Mark Pillar of The Midnight Coders announced on the WebORB blog that WebORB for .NET 3.0 has been released. Included in the release is what Mark describes as a production quality build of the Professional Edition and a Beta 1 version of the Enterprise Edition. I spoke with Mark a bit about this release and I think it provides some exciting functionality for those who want to use Flex in a Windows Environment.
One of the most interesting things Mark's team has put together is communication between the Flex messaging server and the Microsoft Messaging Queue (MSMQ). The enterprise edition of WebORB will allow Flex developers to build applications that integrate with regular Windows applications through the MSMQ system. WebORB maps any MSMQ queues to the Flex messaging destinations. This means that Flex becomes a "producer" of MSMQ messages and both Flex clients as well as Windows Applications can be "consumers" of those message.
A hypothetical use case is an Excel application that is subscribed to the MSMQ messages (using something like VB) and a Flex data grid application running in a browser that is subscribed to the Flex messaging queue. With WebORB, whenever cells in the Excel file change, the change is immediately picked up by the Flex application so that the two data grids (the one in Excel and the one built in Flex) have the exact same data. This opens up some wide possibilities for companies who want to leverage both .NET and Flex. Mark and I even talked about how easy it would be for a Windows Presentation Foundation application to share data with a Flex application using WebORB which would make for some fantastic demos of Rich Internet Application technology.
The team has also implemented the entire span of RMTP functionality that exists in Flex Data Services including Remote Shared Objects and Stream Publishing. I saw a demo of the stream publishing in action this week in a video chat that Mark had set up. It worked perfectly and should prove to be a solid alternative for companies looking at parts of Flex Data Services functionality.
The full feature list of WebORB for .NET 3.0 is as follows and more information can be found on the product page:
- Flex Messaging integration (support for mx.messaging.Producer and mx.messaging.Consumer)
- Support for remote SharedObject API
- RTMP streaming support
- MSMQ integration for Flex messaging clients
- New cascading security enforcement implementation
- Code-level security configuration panel (See the ServicesSecurity tabs)
- Server configuration panels (Class mappings, Service aliases, Service factories, Abstract class mappings, Custom serializers - See the "Configuration" tab)
- Fixed Cairngorm 2.1 code generation template (the new template does not use old, deprecated calls)
- Added serializer for IEnumerator types