June 27, 2006 9:01 PM PDT

Adobe updates Flash Player, Flex tool

Adobe Systems on Wednesday plans to release upgrades to its Flash Player software and Flex development tool for building Web applications.

Flash Player 9 for Windows and Macintosh, available as a free download, has been rewritten to improve the performance and "expressiveness," or interactivity, of Flash applications, said Sydney Sloan, group product marketing manager of Adobe's enterprise and developer business.

Sloan said Adobe will release a Linux version of Flash Player 9 but didn't specify a date.

In tandem with the Flash Player 9 release, Adobe is making its Flex 2 product line available, including a free, entry-level Flex 2 Software Development Kit meant to encourage development of more Flash applications.

The company's goal is to expand the audience of Flex developers from a few thousand to 1 million developers in the next three to five years, Sloan said.

Flex Builder 2, a commercial tool based on the Eclipse open-source framework, costs $499 per developer. The new version is designed to speed up development with pre-built components and take advantage of ActionScript 3.0, the latest version of Adobe's scripting language.

Adobe also has changed the licensing for Flex Data Services 2, server software for connecting to back-end applications. Customers can deploy an Express version of the software on single-processor servers for free. The higher-end version, Flex Data Services 2, costs $20,000 per processor.

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8 comments

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Never heard of Flex Tool
Flash Player needs an update. They need to make it more efficient. It hogs up too much processing.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/552/44/" target="_newWindow">http://www.techknowcafe.com/content/view/552/44/</a>
Posted by (156 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Flex tool / Flash 9
Congratulations on not having heard of Flex. If you are a
developer of some sort, I'd suggest heading over and taking a
look because it's an interesting technology, that makes
developing web clients a lot easier. If you are not a developer, I
would suggest continuing to ignore it.

I've been running the Beta versions of the Flash player for the
past few months and some time between 8.5 and 9, the amount
of CPU consumed running typical Flash sites dropped
dramatically. They used to set the fan going but my machine
barely notices they are there now.

Of course, what that does mean, is that you can expect people
to exploit the improved performance by pushing what you can
do with it back to the limit, but that is the nature of computing.
Posted by JulesLt (110 comments )
Link Flag
What's up with the random link at the bottom of your posts?
That's weird.
Posted by news_reader (32 comments )
Link Flag
Flex/Flash future
Some well respected Java guru said that:
- Flex2 is the best future technology for the Web;
- it is (along with Flash Light) a threat to Java;
- Flash9 is about 10 times faster that Flash8.
Is it a next big thing coming from Adobe(Macromedia)?
Posted by olegkon (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Linux?
Does anybody know if/when a new version will be an updated flash available for Linux? I've seen rumors posted on some blogs, but does anyone have any specifics from Adobe?
Posted by kaufmanmoore (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i still don't get flex
I know it's got something to do with Flash but that's about it. I've tried reading documentation but I still don't really get what it is. I strongly believe that if they seriously want to expand their developer base tenfold, they've got to do more work outlining in CLEAR form what Flex is about.
Posted by tipper_gore (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What Flex is.
It is a bit confusing as there are a number of components /
products all called Flex something.

The most basic definition is 'Flex is a platform for developing
desktop style applications that run in the Flash Player'.

While this has always been possible using Flash, Flex is aimed
specifically at that task. For instance the Flex Builder tool is
wholly aimed at developers working in ActionScript, rather than
the stage / timeline emphasis of Flash Studio.

Additionally, the Flex SDK (which is free) gives Flash the set of
standard components most desktop app developers would
expect to see, plus some useful standard libraries for things like
handling web services, etc.

For developers it means they can code a client program in one
language (ActionScript) that pulls in data and acts on it, rather
than using something like JSP or ASP where you write in one
language that deals with the data and then generates HTML and
JavaScript at runtime based on the data.

There is also an optional server side component that then adds
in a lot more, to do with connecting to Java applications and
keeping server side objects in sync with the client; this reflects
it's background as a solution for Enterprise projects, as an
alternative to Java for developing front-ends for J2EE
applications.

Put it another way - if you know what AJAX is and have a need to
write an AJAX based site, I would seriously look at Flex. If you're
not on the AJAX/Web 2.0 bandwagon, you probably need to take
a look at that first to understand why Flex is a solution to those
problems.

Alternatively, download Flash 9, and go play with the example
Flex apps. These will give some understanding of what you
could do with it.
Posted by JulesLt (110 comments )
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