FLEX FAQ’S

FAQGeneral questions
Getting started
Licensing and pricing
Free Flex Builder Pro for education
Flex and Flash
Flex and Ajax
LiveCycle Data Services ES
Flex 3
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Learn all about the Open Source Flex SDK in a separate FAQ.

General questions
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What is Adobe® Flex® 3?
A:Adobe Flex 3 is Adobe’s development of a free open source framework for building 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 and includes an Eclipse™ based development environment; advanced data services; and a fast, enterprise-class client runtime based on ubiquitous Adobe Flash® Player software. Flex enables enterprises to create highly interactive, expressive applications that dramatically enhance the user experience, increasing customer satisfaction and user productivity.
What kinds of applications can be built with Flex 3?
A:You can use Flex 3 to create a wide range of highly interactive, expressive applications. For example, a data visualization application built in Flex can pull data from multiple back-end sources and display it visually. Business users can drill down into the data for deeper insight and even change the data and have it automatically updated on the back end. A product configuration application can help customers navigate the process of selecting or customizing products online. A self-service application can guide customers through an address change or help employees complete an otherwise complicated, multiple-step benefits enrollment process.
What software do I need to build Flex applications?
A:You can create and deploy Flex applications using only the Open Source Flex 3 SDK or the Free Adobe Flex 3 SDK. For a more productive development experience, you can use Adobe Flex Builder™ 3 software, a powerful, Eclipse based IDE available as a licensed product. For a more productive, higher performing approach to connecting Flex applications to back-end services, you can use BlazeDS, a free, open source Java™ solution. BlazeDS includes both Flex Remoting, which provides binary, serialized data transport, and Flex messaging services, offering real-time data push.
How do I learn Flex?
A:There are many ways you can learn and get started using Flex. You can learn on your own using the many resources in the Adobe Developer Connection or the Flex getting started wiki. There are many books and online instructional courses available through Adobe partners. You can attend an eSeminar to get an overview or participate in a formal, instructor-led course offered by an Adobe training partner either on-site or off-site.
What is Flex Builder 3?
A: Adobe Flex Builder 3 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 (RIAs). You can import assets from Adobe Creative Suite® 3 software into Flex Builder 3, making it easy for designers and developers to work together. Flex Builder is licensed on a per-seat developer basis and is available starting at US$249. You can download a 60-day free trial of Flex Builder to get started.
What is the difference between Flex Builder 3 Standard and Flex Builder 3 Professional?
A:Adobe Flex Builder 3 Standard
Adobe Flex Builder 3 Standard is a productive, Eclipse based development tool enabling intelligent coding, interactive step-through debugging, and visual design of user interface layout, appearance, and behavior of RIAs. Key features include:

Powerful coding tools Take advantage of editors for MXML, ActionScript™, and CSS; syntax coloring; statement completion; code collapse; interactive step-through debugging; and more.
Rich visual layout Visually design and preview user interface layout, appearance, and behavior using a rich library of built-in or custom components.
Integrated media Seamlessly integrate media into applications.
Integration with Creative Suite 3 New Flex Skin Design extensions for Adobe Flash, Illustrator®, Photoshop®, and Fireworks® software make it fast and easy to import ready-to-use creative assets directly into Flex.
Adobe Flex Builder 3 Professional
Use Adobe Flex Builder 3 Professional to create business-critical applications. It offers all of the powerful features included in Flex Builder 3 Standard, plus:

Powerful testing tools Memory and performance profilers help investigate memory use and analyze where applications are spending time. Use automated functional testing support for regression testing.
Interactive data visualization Create data dashboards and interactive data analysis by simply dragging and dropping a chart type and linking it to a data source using the Flex charting library.
What is BlazeDS?
A:BlazeDS enables developers to easily connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real time to Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR applications for more responsive RIA experiences. Previously available only as part of Adobe LiveCycle® Data Services ES software, the technologies included in BlazeDS and the Action Message Format (AMF) protocol specification are being contributed to open source under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL) v3.
Will Adobe provide enterprise support for BlazeDS?
Yes, enterprise support for BlazeDS will be available via subscription offerings, similar to those offered by companies that have built business models around open source software. Subscriptions will include access to trusted, certified builds, patches, warranties, and enterprise support for business-critical applications. See the BlazeDS FAQ for complete details.

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