I have had a think... about the AFCS concept and how to use it strengths.
The biggest value to me is that at its core the service can manage and 'push' data to clients in real-time - which is something I currently would find impossible to do. In the initial stages of an application design I thus need to differentiate between what data needs to be 'pushed' in real-time and what data can be 'pulled' when required.
In the above question I fell into the trap of believing I had to push image data around network, where as I don't I would simply need to send a 'notification' that some image, somewhere else on the web has uploaded/updated. The image could then be 'pulled' into the application upon being notified - I would then use the notification model for all non essential real-time data, whether it be a another webservice or an email from a mobile phone, or a flash lite application.
Is it possible to send messages from my own server directly to AFCS and tell it to push out a custom notification/message to all the connected clients?
To clarify here is an hypothetical situation:
User in the 'field' sends an email, or uploads an image to an address on my server, the processing scripts (on my server) in turn then tell AFCS some event has happened, which then pushes out the message to the collaborators clients - which then either goes and gets the new data (on my server) or just notifies them to do something.
If I need to send notifications the other way I can do that direct from one of the user clients to my webserver.
I know I keep mentioning mobile phones, but it could be anything.... that triggers the event - from twitter to a gps tracker.
I am approaching the use of AFCS in the right way?