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RIA Development Update: Flex 3, Air 1.0 and BlazeDS Released

18 months after Flex 2, Adobe announces major releases of their flagship products for RIA developers

Yes, it’s official now and there is no need to keep the mouth shut fearing violatiion the non-disclosure agreement: the production release of an open source product Flex 3 is available today.  The same is true for AIR 1.0 and BlazeDS.

Eighteen months ago Flex 2 was released,  which literally changed the way people think of rich Internet applications. Since then lots of things have happened in the Flex community. In 2007 Adobe announced that Flex will go open source, and now it has happened. All ActionScript 3 and Java code including Flex compilers and debugger (FDB) are going open source. And let's not forget about the number of other open source products released by Adobe during the same period of time.

  • Tamarin (ActionScript Virtual Machine)
  • Spry Framework
    Flex Ajax Video
  • Flex Ajax Bridge (now part of SDK)
  • BlazeDS
If before, their server side component LiveCycle Data Services was available only for those who could afford it, now anyone can enjoy fast communication via AMF3 protocol between Flex and Java for free using BlazeDS.

Adobe AIR is an important step in bringing together Web and desktop applications. Surprisingly, the Beta versions of Flex 3 and AIR were used by many IT organizations for development of the real-world application. People could not wait to get a hold of these very productive and fun-to-work-with tools.

Adobe had and is still facing a challenging task – to spread wider in the predominantly  Java/.NET enterprise world.  But they already made some serious achievement in this direction. People have stopped asking “Flex who?”  Java developers  have successfully gone through the phases of  Denial ("I-can-do-all-this-in-Java")  and Anger ("I-don’t-need-no-proprietary-technologies" ) and found themselves in the Bargaining phase now , “Where can we fit Flex in our architecture and how to gradually upgrade some of our  Web 1.0 applications to Flex?”

Adobe continues its efforts to help enterprise developers to accept Flex. They work on various levels:  with corporate executives, make departmental sales, and clearly demonstrate technical merits of Flex to software developers. My kudos to Adobe Flex evangelists Christophe Coenraets and  James Ward who work mainly with Java developers. These guys live on planes, buses, trains, and automobiles delivering the message about Flex and AIR to people working in different industries.  For example, in April they are coming to New York City addressing the financial community at the seminar Flex on Wall Street

Adobe works very closely with academia on bringing students on board.  Flex Builder is available for free for students and faculty. The rest of the Flex framework is free for everyone.  Adobe Education Designer and Developer  conference will take place next week in San Francisco . Adobe is bringing together the most creative and influential minds in the  education community.  Adobe is very serious about making their developers tools a household name in universities.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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