Now Available—One Mobile Development Platform with Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5

It’s here—Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, along with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, are shipping and ready for you to create expressive applications across leading device platforms!

We’ve really focused on mobile development for this release, offering developers one tool, one development framework and one codebase to build mobile applications on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS. Flash Builder 4.5 also helps developers make these applications ready to deploy for an app store/market. You can immediately develop applications for Android, and support for BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS will be available through free Flex and Flash Builder updates in June.

For you PHP developers out there creating RIAs across mobile, web and the desktop, Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP software is also now available from Adobe and Zend Technologies. The software features an integrated development environment (IDE) to create Flex and PHP applications, where developers can deliver Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS applications while sharing code from web apps. This helps reduce time and cost for development and maintenance.

But “seeing is believing!” If you happen to be at BlackBerry World this week, be sure to stop by Adobe’s booth to see some cool demos for Flash Builder 4.5-created applications. To get a sense of what you can do with Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, check out what one of our evangelists, Greg Wilson, put together to track locations and arrival time predictions for San Francisco’s MUNI transit system.

We’re pretty excited about the response from developers so far. Here’s what a few of them had to say about these new releases:

Adobe vice president of developer tooling Ed Rowe also has a great example of how to build an online shopping cart, showing us how Flex 4.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 help developers use the same codebase across Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS devices:

Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 stand out as one of the great, new capabilities and features in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection—also available today. Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 offers one suite for building expressive applications for mobile, web and the desktop.

Want more? Here are a few resources to get you going:

Build your First Mobile Application in Flash Builder 4.5

Build your First Flex 4.5 Application

Flex Developer Center

Mobile development using Adobe Flex 4.5 SDK and Flash Builder 4.5

As you get started with CS5.5, Flex Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, be sure to keep us posted about some of the cool projects you’re working on to create great digital experiences across major smartphones and tablets!

PrePress Center Powers the Flip-Page Experience with the Flash Platform

When the developers at PrePress Center Oy, a European-based company focusing on digital publishing solutions, set out to make print-to-screen, magazine-style publishing easier and more powerful, they turned to the Adobe Flash Platform and Adobe Creative Suite software to create eDocker.

eDocker, a 2010 MAX Award finalist in the digital publishing category, is an Adobe AIR application that lets publishers produce easy-to-customize, digital flip-page documents directly from Adobe InDesign CS5. Aside from AIR, eDocker was created using Flash Platform tools, including Flash Professional CS5, Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst, Flash Player and Flex. The resulting application replicates the format of the original InDesign publication and delivers magazine-style publications to the broadest possible audience for playback via Flash Player.

As a result of using Adobe Flash Platform technologies to build eDocker, PrePress Center was able to reduce programming costs and accelerate its development cycle. And the Flash Platform technologies have poised eDocker for tablet and mobile versions in the future using the existing code base in the Flash Platform environment.  Since it’s made with Adobe AIR, PrePress can monetize eDocker and sell the application through Adobe InMarket on multiple application stores, and can run on both Mac and PC systems.  Find out more about how PrePress Center used Flash Platform technologies to create eDocker here.

Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 Accelerate Mobile App Development, Adding Performance and Productivity

Today is a great day for developers who are building applications for mobile devices. We are extremely excited to announce the upcoming release of Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 along with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 (CS5.5), offering unprecedented new capabilities for building mobile applications and content. These new products offer a new mobile development paradigm – allowing you to use one tool, one development framework, and one codebase to build mobile applications on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms.

What this means is that you can use Flash Builder 4.5 to build great looking, high performing mobile applications, and then package them as ready-to-deploy mobile apps that you can submit to an app store/market. No more need to learn different languages and tools for different mobile platforms. In May, you will be able to package apps for Android, and shortly thereafter, you will be able to compile apps for BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS using free updates that we plan to ship for Flex and Flash Builder in June.

Check out this video with Platform Evangelist Serge Jespers to see this new development flow in action:

Also new with this release is the addition of Flash Builder 4.5 Premium to Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection. Now you can get all of the tools that you need to build the most expressive applications for mobile, web, and desktop platforms all in a single suite.

To learn what’s new in Flash Builder 4.5, read this article and watch this video for more details on mobile development using Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex SDK 4.5:

Additionally, updates in Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5.5 feature a new round-trip workflow with Flash Builder 4.5 allowing designers and developers to work in parallel. Now designers can open, make changes and save Flex projects that were created or previously edited in Flash Builder, leading to faster delivery of applications. Designers can rapidly prototype user interfaces for resizable Flex-based websites and applications with new components, craft more precise and expressive transitions and effects, and efficiently design developer-built custom components.

Take a peek at this video, Introduction to Flash Catalyst CS5.5:

Lastly, Adobe and Zend Technologies, the PHP company, today introduced Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP software, a brand new integrated product helping PHP developers create rich Internet applications (RIAs) for mobile, Web and desktop leveraging the Flash Platform. For the first time, developers now have the benefit of an integrated development environment (IDE), combining the capabilities of Flash Builder and Zend Studio for rapidly creating Flex and PHP applications. Now, with a single code base developers can deliver applications for Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and iOS while sharing code from Web applications, noticeably reducing the time and cost of application creation and maintenance. 

Check out these articles for the latest product features and capabilities:

- Introducing Adobe Flex 4.5 SDK

- Understanding the new workflows in Flash Builder 4.5 and Flash Catalyst CS5.5

- Introducing Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP

We hope you’ll explore all that CS5.5 has to offer to create new digital experiences for major smartphones and tablets. Let us know what you think of the latest enhancements to Flash Builder 4.5, Flex 4.5 and Flash Catalyst CS5.5!

Lucid Design Group Uses the Flash Platform to Help Save the World One Dashboard at a Time

With global warming on the rise, Lucid Design Group, a privately held cleantech software company, wanted to create something that would educate and inspire people to change their daily habits to help reduce consumption in their homes and offices (like turning off lights and unplugging appliances). Lucid developed Building Dashboard, a data visualization and communication application that monitors the use of electricity, water, natural gas and heating, and encourages social networking around the topic of resource conservation. It’s available via the Web, kiosks and mobile devices using the Adobe Flash Platform and Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium. With Building Dashboard (a MAX 2010 award finalist) in place, Fortune 500 companies, universities and residential customers saw consistent energy reductions up to 20 percent.

Coined “the first social network for buildings,” Building Dashboard employed the Flash Platform to help develop and deliver widgets, apps, maps and flow lists to encourage users of all technical backgrounds to save resources and understand their resource consumption levels. Currently, nearly 100 U.S. colleges and universities are using Building Dashboard to support key sustainability initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across campus.

To streamline the developmental process behind Building Dashboard, Lucid used a variety of Adobe products including Flash Catalyst, Flash Player, Flex, Flash Professional, Photoshop and Flash Builder. The advantage of working with various Adobe products is seamless integration. For example, Adobe Flash Builder helped improve the Flex development process while Adobe Flash Catalyst and Adobe Flash Builder expedited design/developer workflow, ultimately reducing design and development time by one third. By adding Adobe Flash Player to the mix, Lucid developers could run their product across different platforms, devices and operating systems, while cutting testing time in half.

To learn more about how Lucid worked with Adobe technologies and to see how New York-based Hamilton College uses Building Dashboard, read their story here.

From Print to Web in a flash

Adobe and HOW magazine challenged some of our favorite designers to transform their existing print work into immersive, interactive projects for the web using Flash Catalyst CS5, and the results are stunning. HOW’s September/October issue is just now hitting the stands, and the interactive results, along with commentary from the designers, can be viewed here.

Student Interaction Designers use Flash Catalyst

Last May – Adobe, Hearst Corporation and Missouri School of Journalism announced winners of a student interaction design competition to produce interactive applications that solve real-world needs in the advertising / news-gathering sides of the journalism industry.

The winning teams and students from Shanghai came to Adobe San Francisco to present their projects and meet the team behind Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 – the software at the center of their projects. Visit the Flash Catalyst product managers’ blog (FlashCats) and learn more about these students, the competition and watch the video.

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Designer-Developer workflow before Flash Catalyst times

Yesterday I was presenting during CS5 Launch event. My session was about new workflow between designers and developers using Flash Catalyst. In my presentation I used cartoon below to describe how this workflow looked before Flash Catalyst era. This cartoon is usually shown during project management courses but I think it also applies very well [...]

Come to Flash Camp Boston for free, March 19th

We always do a lot of events on the West Coast but I’m extremely happy to be able to announce that we’re going to be holding a very special Flash Camp in Boston, on March 19th, from 5:00 – 11:00. It’s going to cover all of the new stuff in Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 as well as a sprinkle of ColdFusion Builder for those who are interested in checking out the latest ColdFusion IDE. One reason I’m excited about this Flash Camp is that we’re bringing in a bunch of engineers from the San Francisco and San Jose offices to come present on their Flex 4 and Flash Builder areas of expertise. We’ll also have Deepa, fresh off of her promotion to Flex product manager, to give the keynote.

Here’s the tentative agenda and important info. You can register for free at the Flash Camp Boston event site.

How Much: Free and open to the public (Limited space and Registration required)
When: Friday, March 19th, 2010. 5:00 p.m. EST – 10:30 p.m. EST
Where: The Charles Hotel, Harvard Square, 1 Bennett St. Cambridge, MA 02138
Why: Why not?
What to Bring: Yourself and your laptop. We’ll be providing the beer, food, prizes, and access to parts of the engineering team so you can get all of your Flex questions answered.

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. Registration/Food/Drinks/Networking
5:45 – 6:15 p.m. Keynote
6:15 – 6:45 p.m. Overview of Flex 4
6:45 – 7:00 p.m. What’s New in Flash Builder 4
7:00 – 7:20 p.m. Break
7:20 – 7:50 p.m. Animation and Effects in Flex 4
7:50 – 8:05 p.m. Introducing ColdFusion Builder
8:05 – 8:20 p.m. PHP and Flex 4
8:20 – 8:50 p.m. Creating Custom Layouts in Flex 4
8:50 – 9:10 p.m. Break
9:10 – 9:40 p.m. Advanced Skinning in Flex 4
9:40 – 9:55 p.m. SpringSource and Flex 4
9:55 – 10:15 p.m. Flash Builder 4 Secrets
10:15 – 10:30 p.m Flash on Mobile
11:00 p.m. Doors Close

For those of you who can’t make it to Boston we’re also going to be running an event in San Francisco just a bit later with a very similar schedule. So those of you on the West Coast can get some face time with the engineers as well.

Flash Platform 2009 – Year in Review – Part 3

In part 1 of the year in review I talked about some of the great applications and content that have been created on top of the Flash Platform. In part 2 I talked about the partnerships and what that has enabled this year. Now I’m going to turn to the tools and technologies from Adobe. When I look back at my own personal history with Flex and the Flash Platform, coming with Flex 1.5 and Flash Player 7, it’s amazing to see the progress we made this year.

The biggest news came at MAX. We provided beta versions of Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst, and ColdFusion Builder. Three tools that cover a broad spectrum of RIA development. Flash Builder 4 built on top of our momentum with Flex Builder and introduced a new data-centric development methodology as well as some long-asked for productivity enhancements. Flash Catalyst is a completely new tool that lets designers bring in designs from Photoshop and Illustrator and turn them into working, interactive Flash content without writing any code. And of course ColdFusion Builder provided ColdFusion developers an Eclipse-baesd tool from Adobe that works seamlessly with Flash Builder and lets ColdFusion developers quickly work on ColdFusion and HTML projects. The three tools work together to let designers and developers collaborate around all parts of an RIA project. And the next generation of Flash Professional also got a sneak peak at MAX with the announcement that Flash CS5 will support creation of native iPhone applications.

We also started to lay out our vision for services at Adobe in 2009. Before and during MAX we provided betas and some new information about the Adobe Flash Platform Services. This includes things like LiveCycle Collaboration Services which lets you easily add real-time collaboration components to your Flex and Flash applications. We debuted a Distribution service that lets you track and distribute Flash content across a number of popular properties. There was also the Try/Buy service codenamed “Shibuya” which will help Flash developers directly make money from what they build on the Flash Platform.

Both of our runtimes, AIR and Flash Player, saw beta versions of the next generation. We provided beta access to Adobe AIR 2 which provides developers a lot more access to native functionality as well as adding next-generation HTML support and performance optimizations. Developers had access to a beta of Flash Player 10.1 later in the year which is the first version of Flash Player that is intended for smart phones. Developers got to see how this version of the player would run on the desktop with new memory optimization and support for multi-touch gestures. Flash Player 10.1 will be released for Mac, Windows, Linux, and smart phones like the Palm Pre and Google Android later this year.

Adobe was also busy in the server space. ColdFusion 9 was released this year and it included much deeper support for Flex and AIR applications as well as the ability to tightly integrate with Microsoft Office documents (including SharePoint) and some nice code enhancement for long-time ColdFusion developers.

And finally, this was a big year in openness for the Flash Platform. We’ve worked hard to keep the Flash Platform as open as possible by doing things like open sourcing the Tamarin virtual machine and providing the SWF and AMF specifications in addition to contributing to existing open source projects like the Eclipse foundation. This year we open sourced two new projects, the Open Source Media Framework and the Text Layout Framework. The Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) provided a standard way to create and extend the way video content plays on the Flash Platform. The Text Layout Framework (TLF) brought world-class text capability to the Flash Platform. It included support for right-to-left languages like Hebrew and Arabic and gave developers very detailed control over exactly how text was rendered by the Flash Player. Both technologies are available with all of Adobe’s open source initiatives on http://opensource.adobe.com.

Between the tools, new services, the runtimes, the servers, and our open source efforts, it’s been a big 2009 and we’ve set the stage for a bigger 2010. We can’t wait to see what our community does with these technologies. You are the ones that keep the Flash Platform moving and keep us cutting edge. Thanks for a great year!