On the RIA Zone today Ryan Stweart has posted a new tutorial about using Flex and PHP to chart out some data pulled from a backend database with just a hint of animation on load.
Creating charts and data visualization is one of the areas where Adobe Flash shines. The combination of a very powerful drawing API that makes it easy to generate artwork and the interactivity means that Flash is ideally suited for integrating data visualizations. It used to be that you'd have to be very familiar with Flash and scripting to work with charting. [...] You use a combination of XML-markup and scripting to create [Flex] applications. Further, you can use CSS syntax to customize the look and feel of the charts. Flex makes it straightforward to add interactive charts to web applications.
The tutorial walks you through the creation of the Flex project (you'll need Flash Builder 4 to follow along), creating and pulling in the data from a PHP-based service call, binding the data to the chart object and a few tips on how to modify the HTML output to use teh Flex/Ajax bridge. Animating the resulting chart is as simple as adding two new tags to the Flex definition.