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Adobe Launches Flex 3 Public Beta

Flex 3 is a cross platform, free open source framework for creating rich Internet applications

Adobe Systems announced the public beta of Adobe Flex 3 software, the cross platform, free open source framework for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs). This major functional release adds rich new UI capabilities, enhanced developer productivity, desktop deployment and enterprise testing and performance tools. The Flex 3 public beta also marks the first significant deliverable for the open source Flex project, beginning with the availability of nightly builds and a public bug database.

Flex 3 gives developers the power to extend the reach of their RIAs beyond the browser to the desktop using the new Adobe® Integrated Runtime (AIR), formerly code-named Apollo. Using the new Flex Builder 3 and Adobe AIR software, now developers can create more engaging, higher-performing applications that run both in the browser and on the desktop.

“The RIA revolution is fully underway on the Web, and Flex is on the leading edge with the most expressive and quickest development framework available,” said Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect at Adobe. “The ability to bring applications to the desktop, in combination with access to the free Flex open source code, means that there is no better time to be a Flex developer.”

Starting with Flex 3, developers will be able to freely download, extend, and contribute to the source code for the Flex compiler, components and application framework. The scripting language in Flex is the most advanced implementation of the JavaScript standard, ECMAScript 4, and runs on the Adobe Flash® Player using the open source Tamarin virtual machine, recently contributed to the Mozilla Foundation. The Flex 3 public beta kicks off the project by providing a full roadmap for Flex 3, including detailed feature specifications, nightly builds, and a public bug database where developers can log and track issues and feature requests.

Flex 3 includes major advancements in the area of designer and developer workflow, including powerful integration with Creative Suite® 3 software design tools that allow for direct import of CS3 assets into Flex. Other design enhancements include deeper support for visual skinning and styling, full language intelligence support for CSS, and the Flex Builder 3 Design View, which lets developers edit design and layout for complex applications.

For the development environment, Flex 3 offers numerous code enhancements that increase productivity. For example, Flex Builder 3 now supports refactoring, allowing developers to make substantial changes within a project quickly and consistently. Flex 3 includes memory and performance profiling, enabling developers to evaluate the internal operations of their application running in the browser or on Adobe AIR. Additionally, the class outline view and code search capabilities let developers find variables, methods and properties easily, even in large-scale development projects.

“We are always looking for ways to increase our productivity when it comes to delivering and deploying engaging applications,” said Carlos Garcia, co-founder and CEO of Scrapblog, Inc. “With new design features and interactivity, including smooth integration with the Creative Suite 3 design tools we use everyday, Flex 3 will help us bring expressive RIAs to market faster. And now, with the ability to extend these applications to the desktop with Adobe AIR, the future of RIA development is here with Flex 3.”

Developers will be able to showcase their Flex and Adobe AIR applications in the Adobe AIR Developer Derby, a contest that officially opens today. Adobe will award prizes in five categories - including categories for both Flex and HTML based applications - and a grand prize for the best overall application. Winners will be announced at the Adobe MAX conference, September 30 - October 2 in Chicago, and winning applications will be showcased on Adobe.com. To learn more about the Adobe AIR Developer Derby, please visit www.adobe.com/go/airderby .

Pricing and Availability

The public beta versions of the Flex Builder 3 and the Flex 3 SDK are available immediately as free downloads from Adobe Labs at labs.adobe.com/technologies/flex. The public beta is available in English and offered for both Windows® and Macintosh operating systems. Adobe will post daily software builds of the Flex SDK and a public bug database at labs.adobe.com/technologies/flex/opensource . The release of open source Flex under the Mozilla Public License will occur in conjunction with the final release of Flex 3, currently scheduled for the second half of 2007. Final pricing will be announced when the products become commercially available. For more information, including system requirements, please visit www.adobe.com/flex.

More Stories By Flex News Desk

Flex News Desk provides the very latest news on the cross-platform Flex development framework for creating rich Internet applications, and on Adobe's AIR/Flex/Flash product combination.

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