Adobe Flex Authors: Matthew Lobas, PR.com Newswire, Shelly Palmer, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Adobe Flex

Adobe Flex: Article

It's Time to Flex My Zorn: Flex 2.0 & Flex Builder 2

Flex 2.0 will change the web development sphere forever

In the early days of Flex beta (Royale), we were shown a fantastic new product that would allow folks to write rich User Interface (UI) designs via an XML style solution, named MXML.

Flex is a product that sits in your presentation tier, it's not a "server-side" solution; it's a dream product, as it now fully gives the average web developer the total power they need to create Rich Internet Applications (RIA) without having to worry about complex things such as "timelines" (which catches many traditional programmers by surprise).

Flex also brings balance to the force, in that it allows a backend developer the ability to generate intuitive UI without having to fall into the trap of it looking and feeling like a typical "programmer art" web application. I say web application as the web is not simply about "websites" it has more, and it's being used as a delivery channel for a lot of simplistic applications (RIA != website).

What Is This "Zorn"?
Zorn was a code word given to the next generation development tool, now dubbed Flex Builder 2, that will allow you the average developer a piece of that pie currently reserved for the enterprise market. Flex Builder 2 will allow developers or designers the ability to write MXML based applications without Flex Server. Flex 2.0 Server itself will have a lot more "enterprise" solutions on offer that you will not get in unless you pay for the "extras," so the two will live separate lives amongst the Macromedia product suite.

Flex server has been this forbidden fruit to many Flash developers, as its price has always been a sore point amongst the non-enterprise elite. I for one have often been vocal about it, but yet after spending a year or so looking at how its being used in the enterprise world, it's by far the cheapest solution (yes, it's cheap, and no, you cannot e-mail me abuse). Say what you will about the existing price model for Flex, one thing is always clear; the mainstream web development world just couldn't afford it, until now.

That is why Flex Builder 2 + Flex 2.0 Framework exists, it is Macromedia's way of capitalizing on a great product without backtracking on price points while at the same time giving the users more power in terms of generating non-enteprise specific applications around their motto "Experience Matters."

User Interface development is about emotion, it's the one sore point in many great applications as, without a clean consistent way of displaying backend systems, no matter how great and complex they maybe, people tend to associate its power with its UI, as it's the front-line component that takes most of the beating.

So yes, "Experience Matters" as it's the way things are slowly but surely heading. Recently Bill Gates was quoted saying "Focus on the User Experience" at this year's Microsoft PDC05 conference. Two similar messages, each asking for the one or same outcome: don't just build it but build it so that it's useable and with a bit more emotion.

Flex Builder 2 + Flex 2.0 Framework will offer a lot of folks the ability to back up these messages with Flash Platform as its delivery output. It has the potential to shift a lot of people's position(s) in the web development sphere to now becoming a hybrid "designer/programmer" in one, only now more formally in team environments. As, suddenly that guy/girl in your team who has always had this creative flair will now be able to execute the overall design vision more precisely and with minimal effort. This person will later take on the title "Creative Lead" among existing teams (or one of similar naming).

Flex Builder 2 + Flex 2.0 Framework will also give developers the ability to change pre-existing perceptions on how content is visualized, as existing plain "grid" metaphors can be upgraded and changed into something like images of documents even though the data may still be in grid form but remain part of the development process with known input and output.

Flex Builder 2 is the next-generation tool for Macromedia development but it will not replace Flash 8 Professional or its "liter" version - well, not for now anyway. I say that as who knows what the next steps post its release could be other than those mischievous Macromedia (soon to be Adobe) engineers and product managers have in store for it. Flash 8 Professional serves a purpose and it's more suited towards the multimedia side of things, where Flex Builder 2 is essentially placed in the more "application" specific world, yet the two could overlap depending on context.

There is a lot of room here for Flex Builder 2 to grow outward and it maybe the new lease on life Macromedia developers require in terms of using a simplified, functional editing tool to generate RIAs, something its previous counterparts have failed (excluding Dreamweaver 8, as finally that product has gotten it right!)

The Internet application field is changing, there are new tools coming on the market that are allowing people the ability to step outside the comfort zone of HTML and into the domain of multimedia. Macromedia's Flash Platform is so well seeded into people's machines around the world, that it just cannot be ignored as one of many useful delivery channels for an Internet based product. Microsoft is now coming to the table with their own technology centered on XAML, which funnily enough smells and tastes like MXML.

Armed with products like Flex Builder 2 + Flex 2.0 Framework, the hardest part one has to overcome, is working through the initial blank canvas. The white empty canvas speaks volumes in the design world, and with these two products it won't change, there will be a lot of crazy, stupid and masterful ways to visualize existing content, buried deep within complex backend systems. The time is ripe for RIA dreams to come true as with these products, maybe we can see more of those complex backend systems having a more usable / accessible unified view.

It's far too early to comment fully on Flex Builder 2 or Flex 2.0 Framework, and hopefully after MAX 2005 people will start seeing more information about how Macromedia plans on counteracting the "XAML" dream with products like these.

Flex Builder 2 + Flex 2.0 Framework will deliver a new breed of developers, who will be given the title "User Experience Developer," provided they are ready to learn the new world of ActionScript 3.0.

More Stories By Scott Barnes

Scott Barnes is Product Manager for the Rich Client Platform team at Microsoft, with a focus on Silverlight. Originally from the small outback town of Cunnamulla in Australia, Barnes was Microsoft's first RIA Evangelist, focused primarily on the Web space. He blogs at http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...