9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2009 2:24 PM by Francisc

    How do you best describe Flex??

    r_honey

      Hi, I work in a multitude of server-side technologies (including PHP & ASP.NET), together with many client-side ones, including Javascript, Flash and Silverlight. I am curious as to what Flex means to me, and how can I benefit on learning this yet another technology?

       

      So, what describes Flex best:

      1. a client-side Javascript framework (like ExtJs etc), that can be used to build both browser-based or Desktop based applications
      2. a Flash like plugin based another animation framework
      3. a server-side component

       

      Feel free to add the correct answer if I have not listed it above??

       

      My instincts & some basic reasearch tell me the first one to be the best description. In that case, why should I really learn Flex? We already have considerable Frameworks for the browser in JavaScript/Flash & Falsh as a stand-alone platform for desktop. What does Flex offer in addition?

       

      I would really appreciate some subjective answers. Any link enumerating all the Flex features together would be great.

        • 1. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
          Francisc Level 3

          I would say none or first 2 and more.

           

          Flex uses ActionScript 3 and MXML as languages. It can call JavaScript functions as well, it isn't not a doorless room.

           

          QUOTE:

           

          What is Flex?

           

          The simplest answer is: Flex is just another way of creating a Flash application. A Flex application gets compiled into a SWF file, which is played inside of the browser by Flash Player. Why did we need another way of creating Flash applications? Traditionally Flash applications were created using the Flash authoring tool. If you take a look at this tool, you’ll notice that it is oriented primarily for designers. There is a stage, a timeline, drawing tools, and so on.

           

          When you are developing applications and you care about productivity, you want components, you want to be able to streamline development as much as possible by reusing code, and not last but not least, you want a modern IDE.

           

          Thus a revised answer could be: Flex is an open source framework that helps developers to quickly create Rich Internet Applications that run inside Flash Player. The framework was shaped pretty much as it is today in 2006 with the arrival of Flex 2, Flash Player 9, and ActionScript 3.

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          • 2. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
            r_honey Level 1

            Well, I was glad to hear that. Coming from a developer background, I sometimes struggle with Flash Professional to get things going. A declarative markup oriented language together with a better IDE sound music to ears.

             

            What I have understood is that we can use Flex to design & code movies that get compiled as Flash .swf movies. Flex itself provides support (mainly for, I believe) the MXML. And probably Flex builder is the IDE you are talking about.

             

            Anything else special about Flex. Anyhting else that could be interesting or differentiating??

            • 3. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
              pauland Level 4

              Deciding on a technology on the basis of bullet point features exchanged on a forum, isn't a good approach. Take the time to check out the adobe development forums and look at a few things in flex. Maybe even download the flex trial, or even the new beta and play.

               

              Flex is rather more than a few bullet points on a slide.

              • 4. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
                Francisc Level 3

                Flex is the best way to build Flash applications from my point of view.

                The Rapid Application Development (RAD) feature makes it really `rapid` to make apps.

                Flex apps are portable on pretty much any browser and major opperating system.

                 

                You can also build native desktop applications using Flex via AIR. This is also possible from Flash or Dreamweaver for example, but none are as close to the real thing as Flex. AIR Apps buit in Flex are native applications, for example on windows you install selecting path and some other options as well and you remove from the Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs.

                • 5. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
                  r_honey Level 1

                  pauland, here is some confusion. Here is what Flex homepage says:

                   

                  Flex is a highly productive, free open source framework

                   

                  Probably, you are talking of Flex Builder, when you said, trial!!!

                  • 6. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
                    r_honey Level 1

                    Hi MASH, when you say: "portable on pretty much any browser and major opperating system", I hope you mean Flex apps can run on any platform or browser where Flash can. Am I correct??

                    • 7. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
                      pauland Level 4

                      Flexbuilder is the easiest way to start. Then go with another development tool with the free SDK if you wish.

                      • 8. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
                        pauland Level 4

                        r_honey wrote:

                         

                        Hi MASH, when you say: "portable on pretty much any browser and major opperating system", I hope you mean Flex apps can run on any platform or browser where Flash can. Am I correct??

                        That's correct

                        • 9. Re: How do you best describe Flex??
                          Francisc Level 3

                          Yes, this applies for web-apps.

                          For desktop apps, you need Adobe AIR which is supported by Windows, Mac OS and Linux and considering you can build native applications in Flex 3, they will run in those 3 OSs.