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 has happen in the Flex community. In 2007 Adobe announced that Flex will go open source, and now it happened. All ActionScript 3 and Java code including Flex compilers and debugger (FDB) go open source. 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)
Flex Ajax Video
Flex Ajax Bridge (now part of SDK)
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 ndash; 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? rdquo; 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? rdquo;
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.
Just scroll through a variety of rich Internet applications listed at the Flex Showcase Web site. People ‘s creativity has no limits, really.
While Flex almost became a household name in the IT shops, AIR is still a new kid on the block. But some organizations not only are pretty comfortable with it, but managed to prepare production releases of their applications with AIR. These are some of such applications:
AOL Top 100 Music Videos
The AOL Top 100 Music Videos application built on Adobe AIR gives users the ability to browse and play the top 100 music videos from AOL Music, search for more artists and view related artist content. The application also takes advantage of local system resources enabling features such as integrated bookmarking, personalization and sharing.
eBay Desktop is an impressive application built on Adobe AIR that creates a persistent connection with eBay customers. eBay Desktop delivers product availability notifications and auction updates straight to the buyer, in real-time, so users don “t have to open a browser and go to the eBay site for the latest information. Users can import auction data into local files, or export data to local files for use with other desktop applications. eBay Desktop has all the features of eBay in the browser and can operate directly from the desktop.
The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc.
NASDAQ Market Replay leverages Adobe Flex and Adobe AIR to deliver a RIA on the desktop that enables financial professionals to replay market activity in detail at any point in time, helping investors understand why a stock price moved in a certain direction. The complexities of equity trading are enormous mdash; with millions of orders continuously traveling different paths to central markets. NASDAQ Market Replay lets brokers show their customers exactly what was going on in the market at the time a trade happened, and Adobe AIR allows for instant response to an extremely large data set, something not possible in a browser.
The New York Times Company
The New York Times Company is launching ShifD, a new RIA that allows users to shift content between computers and mobile devices. ShifD works on – and between – the Web, mobile devices and through a downloadable AIR application, giving people an easier way to consume media on the go. Developers used Ajax technologies to build both the browser-based version of ShifD and the desktop version deployed on Adobe AIR. The New York Times Company is also developing a sophisticated blog reader on Adobe AIR.
Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group ‘s Neopets
Neopets is a fun virtual pet site. You can create your own pets, feed them, groom them, look after them, and watch them grow. Using Adobe Flex and AIR, Neopets is creating a desktop habitat for “petpetpets rdquo;, little insects that live on the pets. The application will even use artificial intelligence to guide their behaviors.
Nickelodeon “s MTVN Kids and Family Group ‘s
The company “s first Adobe AIR application, developed in Adobe Flex, is a clever jigsaw puzzle game that encourages Nickelodeon fans to explore http://www.nick.com, locate pieces of a video, and then drag the pieces to the AIR application on their home computers. Each week a new part of the video puzzle will be released, requiring visitors to scour the web site for the latest pieces. Once assembled, the video puzzle can be played within Adobe AIR and provides a link back to the company “s web site, where viewers can watch the full-length video.
You can find official Adobe press releases at http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200802/022508AdobeAIR.html
Today is a big day for Flex community, and I send my congratulation to all members of Flex team who made this happen!