Monday, October 25, 2010

Which Streaming Technology Should I Use on My Flex Project?

I gave a talk last week at the Flex and the City conference in London, England about the leading streaming technologies that are on the market to do "push" at scale and at low-latency on a high concurrency Flex project. I focused on the scale of the challenge, the requirements that you need to look for in a solution and the risk mitigation strategies that should be adopted to ensure you end up using a technology that best meets your requirements.

Most streaming solutions (such as Kaazing, Nirvana and Lightstreamer) focus on providing high performance duplex data communication to clients built in a range of different technologies such as Silverlight, AJAX, Java and C# but not much else. Adobe's LiveCycle Data Services on the other hand also provides higher-level abstractions such as managed collections designed to minimize the plumbing effort required to integrate Flex and Java. Unfortunately LCDS currently only supports Flex clients, doesn't support some of the channel types supported by other products and doesn't provide much support on the server for monitoring and managing active sessions. For that reason comparing the leading streaming products on the market is a bit like comparing apples with oranges. It would be great if we could take the best features of each of these products and combine them together.

In my talk I suggested Adobe should seriously consider collaborating with third parties such as My-Channels and Kaazing to provide support for those vendors' channel implementations (such as Kaazing's innovative Web Socket and Nirvana's nhps protocol) in the LCDS product. Imagine how cool it would be to be able to take advantage of Flex managed collections over a reliable (and more manageable) Nirvana channel!

I'd be interested to hear your experiences with these solutions on large-scale Flex projects or indeed any other full-duplex solutions you've used.

No comments: