Flex is a highly productive, free open source framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and operating systems. While Flex applications can be built using only the free open source framework, developers can use Adobe Flex Builder software to dramatically accelerate development.
Flex is a free, open source framework for building highly interactive, expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and operating systems. It provides a modern, standards-based language and programming model that supports common design patterns. MXML, a declarative XML-based language, is used to describe UI layout and behaviors, and ActionScript, a powerful object-oriented programming language, is used to create client logic. Flex also includes a rich component library with more than 100 proven, extensible UI components for creating Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), as well as an interactive Flex web application debugger.
Flex is a comparatively new technology based on Macromedia Flash software, a full-fledged development environment ranked to a branch standard.
RIAs created with Flex can run in the browser using Adobe Flash Player software or on the desktop on Adobe AIR™, the cross-operating system runtime. This enables Flex applications to run consistently across all major browsers and on the desktop. And using AIR, Flex applications can now access local data and system resources on the desktop. Both Flash Player and Adobe AIR are available as a free download on Adobe.com.
You can accelerate Web Application Development Using Adobe Flex Builder 3 software, a highly productive, Eclipse based development environment, and AdobeLive Cycle Data Services software, a set of advanced data services that can be used in Flex development. Both of these products are available for purchase.
ADOBE FLEX BUILDER 3
Adobe Flex Builder 3 accelerates Flex application development. It is an Eclipse based development tool enabling intelligent coding, interactive step-through debugging, and visual design of the user interface layout, appearance, and behavior of RIAs. Flex Builder 3 includes the complete Flex framework, including compilers, a component library, and debuggers.
Flex Builder 3 is available in Standard and Professional editions. Both editions allow import of assets from Adobe Creative Suite 3 software, making it easy for designers and developers to work together. Flex Builder 3 Professional further adds powerful data visualization capabilities, the new Advanced Datagrid, memory and performance profilers, and support for automated functional testing for developing business-critical applications.
Rich user experience
Flex allows web application developers to efficiently create highly interactive, expressive interfaces for web and desktop applications. Engaging applications built with Flex can reach more users, improve productivity and satisfaction, and generate increased profits.
Cross-platform, accessible applications
Flex applications leverage the Adobe® Flash® Player 9 runtime. Installed on over 98% of Internet connected computers, Flash Player uniquely provides a consistent, accessible user experience across browsers and platforms. It is an enterprise-class client runtime with advanced vector graphics capable of handling the most demanding, data-intensive applications while performing at desktop application speeds.
Adobe AIR integration
The new Adobe AIR client runtime enables rich Internet applications (RIAs) to run on the desktop, creating new opportunities for more engaging, high-performance online/offline applications. The Flex framework provides native support for the new AIR APIs, and Adobe Flex Builder 3 software provides all the tools necessary to build, debug, package, and sign applications built on Adobe AIR.
Assemble and build RIAs using more than100 rich, prebuilt application components. Use the powerful Eclipse based Flex Builder development environment to further accelerate development, debugging, and testing of web and desktop RIAs.
Adobe Creative Suite 3 integration
The combination of Flex and Adobe Creative Suite 3 software provides smooth, consistent workflows using best-in-class tools. Use Adobe Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, and Photoshop to create assets in native Flex formats. Use Flex Builder to easily import these assets into the interface of an RIA.
Ease of use
Get started quickly with an extensive library of components, skins, containers, and application services. Use wizards to connect to existing web services or generate database connection code in Adobe ColdFusion, PHP, ASP.NET, and Java
Open source, standards-based framework
Flex 3 is available as open source software through the Open Source Flex SDK project. Flex provides a modern, standards-based language and programming model supporting common design patterns. You can extend and enhance the open source framework to suit your needs and contribute to the evolution of Flex.
Advanced data services
Using open source BlazeDS, easily connect Flex and AIR applications to back-end, distributed data and Java server infrastructures to deliver responsive, real-time, data-driven user experiences deployed in the browser or on the desktop.
Enhancements to existing projects
Add incremental richness by embedding micro-applications or components in existing websites, or revolutionize your entire user experience with immersive, single-screen applications, all with a single investment.
Flex is designed to scale from simple components in websites to full-blown browser-based or desktop applications. With its extensible prebuilt component library, Flex provides a broad solution for creating RIAs of all kinds. Developers can select data transport methods including support for XML over HTTP, Adobe's Action Message Format (AMF), or RTMP using Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES (formerly Flex Data Services).