Tip of the Day – Getting started with Cocomo

So a little known fact about me… I am extremely passionate about Real-Time Collaboration (RTC) applications. I build them as a hobby in my free time, they fascinate me.

What does “Real-Time Collaboration” mean?

Real-time collaboration is using the Internet and presence technology to communicate with co-workers as if they were in the same room, even if they are located on the other side of the world. Real-time collaboration involves several kinds of synchronous communication tools such as:

  • Instant messaging
  • Group chat
  • Buddy list and other presence awareness technology
  • Whiteboard collaboration
  • Application sharing
  • Desktop sharing
  • Co-browsing
  • Voice over IP
  • Video and audio conferencing tools

So what is this Cocomo thing and what on earth does it have to do with RTC?

According to Adobe Cocomo’s Labs page:

Codename “Cocomo” is a Platform as a Service that allows Flex developers to easily add real-time social capabilities into their RIA (rich Internet applications). Comprised of both Flex-based client components and a hosted services infrastructure, Cocomo allows you to build real-time, multi-user applications with Flex in less time than ever before. And because Acrobat.com hosts the service, issues like deployment, maintenance, and scalability are taken care of for you.

I’m as jazzed as you are… how do I start?

Visit the Cocomo Labs page and follow their 4-step program under the “Getting Started” tab.

After that, I highly recommend watching both of Nigel Pegg’s sessions from MAX about Cocomo. They can be found here.

So Nate why are you so excited about Cocomo?

For many reasons, but here are my two favorite:

Reason One: I’ve been building RTC applications in my spare time for a long time, and one of the big problems that is solved by Cocomo is the fact that the service is hosted by Adobe. Of course it costs money, but with Cocomo the barrier of entry is so much lower than before. Trust me.

Reason Two: I don’t have to write any server-side code! I know some of you are thinking that this is a bad thing, but hear me out. Sure there are times where you’re going to want to have custom server-side logic. For example, a complex game with server-side hit validation and what not. In that situation Cocomo probably isn’t the best choice, but for other types of applications im, chat, whiteboard, video/audio conferencing, casual games, etc… Cocomo is the perfect thing.

Nate… this was kind of a weak tip.

Tough, you try coming up with something new every day for a month.


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