Welcome!

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
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
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 settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
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...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...