Adobe Launches Flex 2

Adobe launches the Flex 2 product line tomorrow along with Flash Player 9. Flex is a web web development environment used by programmers to build rich web applications that can make use of Flash and/or Ajax. The main advantage of Flex is that it makes developing Flash applications a lot easier, and easily combining it with Javascript to make full feature-rich web applications. Many development suites have made claims in the past to ease the development process with rich web applications, but most developers still stick to using just text editors and Javascript libraries as the simple approach offers most flexibility.

Flex seems to be on the right track, offering a powerful environment that will allow the developer to build either Flash applications, and in the future, full Ajax applications. The IDE is based on Eclipse, which is already very popular and is open source. Flex adds support for syntax completion, an integrated compiler and a realtime debugger that will save a lot of the common pain with debugging web applications.

Adobe has a new pricing mechanism for the Flex platform, but the basic Flex SDK is now free. There are many different options in this space, the most popular being the open source web application development environment OpenLaszlo. With what is already a great feature set and the ability to work well with other Adobe applications I am sure that Flex will be a hit with wep application developers who would like to build cool apps, but who don’t have the patience to learn the finer details of ActionScript and Javascript. Adobe have listed a large number of sample applications that were built using Flex on their website, and also have a large number of developer resources.

Bill McCoy, GM of Adobe’s ePublishing Business, has an overview of the announcement on his blog. Adobe also launched yesterday, a new resource for Flex developers.