Petfinder.com App with Flex / Swiz Source Code

It was necessary for my well being in recent weeks to learn as much as I can about the Swiz micro-architecture for Adobe Flex.  Lucky for me I had a simple Flex app sitting around just waiting to be converted from a giant mish-mash of mxml and ActionScript 3.0 to a nice, well organized micro-architected piece of software.  After much trial and error and gnashing of teeth, a successfully compiled application written with Swiz emerged, and is now posted for the enjoyment of whomever enjoys cats and coding.

A few caveats to remember when viewing the app and its source:

  1. The source is not exactly ‘code-complete’ – I’m sure there are bad practices in spades.  Kind criticism welcome.
  2. There is no real service call made by this app.  Rather than throwing my Petfinder.com API key out for everyone to gawk at, I’m using a static XML file that was spit out by a previous API service call.
  3. This is currently using a beta version of Swiz 1.0.
  4. This was originally written with Flex Builder 3, but ultimately released with Flash Builder 4.
  5. I had help.  Thanks a million to Jordan Sanders for a few handy pointers and putting up with my questions.  Also, thanks to David Tucker, Ben Clinkenbeard, Brian Kotek, and Richard Lord for instruction and examples.


If people actually look at this post and are interested, I may be inclined to add more explaination, do follow up posts, develop the app further, etc… If you are interested in using the source code for whatever purpose, go right ahead.


Who: The House of Mews in Memphis, TN

What: A brand, spanking new website built from scratch.

Why: The House of Mews proprieter often complained that it was too difficult to sort through the hundreds of emails generated from forms on the old website.  It was also a pain for vounteers to update the adoption listings.  To view a list of available cats, site users had to navigate away from the House of Mews site and onto petfinder.com  Drupal 6 and Adobe Flex fixed these problems, and then some.


Drupal 6 was used to convert the old HTML site to a CMS.  Also, site visitors can now register on the site to submit rescue requests, and rather than having that info clog up the email inbox, it goes into a searchable list (thanks to Views and CCK).

A similar method is in place to accept volunteer applications, but since these are rare, email notifications are sent out whenever one is completed. This was done with the Rules module for Drupal 6.

The real-time cat browser on the homepage pulls in data from Petfinder.com and creates an easily navigable listing of adoptable cats.  Volunteers who are used to uploading cat information to Petfinder don’t have to learn new software, and site visitors no longer have to leave the HoM site to view cats up for adoption. Win!

The cat browser was created with Adobe Flex 3.  It was amazingly simple – in fact, it was the very first Flex/Actionscript app I’ve ever created.  FYI – I’m currently converting this app to use the Cairngorm framework, and will be releasing the source code on this website some day.

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