6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2007 4:33 PM by Senor_Roberto

    What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?

    attila100

      What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight? Any experience here...

      " Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 beta availability. Optimized for the Web, Microsoft Silverlight enables developers and designers to easily use existing skills and Visual Studio and Expression Studio tools to deliver media experiences and rich interactive applications. Silverlight works with any back-end Web platform or technology, seamlessly integrating with existing infrastructure and applications, including Apache and PHP, as well as JavaScript and XHTML on the client. Beta 1.0 includes a go-live license, which means customers can deploy their Silverlight applications in production. Final availability of Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 is scheduled for summer 2007."

      Best Regards
      Attila
        • 1. Re: What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?
          yu.wei.qian.07
          Silverlight seems good. they have good product promotion as of now. But you are in an adobe forum . :) People here might be biased. Anyway, I have learned of silverlight's 3d capabilities - quite impressive. and for the development side, it doesn't have much system requirements as flex. If you are used to MS products, I bet you'll love this one.
          • 2. Re: What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?
            attila100 Level 1
            Thank you for your experience report yu.wei.qian.07

            Attila
            • 3. Re: What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?
              shakro
              Flex has limited documentation. Serious developers building real applications will use the tool that has supporting documentation. For anything but the trivial, Flex is a pain.

              However, Flex currently has market penetration through Flash. Its an advantage if you can get it to work.

              Bottom Line:
              Use Flex if your playing... Silverlight if your working... Flex is fun, but the lack of documentation makes it unreliable. You never know if it's going to work untill the project is done (completely).
              • 4. What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?
                ogden_shooter
                Shakro, what Flex world are you working in???? I've been developing in Flex for close to a year now and the possibilities are endless. Flex is a complete application for application developers, your lack of ability to read their documentation is not the fault of Flex. I've found it more than adequate. With that said, Flex has around and continuing development for years now and how long has Silverlight been around? I'm afraid that I'll have to go in complete opposition to shakro.

                the other thing to consider is market penetration, at this point since Flex uses the Flash plugin to run the content (which again has a ton of development lead time on the Silverlight plugin) you're guaranteed that a number of, if not the majority of, your users will be able to run the applications you write.

                After taking a serious look at Silverlight, I'll give it a few years to mature, till then I'll continue to develop my real work in Flex.

                -Mike
                • 5. Re: What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?
                  clshrock
                  I imagine that the Microsoft folks are really proud of Silverlight -- I mean, they have been fighting the shift that the Internet has caused from the beginning--pure client/server dies hard. From the MS-only folks, Silverlight is a breath of fresh AIR. I am glad that Microsoft has finally seen the RIA wisdom and joined in with the rest of the world. I mean, how long was Java on the scene before C# magically appeared; I am glad that they finally saw the writing on the wall.

                  Personally, I don't care if you use Flex or Silverlight; just that you use whatever for the right reasons. Flex has ample documentation for me and the example apps far outshine anything that I have seen in Silverlight. I found Flex to be pretty simple to learn too. As Silverlight was only announced in April 2007, I seriously doubt that "shakro" has actually gotten around to doing any real work -- Flex at least has been around since 2004. I know a lot of people that are building production-grade Flex/AIR applications. I don't know anyone that is seriously considering using Silverlight.

                  But then, that is my circle --- take my experience with a grain of salt. Just also make sure to take the Microsoft fanboys with a grain of salt too.
                  • 6. Re: What is better for RIA - FLEX or Silverlight?
                    Senor_Roberto
                    The biggest benefits of Flex, as I see it are:

                    - You can use it and deploy it in production now.
                    - Flash platform already has massive penetration.
                    - You can develop for free using the SDK on Mac, PC and Linux and IDE's like eclipse.
                    - You have cross-platform (via JEE) server options.
                    - Pretty mature compared to SL (technology and user community)

                    No doubt that SL is slick, BUT it's yet to be proven. Until it's proven that it's a good cross platform experience for the user AND the developer, it's not on my list.

                    This is not to say Flex is perfect, because it most certainly is not, but I doubt we're ever going to end up with a perfect, cross platform, rich, thin client. There will always be a battle between tools, just like native thick clients.

                    Silverlight still has the significant task of building a base of users with that SL plug-in, it will be interesting to see the marketing push behind this and how well it works.

                    Of course, these things are all just tools in our toolbox and we should be using the best tool for the jobs, sometimes SL, sometimes Flex, sometimes HTML/CSS/JavaScript.