It feels like a long road, but today we’re releasing the final versions of Flash Builder 4 and the Flex 4 SDK. If you were one of the attendees at Flash Camp Boston, you got the final versions on the DVD (but we had to call it a release candidate) so there’s no need to update. For the rest of you, make sure to grab the latest and greatest right now. If you’ve installed previous betas/prerelease versions, you will need to uninstall those before you install the new versions.
I’ve been a Flex developer for a long time, since version 1.5, and I genuinely think this is the most significant release in the history of Flex. We made some huge architectural changes in this version of the SDK. The new skinning model which separates the logic of a component from the look and feel is going to let you create some very complex and unique user interfaces. An improved states model along with a much more efficient transitions/effects engine mean that it will be easier to create multi-screen applications with meaningful rich transitions. And arguably the most important thing we did was optimize. The compiler is much faster which means you’ll be spending less time compiling and more time building.
But the biggest thing about this release in my mind is Flash Builder. This tool has come such a long way and Flash Builder 4 is a home run. The added productivity enhancements like ASDoc support and event handler generation make it so much nicer to program. Throw in things like better refactoring and built in unit testing and you’ve got a very powerful IDE on your hands. I’ve been using it for a while now, but when I step back and look at it, I’m very happy with what the team accomplished. Hopefully you also enjoy the new network monitor and the DCD features which make it easy to connect to data and start building RIAs. And with the new leadership in place, the future of Flash Builder is only going to get better.
I’ve got a bunch of articles up on the Developer Center for using Flash Builder 4 with PHP. If you’re a PHP developer interested in testing the new features, these should get you pointed in the right direction. We’ve also got recordings up of all the talks at Flash Camp Boston which cover a variety of Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 features as well as some thoughts straight from developers who are going to be using Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4.
Congrats to the teams who made this happen. I hope you all enjoy the hard work that went into the release.