Flex is a free, open source framework for building highly interactive, expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops and operating systems. It provides a modern, standards-based language and programming model that supports common design patterns. MXML, a declarative XML-based language, is used to describe UI layout and behaviors, and ActionScript 3, a powerful OO programming language is used to create client logic. Flex also includes a rich component library with over 100 proven, extensible UI components for creating RIAs, as well as an interactive Flex application debugger.
Rich Internet applications created with Flex can run in the browser using the ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player software or on the desktop on Adobe AIR. This enables Flex applications to run consistently across all major browsers and across operating systems on the desktop. And using Adobe AIR, the cross-operating system runtime, Flex applications can now access local data and system resources on the desktop.
ADOBE FLEX BUILDER 3
Adobe Flex Builder 3 accelerates Flex application development. It is an Eclipse based development tool enabling intelligent coding, interactive step-through debugging, and visual design of user interface layout, appearance, and behavior of rich Internet applications. Flex Builder 3 includes the complete Flex framework including compilers, component library and debuggers.
Flex Builder 3 is available in Standard and Professional editions. Both editions allow import of assets from Adobe Creative Suite 3, making it easy for designers and developers to work together. Flex Builder 3 Professional further adds powerful data visualization capabilities, the new advanced datagrid, memory and performance profilers and support for automated functional testing for developing business-critical applications.
FREE ADOBE FLEX 3 SDK
You can get the complete Flex framework separately from Flex Builder 3 by downloading the free Adobe Flex 3 SDK. Developers can create complete RIAs using only the free Adobe Flex 3 SDK. The Flex SDK is also available as open source in the Open Source Flex SDK project.
ADVANCED FLEX DATA SERVICES
Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES provides a comprehensive set of data-enabling features for using data in RIAs. It enables RIAs to talk to back-end data and business logic in a faster, more efficient operating model. LiveCycle Data Services ES also enables seamless integration with LiveCycle ES business processes and document services.
BlazeDS is a free, open source project providing Flex Remoting and Messaging to all developers. Flex Remoting provides a binary, serialized data transport format called the ActionScript Message Format (AMF) to provide a fast, efficient means of transporting data to your RIA which accelerates application performance. Flex Remoting also makes it fast and easy for developers to connect to back-end business logic and data. Flex Messaging adds realtime data push and publish/subscribe, both powerful capabilities now made easy. Using BlazeDS, you can start using these powerful Java server integration features for free, then subscribe to the LiveCycle Data Services Community Edition for certified builds and support, or upgrade to the full LiveCycle Data Services ES Enterprise edition for a complete server solution.
ADVANCED DATA VISUALIZATION
ILOG Elixir provides graphical data-display components to further enhance Adobe Flex 3 and Adobe AIR rich Internet applications. ILOG Elixir helps turn raw data into clear, actionable information through a highly graphical and interactive user experience. Components include: 3D Charts, Gauges and dials, maps of the world, radar chart, gant chart, tree maps and org chart.