A Message from Flex Marketing

There have been recent questions asking Adobe for more visibility into our marketing investment for the Flex product line. We want to take this opportunity to give the community a better sense of what we’ve been doing and where we are going.

The first thing we want to emphasize is that we think a successful community is the best marketing of all, so we’ve invested heavily in ways to make developers successful. Examples of this approach include the Quick Starts, training curricula (and upcoming certification program), early releases of features like ASDoc on Labs, and new components like the AutoComplete Text Input on the Flex Exchange. While these may not seem to be obvious marketing efforts, if the community is successful we then have ready-made evangelists who can spread the word and that is the best form of marketing.From a more traditional standpoint, the Flex marketing team has been hard at work focused on reaching out to the community to drive developers (existing and new to Adobe) to trial the Flex product line. So far our efforts have driven over 475,000 developers to the developer center and over 100,000 developers have downloaded a copy of the Flex SDK or Flex trials.Many developers have also joined us on our Live and eSeminar series where we have held over 25 live seminars around the world, and hold eSeminars 3 times a month (info here). We were also happy to have over 17,000 developers attend the Flex session during the Adobe Virtual Developer week last June, which we plan to run again early next year. Our July launch event in Korea was attended by over 1000 developers. In August, Adobe sponsored a Sys-con “Real World Flex’ event in New York City where we had over 200 people attend, and over 12,000 people have viewed replays of the sessions at http://www.flexseminar.com/. You may also have seen one of the Adobe Evangelists (Ben Watson, Christophe Coenraets, James Ward, Ted Patrick and our ColdFusion guru Ben Forta) promoting Flex at over 50 tradeshows, seminars and developer events over the past 6 months. In the last few weeks we’ve had a very successful launch of the Japanese version of Flex Builder. Of course MAX is coming up and Flex has a huge presence at the conference.Our PR team has been working hard to reach out to all of the key tech-pubs around the world, gaining Flex coverage in eWeek, Network Computing, ITWeek, ComputerWorld, InfoWorld, InfoWeek, DexX, and CRN to name just a few, with coverage in over 100 online and print tech pubs around the world.Additionally, we’ve been working with industry analysts at Gartner, Forrester, Burton Group, Red Monk, etc. to make them aware of Flex. And it makes a difference. Our Flex booth was mobbed at this week’s Gartner ITXpo in Orlando, Florida after Ray Valdes mentioned Flex positively in his session (more). Richard Monson-Haefel at Burton group has blogged positively about Flex (more). So has Jim Governor at Red Monk (more).Next let’s provide an update on some open source projects that are getting traction in other communities outside traditional Adobe communities.The PHP RIA SDK by Adobe has a mailing list with about 80 people on it, and 4 or 5 community members who contribute regularly to samples in the SDK. We are working with those community members to post items up on the Flex Developer Center for PHP developers. We are a Gold Sponsor at the PHP Zend Conference later this month, and Mike Potter, an Adobe evangelist, will be speaking and showing off Flex to that audience. The SDK release was mentioned in a major PHP magazine this month.There is also a Ruby on Rails RIA SDK by Adobe that we’re working on, again as part of an open source project with a mailing list of 87 people. There are many community sites popping up in the RoR community dealing with Flex, including http://www.flexonrails.net and a future book.We’re working on a new evangelism project targeting university students. We have our first university focused session tonight at the University of Ottawa, and have a university focused website ready to launch at http://www.therabbithole.net/. This program is moving ahead slowly but surely, with more events scheduled across Canada next month.On the advertising side, we’ve already run over 10 million ad impressions and sent opt-in promotional emails to over 1 million developers around the world. New interim banners are now running throughout all our online sites. These include: Ajaxian, Artima, CMP, CNET, Code Project, DevX, Federated Media, FTP, Inform IT, IT Toolbox, O’Reilly, SysCon and The Server Side. These banners are INTERIM only and were developed as a replacement for what we internally called the “Pretty Boy ads” while we wait for the next generation of our banners to be tested and developed. If you are interested in being part of our focus group please send an email to Sydney Sloan, ssloan”at”adobe.com , with “Focus Group Participant” in the subject and we will try to get as many of you in the focus group research as possible.We also have a project underway to test new advertising messages (to replace and/or augment the “Go Beyond Ajax” theme) and to update the Flex landing page on Adobe.com to be more focused on developers. We are also working hard to improve the trial download experience and how developers should be spending their first 30 minutes with Flex, much like what Christophe Coenraets has done on his blog.This is not an exhaustive list of the activities we’ve been driving to promote Flex, but as stated earlier, for Flex to be REALLY successful we need the support of the community — we need you talking, building killer apps, writing blogs, publishing articles and telling your friends and family just how cool it is to develop apps in Flex. We welcome your ideas on how to promote Flex, including the bumper stickers and tattoos approach! In fact, we’d like to encourage you to be creative in coming up with ways to spread the word about Flex. Please send us any and all marketing ideas, including ideas to promote

  1. Flex to the Mac developer community,
  2. Flex to the Linux community,
  3. Flex to the Flash community,
  4. Flex to the <insert other developer community here> community.

If we end up using your idea or a part of your idea in a future campaign (or we just think it’s really cool) we’ll send some Adobe/Flex schwag your way AND give you credit on a site like flex.org.The best way to get ideas to us is to respond in the comments to this blog entry (or at least refer to your own blog entry here so we know about it). We look forward to seeing what you can do!

29 Responses to A Message from Flex Marketing

  1. ALVIN says:

    Wow, nice!thanks for the posted

  2. tpde says:

    yes.great news from here, I agree with dreamer,I wish you can release More version.thanks

  3. Come to turkey. Throw a party.;)

  4. Being a moderator at Flashkit, I can say from experience that I can’t help wishing Flex 2 and Flash 9 had debuted at the same time to give us a more accurate reflection of that 100,000 download total of the SDK.As it stands, I see plenty of users who have little understanding of the Flex framework as a whole, seem to confuse Flex connecting to say php/mysql as no different from Flex 2 connecting to the same data structure using FDS. In reality it seems a large percentage of the users even on the platform right now are simply using the Flex compiler to compile their AS3 with little regard for what Flex 2 is or even wanting to understand. It’s simply a means to their end while they wait for Flash 9 proper.I must say I find myself looking forward to F9 final simply to get the users to their correctly placed platforms based on what they actually prefer as opposed to Flex carrying the weight of both and getting little respect From SOME flashers who only downloaded it for the wrong reasons to begin with simply due to their need for the compiler.Chris

  5. Chris says:

    Excuse me… I got confused with the “posted by” lines. The post I was referring to from October 16th was actually from Graeme Harker

  6. Chris says:

    I can’t agree more with this last comment and the similar thoughts from Carlos Rovira on October 16th.There’s no point in religious debate on whether flex is better than ASP.NET or WPF. Adobe MUST provide the necessary support to bridge between the two, and simple-to-follow examples.FlexBridge is a great tool for .html and AJAX-enabled pages but I can’t make it work with ASP.NET – can you ?There appears to be no interest from Adobe to make the tiny investment needed to broaden this tool to support ASP.NETIt would be nice if the only VM technology out there was flash, but that’s just not reality…Come on Adobe – take a leadership position and provide support for ASP.NET 2.0 and WPF.

  7. KarlB says:

    Adobe has to release Remotable Objects for .NET now!Most small to medium size businesses (which accounts for most businesses) use .NET.I am a .NET developer, I love Flex, but its a hard sell when FLEX integrates so easily with JAVA, but completely misses the ball with .NET.I can’t sell FLEX to a .NET shop.Adobe needs to release RemoteObjects for .NET servers, and vastly increase the tutorials geared toward .NET developers.I’m happy I can communicate with .NET webservices, but FLEX needs much more integration than that.Flex is above MS WPF right now for public facing web sites – its here now. If Adobe doesn’t move quickly, we will see Microsoft conquer the RIA arena. All because Adobe couldn’t spend some development time and resources geared toward the .NET community.Don’t let us down.

  8. Dave Farr says:

    There might be some merit in Abode working with developers in a particular market to demonstrate how the product could be useful in that area. For example this spring there is a ‘Museums on the Web’ conference in San Francisco. I would think that this is an area in which Flex could have a significant impact. By working with a developer in this area Adobe could demonstrate at the conference how Flex is relavant to this group of users.

  9. Come to Brazil. Throw a party.;)

  10. Campbell says:

    Your preaching the converted here. Make more examples about intergrating with other technolgies. Show a Manager a stock standard Flex graphing component thats surrounded with a standard Blue windows frame border and thier eyes buldge. They love reporting. I guess what Im saying is show how flex can be intergrated with other technologies to add to existing products….getting new developers across and using it. Every project where I have intergrated with another lanuage the developers have been happy with how it looks and acts as an interface/GUI, show more of this (equivalent to showing some leg)And definately pimp Flex to new developers coming through. You have the added bonus of instant gratification….small amount of code produces big (and pretty) results compared to other platforms. “Adobe hire an intern week”, cheaper educational liscenses, beginner competitions for younger ones… jump in on student projects where flex might be applicable and give them free copies of builder etc…..

  11. asl says:

    Adobe misses the mark on supporting university students and instructors. Sure you have academic pricing on Dreamwever, etc. But for the DEVELOPMENT TOOLS, Adobe just doesn’t compete….when all the popular server-side languages (PHP, Python, etc) can be hosted for free, how is ColdFusion expected to compete? On the client, few university students will ever spend $ for FlexBuilder, and they probably won’t code for the command line SDK if they can use VisualStudio, etc to do WYSIWYG development of a client instead. (The keen commandline oriented people at univesities seem to be using Linux, where the completed Flex projects can’t run).The university students are the ones that you can hook, and that will turn into the future paying customers when they graduate and enter the workforce.Please take a lesson from M$..they pass out free CDs with fully functional developer products to students. Put a time limit on the distribution if you must, but the 30 day trial is way too short.I’d also suggest giving free training courses to the university instructors. If they understand the product, and see the potential, they’ll set class projects using the technology and then hopefully some more fully functional demos and open source projects will leak out into the community.

  12. Arun Sarma says:

    Two things:1. As you might know, here in India, we have a huge population of Flash developers. Only about 30% of them (as far as I know) have used Flex. We havent had a seminar/event here in a longtime. It would be really nice to have such an event that promotes Flex – people who know and dont know will surely be there to get a grasp on things. There are a lot of people I know, who, know what Flex is, but, think its something really complex and they dont want to get into. These developers are very good, but, complexity and time is holding them back. There should be something to say “hey! flex isnt as complex as you think”2. I also agree with Graeme’s post. The Dotnet community is huge and with the WPF coming, it we dont want to be the dude without the gun 🙂

  13. – Give us a proper developer website. One that includes an open bugbase (instead of a form on the adobe site, or the forums ) for the Flex 2 technology stack, that includes the Flash Player/AVM+, the Framework and the Tooling. One with code/library downloads that actually ship (how long has cairngorm been in ‘beta’?)- A subscription model much as MSDN. Different subscription models that supports both the independent/small ISV as well as the enterprise market- Probably too late for MAX 06 but i know Microsoft makes there TechED and PDC sessions available on DVD.- Quickwin…developer schwag. Tshirts, pens, stickers, laptop bags, buttons, mousepads you know the works. Our girlfriends/wives will not, but we will never see no to another cool tshirt…- Long term…something like the JCP for the Flash Platform?

  14. George Smith says:

    There are not enough Real WOrld Applications for large companies to want to use it. First of all samples or consitency would be great. I use Cold Fusion and since thats Adobe I would think they would cater the samples to that crowd first. I know there are some but the samples try and be to inpresive. I have been working for more than a month on one application. Thats way to long! simple stuff is almost imposable to figure out or get samples. DB to fill Combobox using RemoteObject; I have been trying this for a week. no answers after posting on more that 3 forums. So after saying this I dont want to jump up and say Flex is the best if I cant prove it. Pretty much look at ASFusion.com and replicate ALL of the CF flash forms in Flex and use the RO since thats the best communication for large data sets. This would make me happy! If I could build something great (Im almost done with an app) large companies could see the app and want to know how it was done, then those companies would have a reason to graduate to Flex. There are more that 100 gigantic companies that use our site on a daily basis. I use CF Flash Forms for most of the stuff. It looks good and functions good. I want it to look great and function great though thats where Flex comes in. Without working usefull appications there is low exposure; if developers have a hard time developing; there are no applications to get exposure. So far im intrigued with Flex but not impressed due to development time. I hope it all works out, publishing books the day Flex Builder came out would have been a great idea.

  15. InternationalizationI agree with the comments on this post about the need to make the Flex community feel more international. I was surprised that many of the visitors to my blog were based in Russia.The Importance of a Good Developer NetworkI agree with Ryan Stewart’s comments about the need to learn from Microsoft’s (and Sun’s to a lesser extent) excellent developer programs. I suspect one of the consequences of Adobe’s technical “high-command” being so Java-oriented is that the guys in decision-making positions just don’t know how effective MSDN is. For a small annual fee, MSDN subscribers receive every Microsoft product (including Enterprise Editions of Windows Server, SQL Server, BizTalk, betas of Communication Foundation, Presentation Foundation, the lot) through the mail. The weekly .NET Rocks! podcast is hugely popular with over 500,000 weekly downloads and some smart guests.Adobe’s Developer Network is fine if you’re using LiveCycle but not much good for anything else. If you’re building a proof of concept in a corporation your Adobe Flex Builder 30-day trial runs out before you’re done building the PoC, never mind selling the concept to the management.Adobe distributes code for a bunch of kick-ass sample Flex applications to its world-wide sales teams but this code’s not available to the community. Sort it out guys. Developers need kick-ass demos to convince internal budget holders to adopt Flex.What’s developers’ biggest concern about Flash?Adobe need to realize the importance of getting the ubiquity of the Player message across to developers. If I had to name one “message” that I have found the most effective at getting Flash taken seriously as a development target for the presentation tier, it is the ubiquity of the Player. Adobe has a blind spot here as web “designers” in the web industry know about this already. BUT MOST DEVELOPERS DON’T KNOW THAT THE PLAYER IS INSTALLED ON 98% OF DESKTOPS. Adobe needs to get this message across to developers more effectively. That’s why I give this ubiquity results pride in every proposal I make for the adoption of Flash:-http://graemeharker.blogspot.com/2006/06/flex-2-whats-in-it-for-net-developers.htmlSelling Flex to the Java CommunityWith the advent of Web 2.0 and the improvements to Microsoft’s desktop technologies, enterprise Java developers are feeling the squeeze on the desktop. Many corporations are already migrating their legacy Swing applications to Ajax and Windows Forms. Ajax will be OK as “lipstick” on the JSP “pig” but unless Java developers get their act together, Microsoft will kill them on the desktop. There’s an obvious opportunity for Flex to become the Java developer’s defense against the Microsoft Presentation Foundation onslaught. The problem is that most Java developers don’t know Flex exists, and if they do, have completely the wrong idea about what is it and what it offers them. Understandably Java developers don’t think of Adobe as a provider of development technologies. Adobe MUST address that perception problem.Alliances, Alliances, AlliancesThere’s also a potential mutual co-operation opportunity for Adobe with big technology providers who have a vested interest in seeing Java continue its success. IBM, Sun, BEA spring immediately to mind. Adobe needs to sell those corporations on how Flex can help defend their market share in the new “rich” world. “Is there life after JSPs?” (There’s a good title for a billboard.)Why not work with the Eclipse foundation to integrate Flex Builder with the Eclipse Web Tools Platform Project (included in Eclipse, Rational and also now in WebLogic)?and don’t forget .NET developersAdobe would be foolish to continue to ignore the .NET developer community. The .NET developer community is HUGE and growing, not least because it’s a fantastic development environment and because it’s free. I find the lack of .NET samples on flex.org completely astonishing. .NET developers are not all idiots/mindless bigots. While it’s true that many professional .NET developers will be using WPF on the desktop, there will be many .NET developers who decide to adopt Apollo/Flex for the presentation tier (for lots of good reasons). Let’s not concede defeat to WPF before we’ve started.Ajax PositioningAdobe needs to more marketing thinking about Flex’ positioning against Ajax. While there are some functionality differentiators for Flex (and these are not well understood by developers), Flex’ strongest differentiators against Ajax lie elsewhere. It’s in the areas of scalability, performance and developer tooling where Flex is at it’s strongest. That’s where the messaging focus should be.

  16. Hi Matt,I one to share an idea. Maybe it would be great that sites like flex.org will have a list of sites devoted to flex in other languajes.Many people coming in other countries coming to flex want to know about community portals in others idioms/languajes.We create “MADE IN FLEX” a spanish flex community portal to support flex spanish and latino american developers. I’m sure that other people in different countries comes with the same approach to give flex articles and information or mailing lists in their own languaje.I think it would be great it would be listed in flex.org so people comming to flex could go and read flex info in his own languaje.Do you think it’s a good idea?Thanks for the effort :)C.

  17. Jeremy says:

    I’m pretty interested in what’s your plan for the pan-Asia market ? I mean Taiwan, Hong Kong and China and/or Japan ?Have you got spare resources to help local developers/consultans/service providers to push the technology in each respect?I could be of some help if one day you decide to take actions.

  18. Yakov Fain says:

    It’s better than I thought, but not good enough. I still have a feeling of a small town community where people keep telling to each other that their town is the best. Try to convince people who live in other and larger cities, if you know what I mean… I blogged on the subj over here:http://yakovfain.javadevelopersjournal.com/adobe_flex_marketing.htm

  19. Hello,I am studing possibilities to build a free “school” for Flex. Please, contact me if you(or any one you know) have interests about it.Thanks

  20. Hey Matt,I’m writing Flexible Rails; thanks for mentioning it here! [Shameless plug: while it is a work in progress (it’s currently in Alpha), it is for sale *now* as a PDF download. People seem to be enjoying it so far.]I think that reaching out to the Ruby on Rails community is an especially great way to increase the visibility of Flex–many of the leaders of the Rails community are very active bloggers, not just the guys at 37signals.After I finish the next release of the book I was considering doing a screencast (starting from nothing and ending up with a working Flex + Rails app, probably some subset of the main example in the book). The Ruby on Rails screencasts are an extremely effective marketing tool.I don’t have any screencast software though–I don’t have the $$$ for a Captivate license after having just bought Flex Builder 2 out of my own pocket! Also, I’m not sure if I could afford the bandwidth charges (and I’m not sure if the screencast would fit on YouTube and still be decent quality and length). If you have any ideas could you email me?Cheers,Peter Armstrong

  21. Hans says:

    “For Flex to be REALLY successful we need the support of the community…”The best way to support the Flex community–and to encourage far more developers to join the community–would be to do away with the ‘bait and switch’ pricing model for FDS. The gap between one and two CPUs–Express versus Enterprise–is *at least* an order of magnitude away from reality. Departmental is a joke for public-facing apps, and suggesting SOAP or HTTP as an alternative is an insult to developers. $20K per CPU to play with the cool kids makes Flex as a whole much less cool… especially to developers outside of the regular Adobe community. That’s the buzz I’m hearing on the street… especially in startup scene, where the next killer apps are mostly likely to come from.

  22. Igor Costa says:

    Completing what I’ve said, I’m really doing that without no refounds or any support of Adobe Flex Team, if those of you would really like to help me out sending some promotional materials, swangs, bla bla, I will be very pround.Likewise doing that it’s incredible due to the Fact flex is growing here and those people who doesn’t be very confortable using Flash now they are adopting Flex in large scale.One of the reasons to move on from a small city where I’ve lived from big city Sao Paulo, just because of that, because of Flex and their focus on growing and change the way developers could really adopt Flex in their enviroment of development.So, guys don’t stop work, you really doing a great Job, and I’m really intresting in start developing a University program here in Brazil, Because I did a opportunity with many of them and those who I’ve talked liked a lot, please point me on that on how could become a reallity here.Thanks keep doing.

  23. Igor Costa says:

    So, in other hand about the Market here in Brazil about Flex, as you may probably know here we have one a growing community cross theses years of creation of Flex almost2 years ago, that’s my community called Flex-Brasil, today more members and more developers are accepting the Adobe Flex 2 as their plataform to develop.I’ve spoken at many industries events here and university and colleges about the benefits of using Flex as their Rich Client applications. I’m booked in lot’s of way and doing my best because my point of view with Ellen wagner that adobe it’s very intresting in doing Flex in the academic world, including Brazil.The propose of my work it’s grow and help adobe Flex team to create a good community and great experiences with new developers adopting the Adobe Flex in their professional life.Doing the right thing here from Brazil, you probably could say to your team, I’m working hard to adopt Flex in Business environment.Here’s a short links of I mentionedFlex-Brazil community ( was founded 20 days later of flex-Coders)http://br.groups.yahoo.com/group/flex-brasil/A section of Flex in a big portal of IT professional ( almost 10 thousand access per months )http://www.imasters.com.br/secao/flexMy Blog where I dedicated in adobe technologies but too in Flexwww.igorcosta.comSome pictures you can find where I’ve spoken and talking about Flex here in Brazil.Flex 2 – At Imprensa Oficial they are who develop to the government are strong users of Coldfusion client now Flexhttp://picasaweb.google.com/igorcosta/FotosDoEncontroWebdayNaImprensaOficialDoEstadoDeSOPauloAdobe Flex 2 and Flex-Brazil presenting at a university called FIAP about “Please Java developers meet Mr. Flex”http://picasaweb.google.com/igorcosta/PalestraNaFIAP

  24. Rich Tretola says:

    Fortunately, I was able to sell Flex as the development tool of the future to my manager way back during the Royale beta so this doesn’t apply to me directly. I have heard from many others in the community that Flex has historically been a hard sell due to the costs involved in previous version as well as Flex 2 FDS. Dont’t get me wrong,it is a great thing that you have made Flex available to the community as a completlely free product with certain limitations depending on usage.I have heard from many developers who are basically doing the same thing, and that is creating presentations trying to sell Flex to their own companies. In my opinion, Adobe should help with this process as much as possible.I would love to see some canned presentations available with the content aimed not at the developer (we already know how great Flex is) but aimed at managers who really only care about why Flex is a better solution and what kind of return on investment they could expect. They could and should contain case studies from other company successes.If Adobe gives us some strict guidelines to follow (required content, project category, etc), I am sure that the developers in the community would love to share their experiences with Flex in their company and produce these presentations. This could build up a nice library of success stories in many of the different categories of Flex applications making it very easy for a developer to find a presetation that they can use to show their company how another company has already had success in a similar project.So, if Adobe is interested in doing a “Success Stories with Flex” library that would be fantastic. If not, I would be willing to start this at EverythingFlex.com. If anyone else is willing to help, I would greatly appreciate it. Feel free to contact me.Rich

  25. Dreamer says:

    I wanna know if there will be some articles and training in Chinese. I am a Chinese,I wish you can release a Chinese version.:)And I have translated some articles,such as Quick Starts,articles from Flex DevNet, but I don’t think that is enough.So I hope you can release some articles for Chinese Developer.Thanks very much.

  26. Leif Wells says:

    I just became the full-time Rich Internet Application Evangelist for my company, RBX Global, in Atlanta.I am just at the begining of getting organized and one of the many things I have on my plate is starting a Rich Internet Application User Group (I am already running the Adobe User Group of Atlanta).If there is anything that I can do to help out, just ask.(emails sanitized from the spam madness)leif _AT_ rbxglobal _DOT_ comleif _AT_ augatlanta _DOT_ org

  27. Tariq Ahmed says:

    Wow, nice!Can you put up some Flex car decals, license plate covers, and other marketing goods we could buy to help promote the Flex brand?Everywhere you go, I want Flex to be so prevelant that it feels like it’s all around you. That everyone is into it. That it’s bigger than it is.I feel that the focus of the marketing effort is getting developers on board, and thats totally what needs to be done. But there has to be a phase 2 where you attack on the other end – the guys who have they money.The CTOs, CIOs, VPs of Technology need to feel confident that this is the right technology for their organization, so that when their developers are saying they want Flex that they’re willing to buy into it from both a strategic and financial approach.Holding sessions that are geared more from the business perspective. Advertising in business magazines (CIO Magazine) and business sites vs tech sites and tech mags.Thanks, I love Flex, and I’ll volunteer to have a Flex tatoo if you’ll approve of the use of the trademark 🙂

  28. greg h says:

    Flex 101 Video TrainingCould you license either of the following to stream off either Flex.org or Adobe.com?– James Talbot’s Total Training for Adobe® Flex 2 Rich Internet Applications– David Gassner’s Lynda.com Flex 2 Essential TrainingIt would be a ginormous jump start for Flex 2 newbies. And likely it will help sell a ton of the training DVDs too 🙂