1 Reply Latest reply on Jan 9, 2009 6:38 PM by heathrowe

    Design Flex with Fireworks CS4 or Flex Builder?

      I need help in making a process decision on how to build Flex Apps going forward.

      In the past, we have built the concept for our Flex app in Photoshop and sent it over to our development team in India to build. The process has been difficult because our engineers are not designers and our designers are not engineers. Invariably we spend alot of time bridging the gap between whats possible and what we want to see in our Apps.

      I want to bring our Design and Dev much closer together and essentially take the GUI out of the hands of my Indian Developers who choose to work in raw XML rather than Builder today.

      To accomplish this goal, I will be training my US Design team to become either Fireworks Experts or Flex Builder Experts.... (they are already Photoshop experts) This is where I need your help. If you were starting from scratch with a talented design team that could learn either tool, which one would you choose to accomplish the goal? Does the Fireworks to Flex export create crappy code like Dreamweaver thats tough to modify manually? Does a "true" Flex developer despise Fireworks-generated code?

      I have read up on the Fireworks>Flash Catalyst>Flex Builder Path and dont understand the additional step... is Catalyst part of Fireworks and thats how Flex code is developed or is it a new code generation engine that does code better than Fireworks CS4?

      Thanks in advance.
        • 1. Re: Design Flex with Fireworks CS4 or Flex Builder?
          heathrowe Most Valuable Participant
          Here's my recommendation:

          I would suggest Fireworks for your Design team/ Flexbuilder for your dev team.

          Essentially, what Fireworks already has in terms of Flex UI components (though a short list) is identical in theme (default halo) AND output (mxml code) as you would expect from creating in Flexbuilder alone.

          You can then easily extend your designs with custom components using the Fw Commands Export Flex Skins and they can be imported to your Flex project using the CSS Designer.

          As for Catalyst, this is a separate beast altogether. It's merely meant to bridge designs (from design applications Ps, Ill, Fw) and create usable components for complete animations.

          A full tutorial/ video overview was just released a few days ago here

          As for how Fw fits into the Catalyst scheme of things, designs you create can be exported to the FXG format that Catalyst will use, if you want to use Flex and work with this format you have to have the latest Flex SDK plugged into FlexBuilder 3 or Flex 4 will have full support for it.

          Here is an older referebce to this scenerio (reference to Thermo = Flash Catalyst and Gumbo = Flex 4)
          http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2008/08/28/getting-started-with-flex-4-fxg-and-flex-build er-3/

          Hope this helps.