I recently purchased Rich Internet Applications with Adobe Flex and Java. At 700+ pages, this book is no lightweight. Street price for the book is $119 and this seems like the higher end for technical books. If you order soon, you can take advantage of the Pre-Order pricing of 69.99. Let me tell you why this book is worth the money.
The pace of the book suited me well. I do a fair amount of research on technical topics on my own so when I get a book on programming, I want to see code and write programs. A lot of technical books begin with a history of the topic followed by a hundred or so pages of background and concepts. If you are like me, you usually skip to chapter 6 and start from there. RIA with Flex and Java begins with a page and a half by Bruce Eckel (of Thinking in Java fame), another page and a half by Matt Chotin (Flex Product Manager) then a quick fourteen pages on RIAs, Architecture and alternatives to Flex. You will build your first application on Page 22.
This book is about building applications in Flex, which is taught incrementally by building a number of applications ranging from an XML fed Gas Station application to a Portfolio/Charting application to Flex+MSExcel integration. As the applications progress, you learn more advanced topics. Even though Java is the server side language used in the book, developers familiar with other languages will gain plenty. The concepts and execution are the same. Don't let the word 'Java' scare you away from this great learning resource.
To further that point, here are the chapters in the book:
- Architecture of Rich Internet Applications
- Getting Familiar with Flex
- Flex Builder Development Environment
- Learning Flex Through Applications
- A Complete Application with RPC Communications and JMS
- End-to-End Rapid Application Development with Flex Data Management Services
- How to Write Your Own Data Management Services
- Enhancing and Extending Flex Controls
- Trees with Dynamic Data Population
- Working with Large Applications
- Advanced Data Grid
- Logging and Debugging Flex and Java Applications
- Building a SlideShow Application
- Developing Custom Charts
- Integration with External Applications
As you can see, this book covers a lot of Flex development scenarios.
As the man on T.V. says "But wait! There is more!
In addition to the book, you also get a DVD with all the sample code on it as well as 10 video sessions on Real World Flex.
The Authors of the book are principals of Farata Systems, rated in the top 10 Flex companies in the world so between the video content and the numerous applications you will build with the help of the Adobe Flex and Java book, this is the best $69.99 you can spend on your Flex Education. You can order the book here and get a PDF copy of the book instantly while the book is being shipped.
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way to write this article. I paid $69.99 all by myself
Update: Bruce Phillips does not agree with me about my recommendation on this book. In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, please read the comments below.