Debugging remote services

There are several ways to debug applications that access remote services.

  • Flash Builder Test Operation view

    The Flash Builder Test Operation view allows you to call service operations and view the returned data. The Test Operation view displays any error messages displayed by the service.

  • Server-side scripts

    For additional debugging of services, you can write scripts that test server code and write output stream information to log files.

  • Flash Builder Network Monitor

    Use the Network Monitor after building an application with Flash Builder that accesses a service. Use the Network Monitor to view data sent between the server and client.

Flash Builder Test Operation view

Use the Flash Builder Test Operation view to call operations from a service and view the results of the operation. Results include any error messages returned from the service.

You can use the Test Operation view to view data returned from operations on services you write or services available from HTTP or web services.

Test a service operation

This procedure assumes that you have written a service that you are testing or have access to an HTTP or web service.

  1. In the Flash Builder Data/Services view, navigate to a service operation you want to test.

  2. From the context menu for the service operation, select Test Operation.

  3. (Optional) In the Test Operation view, select Authentication Required to provide login credentials to the service.

  4. If the operation takes parameters, click the Enter Value field to provide a value for the parameter.

    If the parameter requires a complex type, click the Ellipsis button in the Enter Value field to open an editor that accepts JSON notation. Provide the value for the parameter using JSON notation.

  5. Click Test to view the results of the operation.

Scripts to test server code

Use test scripts to view and debug server code before attempting to connect to the server in Flash Builder. Test scripts provide the following benefits:

  • You can view test results from a web browser.

    As you modify the code, simply refresh the browser page to view the results.

  • You can echo or print results to the output stream, which you cannot do directly from AMF.

  • Error displays are nicely formatted and typically more complete than errors captured using AMF.

ColdFusion Scripts

Use the following script, tester.cfm, to dump a call to a function.

<!--- tester.cfm ---> 
<cfobject component="EmployeeService" name="o"/> 
<cfdump var="#o.getAllItems()#">

In tester2.cfm, you specify the method and arguments to call in the URL.

<!--- tester2.cfm ---> 
<cfdump var="#url#"> 
<cfinvoke component="#url.cfc#" method="#url.method#" argumentCollection="#url#" returnVariable="r"> 
<cfif isDefined("r")> 
    <cfdump var="#r#"> 
    (no result) 

For example, call the getItemID() method in EmployeeService with the following URL:


tester3.cfm writes a log that records calls to operations and dumps the input arguments using cfdump.

<!--- tester3.cfm ---> 
<cfsavecontent variable="d"><cfdump var="#arguments#"></cfsavecontent> 
<cffile action="append" 
output="<p>#now()# operationName #d#">

PHP Scripts

Use the following script, tester.php, to dump a call to a function.

    $o = new MyService(); 

Add the following code to your PHP service to log messages during code execution.

$message = 'updateItem: '.$item["id"]; 
$log_file = '/Users/me/Desktop/myservice.log'; 
error_log(date('d/m/Y H:i:s').' '.$message.PHP_EOL, 3, $log_file);

Add the following code to your PHP service to enable dumping to a log file:

$result = ob_get_contents(); 
$message = 'updateItem: '.$result; 
$log_file = '/Users/me/Desktop/myservice.log'; 
error_log(date('d/m/Y H:i:s').' '.$message.PHP_EOL, 3, $log_file);

Network Monitor

The Network Monitor is available in Flash Builder from the Flex Debugging Perspective. The monitor must be enabled before it can be used to monitor data. See Monitoring applications that access data services for details about enabling and using the Network Monitor.