I just ran into a very sexy Flex Builder feature for debugging live remote code. Previous to finding that Flex can actually debug live remote applications, I used the Flash Tracer plugin. Not that Flash Tracer isn’t a great plugin, its just that debugging by printing a crap load of trace statements is kind of like trying to wash your car with a toothbrush. Yeah, you can do it; but it sucks.
Anyways, to debug a remote SWF all you need to do is upload it to your site, then enter the uploaded URL link (to the HTML page that is the front end to the SWF) in the run configurations properties of Flex Builder. You can navigate in the Run menu item at the top and click on the Run or Debug sub menu, followed by clicking the option named Other.
Or you can click either the Run, Debug or Profile options from the icon bar directly below Run menu, and click the option named Other.
Then in the launch paths section, uncheck the use defaults check box and paste in the URL to your remote application in the debug URL text box.
Its helpful to have an ftp program running in the back end as you update your code, since every time you update your SWF locally, even if its just new debug points, you’ll need to re-upload it. One of the cool aspects of Flex is that you don’t actually have to hit the Debug button to update the SWF, after you change it you’ll notice that the SWF is updated. This will actually show trace statements to the Flex console and catch debug points on a remote SWF, way nicer than Flash Tracer, so long as you’re working on a Flex project. Happy debugging!
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