ClearDS for Android

ClearDS for Android is a free productivity tool that compliments Adobe AIR Native Extensions(ANE) for Android mobile applications. It allows to embed BlazeDS into the AIR-based Android application.

Commercial support of ClearDS is available from the source: Farata Systems.

Why ClearDS?

ClearDS has been designed for two purposes. Similar to ANE, we allow to code part of your application in Java with full access to Android SDK. In addition, we can turn an Android device into a server, broadening possibilities for application architectures.

Prior to ANE, simple features like Android Toast and Status Bar notifications as well as advanced ones like Text-to-Speech or Speech Recognition were out of reach for ActionScript coders. ClearDS's allows you to embed the Android code into a Java class hosted by the BlazeDS and remote to that class with a standard <s:RemoteObject>. There is no dependency on AIR version and you can natively debug the Java portion of your application using Android Eclipse plugin.

By the same token embedding of the BlazeDS into an application APK turns your application into a server. Now any computer on the same LAN or VPN can remote to your mobile device. Imagine a scenario where your mobile phone is used as a signature pad where you sign to complete a financial transaction. Other use cases for your mobile phone: a bar code reader, a better camera for your notebook, or a voice data/entry gadget that renders alphanumeric keyboard useless, eliminating tons of costly clerical mistakes.

How Does It Work?

We ported BlazeDS to be compatible with a set of core Java class used by Android. To enable HTTP traffic between the SWF and Java portions of your APK we employed Winstone Servlet Container. Since Android APK generated by the FlashBuilder generates a single-activity application, we extended this (activity)class. That allowed us to started the ClearDSService when the activity gets created. The service, in turn, starts the Winstone Servlet container. This allows your SWF-based ActionScript code to remote to your Java code within the boundaries of the same APK.

To make the developers' life easy, we created the ClearDS Eclipse plugin. When you create a new ClearDS project you effectively create two projects: a Flash Mobile project and Android Java mobile project. These projects are related: the additional builder script of the Flash project contributes the SWF as an asset to the Android project. Then you just deploy your Android project as it is a standard for Android Eclipse plugin users. You develop MXML/ActionScript code in Flash project and you develop and debug the Java code in the Android project.

Is ClearDS a Right Approach for You?

As long as you feel confident in writing Flex and Java code you can download the ClearDS plugin for Android and use it right away.

clearwiki/80.cleards.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/04 09:39 by vrasputnis
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