11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 16, 2007 9:36 AM by VVino

    Flex vs. Flash

      Is there anything that FlexBuilder2 does that Flash Professional CS3 won't do? In other words, what's the benefit of Flex vs. Flash?
        • 1. Re: Flex vs. Flash
          levancho Level 3
          theoretically no , practically yes, very much so.
          • 2. Re: Flex vs. Flash
            VVino Level 1

            Originally posted by: levancho
            theoretically no , practically yes, very much so.

            Such as? I mean, I can do AS3 programming in Flash, and link the code to interactive animations/graphics (movieclips), which is Flash's strongpoint.

            What is so much easier in Flex that I wouldn't want to try it in Flash, but can do it easily in Flex? Can you help me out with an example or two? I know that database integration is not all that easy in Flash, but I don't do a whole lot of that.. not so much that XML won't do for me, that is.

            Or is it something else? I've read a lot on Adobe's site, but I just can't find a justification for learning Flex. Am I missing something?
            • 3. Re: Flex vs. Flash
              The best way to put this is, it depends on your background. Flex is good for those who have a software development background, whereas Flash is good for those who have a design/new media background. I think Flex can be more streamlined, smaller SWFs (depending on implementation). Also, I don't believe AIR applications can be created with Flash.
              • 4. Flex vs. Flash
                joshspoon1 Level 1
                flex is awesome for AS3 only projects and AS3 coding. It has hinting and will have refactoring. That is just a few. Flash is great as well I use both. But the Flash AS editor is garbage!
                • 5. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                  VVino Level 1
                  Thanks for the answers. So, in a practical sense, I can continue in Flash until I find an application that Flash is just too hard to use, or has a lot of database manipulation?

                  At least, from a user point of view, the extra $$ just won't get me much more, until Flash is found lacking for my own uses.
                  • 6. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                    enfantterrible-tijzQ7 Level 1
                    I sue both my suggestion to put it in simple terms is; if you develop web applications use Flex, if you develop design oriented projects use Flash.
                    • 7. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                      I agree with enfantterrible that Flex is geared more towards programmers and Flash more towards graphic designers. Now I am not an authority on this, but I would think that they can both accomplish the same tasks - except in different ways. And one tool may be easier to use than the other for certain projects. I've personally noticed it hard to develop graphical animations with flex, and much easier with flash. But the RIA side of things is much easier in flex than in flash.

                      So, to answer your question - yes, you can continue using flash until you find it too hard to accomplish something with flex. But also note that technically, Flex is free. Only Flex Builder is not free.
                      • 8. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                        VVino Level 1
                        Thanks to all. I already own and use Flash, so I guess that at this point, it is "free," too.

                        I marked AnthonyPetty's response as "the answer," but I think everyone said pretty much the same thing.

                        Thanks again for your time.
                        • 9. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                          VVino Level 1
                          I've found some more resources.

                          Apparently, Flex allows disk access, which is blocked by Flash due to security reasons. Flex is designed for desktop applications, where flash is for web applications.

                          To prevent malicious code, Flash is tighter; Flex allows more direct hardware and file system control.

                          Both do AIR, but Flex is designed for it and has more robust components.

                          Anything written in Flash will run in Flex. The corollary is not necessarily true. Flex components apparently have more properties or methods... things not allowed in Flash.
                          • 10. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                            Garyl Woolworth Level 1
                            In response to your last post VVino there are things stated that aren't true at all. "Flex allows disk access" is not a true statement at all. You can only achieve file access through a(n) AIR application, Flex by default has no more file access then Flash does via file upload / download. In fact they both use the same core classes. "Flex is designed for desktop applications" I would argue as well, once again AIR is designed to be a desktop application, Flex by itself is designed to be a Web Application seeing as how it has so many different ways it is able to connect to a web server / services and so little means of connecting to anything on the end users computer. Flex was meant to develop RIA's which unless you are solely using XML you will need to deploy the Flex application onto a web server to connect to some form of database. "Flex components apparently have more properties or methods... things not allowed in Flash." A better way of phrasing this would be to say that Flex has more built-in ways of doing things with the default set of components compared to flash. You can achieve the same end result with flash, it just means you have to develop a lot of the base component functionality on your own. Which in all reality a lot of the components that Flex has and people have developed were based upon Flash components (Example: TreeCheckBox, Alert Windows, Advanced Item Rendering Datagrids) were all created in flash way before Flex ever existed.

                            On a side note what Flex is extremely useful at compared to Flash is creating a RIA that manages data that Flash then displays to the user in a rich interactive environment. My main focus of work right now is creating a database driven flash website that the client is able to manage almost all of the content on the website itself using a Flex Application that I developed as a backend. I do have to agree with joshspoon1 though the Flash CS 3 actionscript editor is garbage compared to Flex's. In all reality you can create a backend for a database driven website with Flash (I used to do it) however with the release of Flex I spent a lot less development time focusing on creating a backend for a client and a lot more time really fine tuning the Flash website which is where my time should be focused on.
                            • 11. Re: Flex vs. Flash
                              VVino Level 1
                              Thanks for the input, Kaotic101. So, if I have a better handle:

                              Graphic Interaction, use Flash.

                              Database interaction, use Flex.

                              Disk/OS interactions, use AIR.

                              So, what do you use to program an AIR app? Flex or something else?