4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2010 12:55 PM by webchic2008

    Flex/Air - which do I use?


      I'm designer who is familiar with the front-end of Flash and some AS3 coding, and I'm working with a developer who has just purchased Flex. (Previously, we only had worked in the Flash environment)


      We want to create a searchable company directory that employees can access via our internal web. I've just started to go through some Flex tutorials, but AIR has been mentioned a few times for creating desktop applications.


      Am I on the wrong track?


      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Flex/Air - which do I use?
          David_F57 Level 5



          Air basically raps a flex program so that you have access to OS functions through Airs runtime library, with Air 2.0 it goes a step further and allows you to target a specific OS ( native platform build). For what you want it seems there would not be a need to run as a desktop application as you will obviously be dealing mainly with a corporate database queries.


          With the web based solution there is no need to worry about update distribution. I would be inclined to develop an app as you described with a web based solution. The nice thing about flex is that if you decide at a later date you need some desktop functionality you can simply convert the web based app to Air( a button click does it) and add the Air capablities that you want.



          • 2. Re: Flex/Air - which do I use?
            JeffryHouser Level 4

            Flex is a free SDK.  I hope the developer you're working with didn't buy it.  Most likely what he purchased is Flash Builder, which is an IDE by Adobe that helps to build Flex Applications.



            Flex can be used for two purposes, to build SWFs that are intended to deploy to a web server and played in the web browser's Flash Player Plugin.  And to build AIR files that are intended to be run on the desktop.


            AIR offers some additional features over web based apps, such as closer integration with the desktop.


            For ease of deployment, I'd recommend building a Flex application; unless you think you'll benefit from some of the AIR specific features.

            • 3. Re: Flex/Air - which do I use?
              Ansury Level 3

              Short answer: you don't need AIR since you want this accessible via Intranet/browser.


              AIR could very roughly be described as a replacement for a the Flash browser plugin, which runs standalone as an installed application (no browser needed).

              • 4. Re: Flex/Air - which do I use?
                webchic2008 Level 1

                Thanks much, folks!