarner.com/media/press_view.cfm?release_num=55253461

NEW YORK, October 13, 2003 - AOL Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL) announced today that the change of its name to "Time Warner Inc." will become effective on Thursday, October 16, 2003. The ticker symbol for the Company's common stock also will change to "TWX" with the opening of the New York Stock Exchange on October 16, 2003. Effective with the name change, the CUSIP number for the Company's common stock will change to 887317 10 5.

CNL83
10-22-2003, 10:55 AM
O I see..
So what are your visions for this app? Are you going to promote this?

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 11:02 AM
Originally posted by CNL83
Wouldnt this have been easier just to do it the old fashion way in ASP or .net?
There are three applications you have to work in right now.
Im not knocking this down, in fact I Love the concept. Let me know how that aol thing goes.

Building an application like this regardless of the technology needs a 3 tier approach (interface, business logic, data). It could be done in ASP, .net, PHP or even plain Coldfusion but we wanted to showcase the potential of RIA's using Flash.

Building this with Flash/Remoting is not that different from building it in ASP or another scripting language except that you can do many more things with the interface that you can not do with traditional HTML based applications. It would be extremely difficult to give the application a true application 'look and feel' using ASP, .net or one of the other scripting languages that bascially just output HTML formatted content.

CNL83
10-22-2003, 11:18 AM
I Love it!
Thanks for the input!

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 11:26 AM
Thanks,

I reply to your question about promoting it, we show this to potential customers/leads as an example of the type of work we can do and also to showcase what web based applications can look like using Flash to develop the interface.

Part of the promotion also involves posting it in forums like this where people see it and start to ask questions about the app and about us.

aversion
10-22-2003, 04:23 PM
I can understand building it in flash to demonstrate the abilities of a rich internet app, but with remoting the advantage over server scripting like ASP or PHP is the open connection between the server and the client that allows for data to be piped directly in both directions.

So with a stock market app I would expect to see the quotes in real time (as the they change on the web service) rather than simply updated every 20 minutes, which is something you could achieve with PHP or ASP. I understand if the web service only updates every 20 minutes and you are using remoting to to push the data to the client without requests from the client, but still, I think a better demonstration of remoting's abilities would have included something that was sitting there updating as and when, rather than at regular periods.

for example, a sales application that displayed a number of available products with quantities, and as other clients buy those items the quantity available automatically changes across all the apps displayed on clients. That kind of real time data thing.

It is a good, well-designed app though, I'm not knocking that, just wondering about the use of remoting, which is something a lot of developers are at the moment. With SQL and PHP solutions being free, using remoting has to justify the cost, unless you use AMFPHP (http://www.amfphp.org/) of course ;)

nice one

I can't get a quote for AOL either, must be something screwy with the service, everything else works fine

CNL83
10-22-2003, 04:38 PM
From what I understand you can acheive the real time activity through XML / .net

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 04:45 PM
So with a stock market app I would expect to see the quotes in real time (as the they change on the web service) rather than simply updated every 20 minutes, which is something you could achieve with PHP or ASP. I understand if the web service only updates every 20 minutes and you are using remoting to to push the data to the client without requests from the client, but still, I think a better demonstration of remoting's abilities would have included something that was sitting there updating as and when, rather than at regular periods.

I can't get a quote for AOL either, must be something screwy with the service, everything else works fine

Unfortunately the web service only provides quotes every 20 minutes right now. They are working on a real time version, which when available we will be using and then the Flash Comm Server will be much better utilized since the 'Portfolio' will be refreshing as real changes happen on the stock market.

I think you may have Remoting and Comm Server confused though. Remoting is used to communicate from Flash to Coldfusion (or Java/.Net), it cannot push data to the client unless the client requests it (asynchronous), Remoting lets a developer easily connect to databases and complex functions/class without having to use objects like load vars or load xml. Comm Server is a totally seperate beast that provides synchronous data transfer, it can push data to connected clients when changes in something occur on the server or another client without the client intiating the request.

See my post a few up regarding AOL, they changed their symbol about a week ago when they changed their name to Time Warner, apparently not all the stock web services have caught up though.

aversion
10-22-2003, 04:53 PM
I haven't used remoting myself, but I always assumed that you can synchronise objects on the client with objects on the server, so that changes can be reflected on both sides.

The comm server I understand is more like an open gateway between client and server, that would work too, but I had assumed that you could achieve the effect I mentioned above (with the product quantities as an example) using data objects in remoting.


Originally posted by CNL83
From what I understand you can acheive the real time activity through XML / .net
yah, remoting is just MM's proprietory 'action messaging format' there are other ways. AMFPHP, action messaging format for PHP, is an open source version for PHP.

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by CNL83
From what I understand you can acheive the real time activity through XML / .net

You can but you need an XML Socket server the clients can connect to. Also, the interface needs to be in something that has a persistent state (ie C++, Java, Flash). The socket server passes XML packets back and forth between the clients and server. Each client and server is basically listening for these packets and when received they read the packet and they perform some action accordingly.

http://www.electrotank.com/electroserver/articles.aspx

Some articles on a XML Socket Server

aversion
10-22-2003, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by dgrigg
Some articles on a XML Socket Server
moock.org has a good XML server called unity (http://www.moock.org/unity/), you can download demo versions and set up little chat app quite easily, it's fun. It's also available as a commercial product which would allow you to do much of what the comm server does in applications games etc.

:)

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by aversion
I haven't used remoting myself, but I always assumed that you can synchronise objects on the client with objects on the server, so that changes can be reflected on both sides.

The comm server I understand is more like an open gateway between client and server, that would work too, but I had assumed that you could achieve the effect I mentioned above (with the product quantities as an example) using data objects in remoting.


yah, remoting is just MM's proprietory 'action messaging format' there are other ways. AMFPHP, action messaging format for PHP, is an open source version for PHP.

You can't really sychronize objects using remoting because the client has to initiate the call through remoting each time. You need something like comm server that clients connect to and keep a 'connection' with and then let the server keep everyone in sync. Using a combination of an AMF (you can pick the vendor, many are a lot more affordable than MM's) and remoting you can keep a client in sync with changes in say an inventory database. I am actually currently working on a project that does that for a logistics company. As company place orders for shipments, the shipping company's application is constantly updated showing them incoming orders and allowing them to assign the shipment and update status. When they do that the clients screen changes to show that the order has been accepted etc.

dgrigg
10-22-2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by aversion
moock.org has a good XML server called unity (http://www.moock.org/unity/), you can download demo versions and set up little chat app quite easily, it's fun. It's also available as a commercial product which would allow you to do much of what the comm server does in applications games etc.

:)

I have seen it, that is exactly the kind of AMF to use for text type data (ie database) transmission (as opposed to audio/video type data). MM's Comm Server is good for A/V applications but overkill if you just need to pass text data around.

dgrigg
10-23-2003, 09:24 AM
Hey Aversion, I just discovered you are located in Toronto. Always great to find another TO guy in Flashkit.

Are you aware of good local companies doing Flash 'development' as opposed to 'design'? Pangaea and Crash Media are two most prominent in TO I am aware of but I haven't seen much from either lately. There are some good Canadian ones out there too Grant Skinner and North Code come to mind quickly.

aversion
10-23-2003, 09:57 AM
the company I work for/part own, rigent, is based in toronto, on queen st near the much music building, and we do application work for institutions, mostly the government but also museums and other organisations. We use a LAMP development environment and work closely with a local consulting company that is a VOR (vendor of record) with the government.

We've only just stepped into flash app dev, just completed a gallery app for a Toronto art council in flash which allows them to compile their own image 'archives' comprising of different gallery levels, text articles etc. They came to us asking for development of a gallery for one particular exhibition and we explained to them that if we are going to build that, for a relatively small amount of extra work we can build in a back end that will allow them to create their own archives and not have to pay someone else to recreate the media for their next exhibition.

It's a strategy I really recommend with clients, it's worked many times for us, people come and say, can you build this for us, and we say, yes but for this much extra we can build it so you never have to outsource one of these again.

I focus on front-end work, interface design, business logic and client scripting, and work in partnership with others who are bigger on the server-side stuff. I prefer working in flash because it's a great visual development suite (compared to HTML or java) and gives me more control over the structure of the application through AS scripting, rather than the onus being on the server-side developers.

There are some good dev companies in toronto, crash media is the one I think of first, but in our line of work, which is pretty unglamourous, we don't mix too much in that circle.

I'm actually based in england right now, making frequent visits, but I'm heading back to the t-dot more permanently next month.

dgrigg
10-23-2003, 10:44 AM
Sounds like some pretty interesting work.

The archive builder sounds similiar to a Flash CMS system we have developed. We build Flash templates for a client's site and then they use the cms to set up all the screens, navigation, content, images etc. It allows the client to have a professionally designed Flash site with dynamic content that they can control and change around without having to go back to the designer again.

Looks like you will be coming back just in time for the lovely winter weather. It was snowing just north of TO this morning :(