January 28, 2008

Flex: MVC frameworks comparison

Writing about web page https://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/_a200985228/p12266504/

As I’m about to move into using an MVC framework for Flex applications, I thought I’d have a look at what’s currently available. Rob has already done some work with Cairngorm, which is the solution suggested by Adobe, but there some others out there too, including PureMVC, Model-Glue, and Guasax, plus a few others I hadn’t heard of before, although some of these were immature or dormant.

The guys at Pattern Park recently conducted a comparison of the frameworks available. They scored each framework’s effectiveness using three main criteria – Approachability (how easy it was to set up a project and get started, the level of documentation and support), Scalability (how ‘expensive’ is it to add features, how ‘testable’ the code is), and Flexibility (is it open-source, can it be modified, is it context-independent etc.).

The presentation is well worth watching, but they concluded PureMVC scored most highly in all three criteria, with Cairngorm coming close behind. However as someone noted in the presentation, knowing Cairngorm is a prerequisite if moving between clients because many existing projects will be using it already. Luke Bayes has a follow-up to the presentation where these points are mentioned in greater detail.

Here are their reasons why PureMVC came out on top:

  • Composition over inheritence
  • Liberal use of Interfaces
  • Indirection is used but not overwhelming
  • Instance members hide singleton references from application code
  • MXML views can be extremely thin
  • Benefits of Cairngorm, with few of the disadvantages

The presentation is very useful for anyone considering patterns/frameworks for Flex development – I’m going to start working with PureMVC this week and see how it goes…


- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Simon Harper

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on. FWIW we’re using Model Glue with ColdFusion for many of our apps and we’re very happy with it. It appears that the Flex version is at a much earlier stage, though.

    28 Jan 2008, 10:29

  2. Steven Carpenter

    Thanks Simon – so far I’ve just been reading and studying example projects, but so far so good. I’ll write an entry soon on what I’ve learned so far.

    29 Jan 2008, 12:02


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  1. Flex: Cairngorm first impressions

    First attempt at refactoring the recorder app to Cairngorm today; after trying and struggling slightly to get going with the PureMVC version (mainly because I couldn't find a 'getting started' guide that worked for me and the official courseware is a clos…

    [Ux] - 30 Jan 2008, 21:38

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