Friday, May 15, 2009

Next Flex Builder product renamed to Flash Builder? What do you think?

As an Adobe evangelist, I explain many of our products. One of the products is called "Flex Builder" which sort of insinuates that it builds "Flex". The truth is that Flex Builder actually builds Flash or Adobe AIR applications. For people building browser-based applications, they are, for all means, Shockwave Flash (swf) files. Given this confusion, there has been discussion about the next version of Flex Builder being named Flash Builder 4. It would be the same Eclipse-based IDE with a new name and lots of great new features. This theoretically would be a name change to the commercial product only, and does not affect the Flex framework or Flex SDK.

Some points to consider being sending me flames or applause ;-)

- It's still the Flex framework, and you are still a Flex developer.

- People searching for developers to build Flash would probably get connected with Flex developers much earlier in the development cycle.

- Flash Builder is the development tool for the Flash platform,
supporting the use of the Flex framework or pure ActionScript.

- Flex is the open source framework at the core of the Flash Platform,
including Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst.

- The name of the current product, Flex Builder 3, would remain the same, and would not be renamed Flash Builder 3.

It sort of just makes sense and would probably result in a lot of new revenue when people realize all these "Flex Developers" can actually build them Flash applications rather than smaller development shops having to educate the public about Flash vs. Flex.

These are ideas. What do you think? After all - it's your community.


  1. @duanechaos that's why I'm swfgeek and not flexggek or flashgeek or asgeek :P it all ends as a nice and pretty .swf file :)I think it was a good move for the Flash Platform

  2. I consider Flex a more powerfull name as long as we met customers who are really "scared" about Flash term, seeing in Flash only a tool for building smart animations. Ofcourse we spent time explaining differences, but using Flex Builder in more apropiate in my opinion. In fact Flash ide is also a flash builder, so where will be the differences then. If we build based on flex frmrk, then that means we are using a flex builder?

  3. I agree with Stoc Digital Studio. There was a time when some designers abused in excess of Flash animations, this made many people refuse it, also I think there was a smear campaign by some who said that it couldn’t be indexed in search engines, and so on. Those who still continue developing in Flash (Flex now) have to keep explaining that we are not going to make an animation, but it is a very versatile tool to develop RIAs. So that I thing it would be better to maintain two tools clearly differenced.

  4. I totally agree with Stoc Digital Studio and Jose Bourbon.

  5. I'm not sure that I agree. When looking for work or for freelancers, I'm used to the terms Flash designer, Flex developer. On the Flash platform, it will become Flash developer, Catalyst designer...will someone who just uses the timeline interface be a Flash animator. Animators are also able to do their thing within Photoshop and After Effects. I think losing the Flash adjective will promote confusion in quite a well defined marketplace.

  6. Changing names now would only make things worse. There are too many books, web articles, etc that exist with the old, i mean current name. Don't make a mess. Also, the corner has been turned. Alot of people know what flex builder is now. Plus if you market flash builder... then what is flash ? a player ? another builder ? the new cola ? vista ? My vote is to keep with the branding as it is now. My view is totally from the user/developer perspective.

  7. It's about time adobe does this.
    This whole flex thing as always been bringing confusion.
    you guys have got to realize that there is no such thing as coding in flex.
    It always end up being played by the flash player and it's nothing more than plain as3 just like flash.
    don't tell me you've been fooling your clients with just a name all this time !

  8. As a Flex Framework Application developer, I like the branded name "Flex", but I must say that I like the separation of the Builder and the SDK even more.
    In my daily work and work as a community leader, one of the biggest issues with Flex have been the confusion and the fear for (mostly the Flash IDE people not knowing or understanding) what Flex really was. And who can blame them, cause as of yesterday, who could really say in a oneliner what Flex was? Builder, compiler, SDK, IDE, Framework ?

    I like it, I like the Flash Platform-centric way and approach Adobe has mapped for the future. This will brand what we do even further and make the Flash Platform stronger and easier to grasp.

    @dbmuse: In terms of backward compatibility I've created a Flash Builder Browser to make things up to date :-) Check it out:



  9. i think this name change is a great idea. not only does it mean that adobe is recognising all the developers who use flex builder daily for creating pure AS3 or AIR projects, but hopefully it means they'll be adding more features to flash builder to make developing pure AS3 projects even easier and better.

    flex is a great framework, and adds some much needed rigour to RIA development for flash, but its about time that flex developers truly accept that they're flash platform developers just like the rest of us, and come into the fold :)

    flex builder is dead, long live flash builder!

  10. I think you should continue to use the Flex term instead of the Flash Builder since you have used it since version 1 and it will confuse the future and past customers. Also, these Flex applications are more like regular applications and not animation like Flash. This distinct separation is good for both products since they are used for different purposes.

  11. Eh, I'm not sure about this--though I do understand the appeal of doing it. I admit that the whole Flash/Flex/AIR thing can be confusing for people--especially when you consider that the output is all the same--a SWF.

    However, my concern lies in the naming:

    Adobe Flash
    Adobe Flash Builder
    Adobe Flash SDK
    Adobe Flash Catalyst
    Adobe Flash Player
    Adobe AIR

    That appears to be the entire "flash" family. What is "Adobe Flash" in this scenario. I would venture that if you want to rename Flex Builder to Flash Builder, you need to rename the standard Flash authoring tool to something that distinguishes it.

  12. @brian

    obviously there will not be a product called "Adobe Flash SDK", this is nonsense. we'll continue to refer to it as the Flex SDK, like we always have.

    flex builder is a great tool that allows the entire community (not just flex developers, which are, lets face it, are a minority) to build content for the entire flash platform (pure AS3 projects, AIR files and content produced with the flex framework). the name change to flash builder reflects this. i don't see any confusion.

  13. @seisaku That seems very strange to me--what then would the purpose be of rebranding Flex Builder? It would seem (in my opinion) that the branding would be to reinforce the Flash brand for Adobe (which is certainly a more valuable brand than Flex). The change from Thermo to Flash Catalyst seems to support the notion that Adobe wishes to strengthen and centralize the Flash brand.

    It seems to me that (at least from a branding perspective) Adobe is leaning in the direction of, "Any tool whose primary output is a SWF is for Flash is part of a Flash Developer's Kit" and that Flex is a confusing and superfluous term.

  14. Yes - the Flash Builder product (successor for Flex Builder 3.*) would utilize the Flex development framework (SDK) for the development of enterprise RIA's. What I always had trouble with was trying to explain to people that Flex Builder built Flash and AIR. Some of them thought the end product was somehow quite different than Flash.

  15. I totally agree with Stoc Digital Studio... this is a very bad branding choiche, as Adobe did with passing from the regular number for Photoshop and other creative products to the CS numeration.

  16. In reply to Flashger and the web page
    where no response could be saved (have you noticed that ?) the page is showing before and after Adobe web page for Flex builder. a great idea. I suggest to make a whole catalog of book covers where the builder name is switched and the title altered to make sense of the issue. Then book owners can print out the new covers and glue them over the original cover.
    Adobe Flex 3.0 for Dummies... build RIA's, use Flex Builder. and customize your applications.
    simple swich gives
    Adobe Flex 3.0 for Dummies... build RIA's, use Flash Builder, and customize your applications.
    that seem trival...
    then looking at chapter names...
    chapter four
    Flex Builder. The Best Flex Development Tool.
    changed to
    Flash Builder. The Best Flex Development Tool.
    why would flash builder build flex apps.
    seems like flex builder would build flex apps.
    and flash builder would build flash apps.
    and ducks would lay duck eggs
    simple logic..
    and a platypus would lay platypus eggs...
    ah there's my mistake
    a platypus does not lay eggs... it gives live births.
    so Flash builder is like the duck that lays the the flex egg that hatches into flash duck.
    all is well so long as it flies and doesn't say moo. :)

  17. a platypus does not lay eggs... it gives live births.Actually -- it does lay eggs!

    Or to put it more succinctly,
    "Monotremes oviparous, ovum meroblastic." :)

  18. I do (amongst other things) Flash and Flex development in the enterprise space. I've talked with many folks about Flash and Flex, and have seen significant resistance to the idea of using Flash, but much less so to Flex, even though Flex necessitates the use of the Flash player. Flex is seen as being more suitable for heavy duty application development and thus an acceptable technology to use. I think this change in branding is going to make it harder for people like me who have to sell the use of Flex to customers. We will continue to use the Flex branding in our presentations, and will make sure Flex is conceptually kept very separate from the Flash IDE.

  19. Thanks for sharing nice article on Flex Development Frameworks Show that Platform is Gaining Momentum ". I have also found one website which offier similar services "flex development,Rich Internet Application Development Services".

  20. Thanks for sharing information on Next Flex Builder product. I found one company called SpadeWorx and they claim that they are leading Flex Development Company in India..

    Flex Development

  21. I would seriously doubt any such claims as SpadeWorx made. They may be a Flex Developer, but to claim you are the best is pure arrogance. I'd stay clear until they learn to respect the work of the other 50,000 Flex Developers in India.


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