Had to be said. We’ve finally got our first application up for submission after a couple of months of design, development and sweat and tears. I can tell you this about it:
1. It’s quite cool to look at and interact with. The design was done by our newest designer to the group, Oran Wakelam. He’s definitely an up and coming and I expect lots from him. A profile will be created soon to showcase his work and background.
2. Functionally it’s just right. Using my vast experience and knowledge built up over the last 10 years or so I’ve put a whole bunch of time and technologies into this app and I’m really looking forward to seeing people use it.
3. Takes advantage of the latest version of Wowza Media Server (I talk more on this below) with live communication. We’ve got big plans here too. I love live communicating apps..
4. Front side is Flash and backend is Coldfusion with mySQL and as mentioned already, Wowza Media Server. There is a lot going on in the backend that you might not think is happening, just to make it all come together.
5. Simple interface, easy to use, should be a breeze to navigate and use on any tablet. Buttons, animations, interactions, app size with keyboard is just right. I don’t know what more to say other than I truly look forward to using this app when I finally get my hands on a real Playbook.
6. Relatively easy to port over to other platforms. We certainly don’t need to hire on another coder to get this thing out elsewhere thanks to it being built in Flash. We would have done it in Flex but when we first started out there wasn’t any support for MXML projects. I think there still isn’t.. There is for Actionscript projects though, and what they heck, we might as well use our immense experience with Flash to put it together.
With that aside, to talk briefly on our decision to use Wowza Media Server, as I’m sure some might be wondering why due to the fact that I cover so much Flash Media Server material, I have a simple explanation;
Plain and simple, FMS is extremely overpriced for what it is. We can’t afford to upgrade again so we’re at 3.5 and I don’t expect to ever upgrade higher. Sure, we’ll work with the dev version and client’s servers, but it’s not worth the cost to us when we have a great alternative. It costs more to upgrade than to just get a license for Wowza Media Server. With that, we actually got a free license from the Wowza guys for providing free tutorials and general support to their users. We are extremely appreciative of that and in turn have put more energy towards Wowza with that very thought in mind.Hence, this app relies on Wowza Media Server for it’s live communication functionality.
2. Java based server side coding.
Another simple conclusion here. FMS sucks on the server side. Who wants to code in Actionscript 1 anymore? Nobody. It’s neither an easy or robust language or environment to code in. Sure, I can get by after practically 10 years of working with it (imagine that, 10 years.. same language with very little improvement). You STILL can’t connect to a database natively, it’s all done via HTTP calls. Practically impossible to debug. The only admin for it is an ancient Flash based console that has many bugs because they developer didn’t have a chance to finish it before Adobe let him go (possible speculation here… but is my personal opinion here). Lamesauce.
3. Future possibilities.
While FMS does offer the ability to do peer to peer I just don’t see it taking off as big as they hope. I do see being able to stream to many different devices as a big thing and Wowza does that very well. Leaps and bounds ahead of FMS, as anybody who has done even the remotest amount of research would know. Updates to FMS are VERY slow to come while Wowza is being updated practically monthly with bug fixes and new features. This is important.
Anyways, that somewhat summarizes that topic. Back on topic of the Playbook app, we’re definitely looking forward to getting this out and with many updates and ideas and functionality for it to come. Let’s just say we’re hoping it’ll be our flagship product with of course our desire to branch out to every other platform. We can do that of course, we’re not designing in XCode here 🙂