Open source LAMP Flash enough for Mambo

Rich Web development gets easier

Fashion label Mambo has launched a new Web site and content management system blending a Flash-based front end with an open source back end.

Mambo's previous system involved manual intervention from the consultant so the company couldn't update the site itself.

Mambo contracted Sydney-based content development firm DDX to design and build a new front end and content system.

After some six weeks of development the new site went live last month with a Linux Apache MySQL PHP (LAMP) back end and DDX's FlashCMS for the people-facing administration portal.

DDX director Sasha Merzliakov said using Adobe's Flash and open source software in this manner provides a better user experience and better data communication.

"The rich Internet applications we do are Flash-based and we can make database calls without having to do page refreshes," Merzliakov said.

When DDX started doing Flash application work it was using .Net and Active Server Pages for the back end content data, but since 18 months ago has used MySQL and PHP, which Merzliakov said "is less pain".

"For clients open source was more budget friendly and easier for hosting," he said. "With ASP or .Net you have to buy a component to communicate with Flash but the open source Amfphp toolkit for connecting PHP and Flash is free."

Late last year Amfphp was included in the Adobe PHP SDK.

Another LAMP and Flash site DDX has developed is MTV Guitar Hero and UK online fashion store

Regarding the buzz about Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), Merzliakov said it is something the company has looked at and it is good for Web applications but thinks it will be some time before all the bugs and security issues are ironed out before it becomes a threat to Flash.

"The trend we see is not so much the technology but how it's used," he said, adding Flash can provide a solution that is "workflow and process" based.

On Adobe's road map for rich Internet applications that can run offline with the Apollo environment, Merzliakov said it will take a lot of complexity out of development as less coding and third-party components are required.

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