Archive for May, 2012

Show a default prompt in Flex Combobox

May 8, 2012

At times, you may need to show a combobox, where none of the items should be selected by default and it should show something like ‘Please Select’. One way is to add this object also to the dataprovider, as the first item. But if you think that is a burden for your dataprovider, then Flex SDK provides you a built in option. To be frank, after working in Flex for more than 4 years, I am finding out this now only. 🙂 You can use the prompt property of the combobox to show a default value. This will go away once you select one option, and you cannot bring it back. (I think so, but there are high chances that this is not true).

eg :

<mx:ComboBox id=”comboBox”  dataProvider=”{dataprovider}”
labelField=”name” prompt=”Please select an entry” />

That’s all guys. Flex Your Life. Cheers. 🙂


Calling Flex / Actionscript functions from Javascript

May 8, 2012

Nowadays I am working with Flex projects, that runs on Lotus Notes platform, which consumes data from Lotus Notes backend. Since there is no remote services like BlazeDS to connect to Notes server, am now greatly dependant on HTTPService and Javascript. Calling a javascript function from Flex is quite easy. Just use the ExternalInterface API. For those who don’t know the way, this is how it is getting called.

In AS3

if(ExternalInterface.available){“openNotes”, parameter);

In Javascript

function openNotes(notesUrl){, ”, ‘width=1000,height=600’);

It is quite easy. But what if you need to call the reverse. ie, calling actionscript function from javascript. We can use the same ExternalInterface api for achieve this. There is a method called addCallback, available in ExternalInterface. addCallback method registers an ActionScript method as callable from the container. After a successful invocation of addCallBack(), the registered function in the player can be called by JavaScript or ActiveX code in the container. The first parameter is the name by which the container can invoke the function and the second parameter is the function closure to invoke. Below is the step-by-step configuration:

Step 1 : Register the call back from actionscript. For eg, call the below method in the creationComplete or initialize event of the component.

private function createCallBack(event:Event):void{
ExternalInterface.addCallback(“updateNotes”, getNotes);

private function getNotes():void{
//do whatever you want after getting the hold

Step 2 : Create logic in javascript to invoke the AS3 function.

function updateFlex(){

The appName is the name and id of the embedded swf object in the HTML. Like below :

That’s it. Now you can call the updateFlex javascript method from your HTML and it will invoke the AS3 callback function. Enjoy Coding guys. Flex Your Life. Cheers. 🙂

Flex / AS3 – Remove all children of a container

May 8, 2012

I know this is not that big thing. But still wanna scribble it down. In order to remove all the children of the container, there is no set function available. You can write a generic method, may be a static method and call that. The logic is to iterate over all the available children and remove one by one. Something like this :

static public function removeAllChildren(parent:UIComponent):void{
while(parent.numChildren > 0 ){
parent.removeChildAt( 0 );

The parent can be either UIComponent or its subclass. The best practice would be to write this method in your component itself, so that this method will become a part of the component. Then you can write something like this :

public function removeAllChildren():void{
while(numChildren > 0 ){
removeChildAt( 0 );

That’s all guys, Happy Coding. 🙂

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