Goodbye Flash … and hello .NET and ASP.NET MVC

Goodbye to Flash …

Network Simulator
Network Simulator

I just read an article about the Top 10 IT skills that are going to be least in demand, and in the Top 10 is Adobe Flash (previously know as Macromedia Flash). Unfortunately it was Apple who provided the death-nail for it, as they refused to support it on their closed-system Apple iPhone. Over the years, though, there was nothing to match it, especially as it allowed the scripting of actions which could be displayed in a Web browser. I developed so many applications in Flash, and was so disappointing when Apple made their announcement.

One of my major developments was in creating a range of Flash Cisco simulators, which were actually innovative for the time, and which used ActionScript 1.0 to provide the main functionality. If you are interested, here’s an example :

Unfortunately the more commands I added, the more it become more difficult to maintain them. At the time Flash was moving from a scripting language in which you could use variables whenever you wanted, without ever declaring them. While this works well for a small program, it is not scaleable. So, at the time, I looked at ActionScript 2.0, which integrated in a more formal way, but, as it was kinda like Java, which I personally dislike (even though I’ve written a book on it), so I moved to Microsoft .NET 1.1, and I have never looked back.

Microsoft .NET 1.1, 2.0 and so on

Networksims Router Simulator

I picked-up on .NET 1.1 at the time, as it just worked so well, and had a strong development infrastructure, which continually checked all the elements of the program. For I developed my Networksims package, which simulated a range of Cisco devices, including PIX/ASA, router, switch, wireless, and so on:

This has worked fine, but it has become difficult to maintain, and is fixed to Microsoft Windows. It is to ASP.NET MVC that I have turned to, and it has provided me with an excellent platform to integrate a wide range of applications. With MVC, we try and separate the data (the Model), from the middleware (the Controller) and from the interface (the View). This method allows you to create reusable code, in which you can easily change the user interface, without changing anything within the core logic of the program. The result was:

A major port for me was to integrate the core code from Networksims, into my MVC site, and here’s where I have got to (demo):

Integrating Console Applications

So as an example, let’s look at how we integrate a console application into MVC. In this case I have integrated a program named openssl.exe, and the demonstrator is at:

The demonstration is:

How cool is that … that you are able to integrate a back-end console output into your Web page?

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