Flex 1.0 Launch – Resources for Getting Started

A landmark moment in Rich Internet Application development today, with the official launch of Macromedia Flex 1.0. We’d like to be among the first to congratulate a fantastic engineering team in getting this product to market – as the community is going to recognise in the days and weeks ahead, there is already an incredible breadth and depth to the 1.0 version of the product.

Macromedia Flex will be free for developers to develop on – a trial CD is available for purchase for $8.99 from Macromedia Store, ensuring that Macromedia are able to offer support to developers as well as enterprises. With a price of $12k for a 2-CPU license, this ensures that businesses pay for deployments of Flex RIAs, while developers are free to learn how to develop Flex applications, with a development version of the Flex server in their own development environment.

There’s already a wealth of information on the Macromedia site for those wishing to get started; here’s a quick getting started summary.

For those wishing to sell Flex internally, or to their own clients, the Flex Solutions page lists the ROI for a number of target Flex applications.

A number of specific case-studies of real-world Flex developments are available already – Dave Meeker, Ryan Carlos and the team at Whittman Hart have an impressive real-time business dashboard application, which they discuss here.

The team over at Terra Payments showcase the development of an intranet application, which they had previously developed using all manner of presentation technologies including JSP, JavaScript and DHTML, Java Swing and Java Server Faces – and discuss how with 35% less code they were able to deliver a rich-client solution using Macromedia Flex. This case-study resonates strongly at iteration::two – we have also experienced the pain of delivering online financial service solutions using all of the aforementioned technologies, and recognise the application of Macromedia Flex as an ideal solution for this presentation tier problem.

One of the sample applications to ship with Flex 1.0 is the “Flex Store” – a single-page e-commerce example, using products from the “Think Geek” store to build a shopping cart and checkout example. A complete code walkthrough of building the Flex Store is available here which is an excellent example of an end-to-end development.

The Macromedia Flex Devnet has also been launched, with a number of great examples – we’d recommend getting started with the simple calculator example here which shows how to mix MXML markup and ActionScript 2.0 business logic to deliver a simple application.

At iteration::two, we are working flat-out on the authoring of a book on Flex for Macromedia Press – “Developing Rich Clients with Macromedia Flex”. That’s been one of the major reasons we’ve not blogged so much here in the last few months — however, we’ll be writing a great deal on Macromedia Flex, and what it means for RIA developers, in this blog, in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Macromedia Flex 1.0 is a fantastic productivity boost for those of us delivering Rich Internet Applications into the enterprise. The breadth of the product, even for a 1.0 release, is staggering, and we imagine it will take some time for the development community to get up to speed. However, with the material on devnet, the tutorials and sample book chapters that we’ll be putting out from iteration::two, and the inevitable contributions from many of the other development teams that were involved in the beta, I expect it won’t be long before we really start to see what the community is able to do with the product.

In the meantime; why not sign up to the Flexcoders mailing list and join the rest of the Flex development community as you make your first steps towards the delivery of enterprise RIAs.

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