AppBoard 2.5 FAQ - Technologies

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This page answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about technologies used in enPortal and AppBoard.

Page Contents

1. Technologies

1.1. Is the development platform/framework based on industry standards and does it have an open architecture?

AppBoard visualizations are based on Adobe Flex, a powerful, open source application framework for building mobile, web, and desktop applications. Flex offers stunning, dynamic visualizations that provide cross-platform support (mobile device/browser/desktop) and server integrations Java™, Spring, Hibernate, PHP, Ruby, .NET, Adobe ColdFusion®, and SAP using industry standards such as REST, SOAP, JSON, JMS, and AMF.

1.2. Is Adobe dropping support for Flash? Will AppBoard support HTML 5?

Adobe continues to release and support Flash, and has a published roadmap of future releases and continued platform support. Detailed information is available at

AppBoard utilizes a combination of Flash and HTML in AppBoard Builder (the administration UI) and AppBoard Viewer (the end-user presentation). Users interact with Flash content through the AppBoard Viewer. The Viewer presents a combination of both Flash and HTML-based Widgets to the User. It is important to understand future plans regarding the use of both Flash and HTML 5. As the HTML 5 feature set and cross-browser compatibility mature and demonstrate viability in this industry space, AppBoard's roadmap includes the incorporation of support for an HTML 5 AppBoard Viewer. Edge will continue to evaluate applicability of HTML 5 and other rapidly emerging web-based technologies to support an even broader range of product features in the future.

The AppBoard architecture and development teams continuously evaluate new technologies and standards for incorporation into AppBoard. How these technologies are incorporated into the product is based on several factors that include the maturity and commercial viability of the technology and customer/partner demand. In the case of HTML 5, there is a three-phase support plan for the incorporation of the technology into AppBoard. Phase one, the incorporation of HTML-based Widgets into AppBoard, has already been performed and will continue through the life of the product. Phase two, the delivery of an HTML 5 AppBoard Viewer is on the AppBoard product roadmap but is dependent, in part, on the expansion of the HTML 5 component feature set, more unified support for HTML 5 features across vendor browsers, and customer/partner demand. Phase three, the delivery of an HTML AppBoard Builder, has the same fundamental requirements as phase two from a technology perspective but is especially dependent on the continued expansion and maturity of the HTML feature set.

enPortal does not utilize Adobe Flash or Flex.

1.3. What integration points and communication protocols are supported?

AppBoard has out-of-the-box support for integrated data from any database with a JDBC driver, SOAP, RESTful, and other XML web services that can be transformed via XSLT and retrieved via HTTP or HTTPS, CSV or other delimited flat files, XLS spreadsheets, and various vendor data sources (see complete list for vendor support). AppBoard data is accessed from the client via BlazeDS. enPortal can present HTML or XML content that is retrieved via HTTP or HTTPS and is presented to the client browser via HTTP or HTTPS. Configuration files are in XML.

AppBoard's data adapter framework is agnostic as to the type or function of the data. This enables AppBoard to treat any external system as a Data Source; whether it's commonly considered a data repository or not. AppBoard ships with a Facebook data adapter. AppBoard also ships with an XML based web services data adapter that allows for integrations with most XML based APIs (and there are thousands of systems that use XML APIs).

In addition to the pre-built enPortal PIMs and AppBoard adapters, the AppBoard/enPortal server provides Java APIs for customizing authentication methods, session management, logging, and triggering actions from server events. AppBoard provides further Java APIs for creating custom data adapters. AppBoard provides Flex (for Adobe Flash) APIs for integrating custom visual components. enPortal provides XML APIs for creating custom web integrations.

1.4. What mapping technologies are accessible for an end user?

The included Flex Mapping Widgets are: Tile Map (Open Street Map), Google Map (HTML version also available), ESRI, and ILOG Elixir (Vector) Maps. Edge AppBoard includes the AppBoard Flex SDK supporting both Flex and HTML 5 based widgets. HTML 5 widgets are supported through the standard ActionScript to JavaScript External Interface methods. Flex mapping components can be integrated by creating a wrapping class for the existing Flex component to implement the simple Widget interface that communicates with the container and provides functions for setting the data source for the underlying Flex component. This custom Flex widget is integrated as described above. This has been demonstrated in Flex Widget wrappers for MapQuest, ESRI, and Google Earth.