I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, but as you've probably heard already it is now possible to incorporate screensharing functionality into your Flash and Flex based applications. This is pretty huge considering that developers have been asking for this feature for the best part of 10 year, but it's also a slight disappointment to see this feature tied to LiveCycle Collaboration Service (LCCS) and not as an inherent Flash Player feature which can be leveraged with other technologies such as Flash Media Server. All things considered though it is a step in the right direction. Will we see screensharing become usable with FMS one day? I'm not too sure...

I've not worked very much with LCCS to date for a variety of reasons. One is that most of my work is FMS based and any existing products I have would take considerable time and effort to port over to LCCS. There also wasn't enough incentive for me to do so since feature-wise LCCS and FMS were pretty much on par, and that's something that could now change with the availability of screensharing and the announcement of a recording API for LCCS. What remains an obstacle for me is the pricing. Pay-as-you-go developer pricing for LCCS is available, but to build a product or service on top of that is tricky as predicting the running costs for LCCS is very hard - I'd love to see some real world figures from anyone who can share something on that front.

The other pricing options for LCCS are - as most products in the LiveCycle suite of products - clearly targeted at the Enterprise and totally out of reach for a small company such as mine. For the time being I can therefore see myself sticking to FMs and investigating the possible add-in of a LCCS features to leverage screensharing. I'm not sure if that's possible or if there are internal hooks that prevent such an undertaking - after all I am sure Adobe would much rather see some 100% LCCS apps deployed.

I've cracked open Flash Builder and had a go at trying out the new screensharing feature. I was up and running very quickly with a working LCCS app, however I had a few issues with the screensharing part. Whilst the Connect-addin launched successfully and appeared to broadcast my screen after showing me the familiar 'pick a source' dialogue, I only saw a black square on the receiving end. I'm putting this down to my own lack of skills with LCCS as other developers have had more success in getting this feature working. If you have any issues then the Developer Forum is a good place to get help.

Did you try it out? If so please share your apps and lessons learned. I'm very tempted to give LCCS a real go sometime, but have so far just not found the right project for it.

More info about the new screensharing feature can be found on Thomas' blog. And Christophe Coenraets has already build a video chat app that runs on Android.