Greenwood-based AFComponents makes advanced flash components (hence the name) for Rich Internet Applications, such as G Map (a flash layer for Google Maps), Flow List (for adding your own “cover flow” ), Media List, IMG Gallery, and about 30 other flash-based reusable components. Using AFComponents, developers can quickly add killer UI features to their apps. Here’s one of my favorite live examples that uses the Flow list to give the user a cover-flow-like experience.
If you’re building flash based web sites, you should check these components out. A bunch of them really wow’d me. Best of all, single developer licenses for these components range from free to under fifty bucks.
I spoke with Matt Wiggins, the companys Technical Director, at DEMOGala. Matt thinks that Rich Internet Applications developers shouldn’t be spending time “reinventing the wheel”. He added that in his experience 75% of the functionality of rich internet apps are the same in 90% of the cases.
So far, the company has sold over 10,000 components to developers, which are in use by many of the top MySpace and Facebook widgets as well as many top WordPress plugins. And these aren’t just small time licensees. The Nike online store presence features the G Map component on the Japan shopping home page to facilitate location of stores by site visitors. And Chevrolet uses the Image Galleries and Video Players from AFComponents.
When I saw the G Map component, my first thought was how much better Twittervision could be if it used this component. You could implement it in Flash and allow the user to look at only interesting/local parts of the map. I told Matt that building a better Twittervision would be a sure way to attact a bunch of geeks. Geeks who code in flash, that is.
AFComponents was founded by in 2005 by Andrei Taraschuk and Antoine Toffa (who previously founded Trip.com) and has grown organically since then. Matt hopes it stays that way, adding “Even though we sell components on a mass scale, we try to develop a relationship with each client and not become a robot company.”