I am home from MAX and curious what you guys thought?

On the positive side:

There seems to be a lot of excitement around Flex Builder 2 and the advantage of ActionScript 3 in Flash.
If you have not already, check it out the new stuff on http://labs.macromedia.com/

The role of the builder independent of the server has finally provided a stable bridge for the free lance developer (Flash, ColdFusion and Java) to build Flex applications. I know there was a huge demand for such a thing after we launched the first version of Flex and now that it is here and in alpha we all get the opportunity to make sure it is a huge success.There were also some encouraging comments on the direction of the Flash platform and our vision for the Mobile and Enterprise spaces with Flash and Flex.Lots of people seem to have jumped on board to Flash 8 with much enthusiasm although many had not yet discovered most of the new expressiveness features. I am certain many people left Max this year with a head full of creative ideas.On the negative side:I heard some unexpected disappointments about our discontinuing the DRK components. Some people even thought the decision to do so was because we were moving all of that functionality into Flex. (This is really not true. The DRK components were not distributed as widely as possible and required a lot of resources to coordinate their publication. They were normally developed by third parties and so as we moved to ActionScript 2 and more complex architectures the components became increasingly difficult to support. Things like the charting components were not ported to Flex from the DRKs but are uniquely written from the ground up for the Flex environment.)There was also some discussion on the thought that Flex may take over Flash, Flash Remoting and ColdFusion. (This is not true either. Flash is optimal for animation, component development, and that uniquely creative blend of design and interaction that goes beyond the needs of most business applications. Also in my opinion you can expect it to become the platform of choice for Mobile development which currently leans towards very personalized non-traditional UI. Cold Fusion and Flash Remoting have a home too. Just consider it a question of scale. Small to midsized companies may only need to develop a few new applications a year and may have only a few hundred users on their applications simultaneously. While the Flex Enterprise companies may need to churn out dozens of new applications a year, or even have applications custom built automatically based on business rules. They may have hundreds of developers working on applications that must sustain thousands of simultaneous users. This will be a lot easier to do with Flex then with Flash and Cold Fusion. That and they can make use of their existing Java developers to build new applications with out much additional training due to the new Flex Builder. Also don’t forget, the midsized companies can use Flex Builder to develop more business application oriented projects and they can still target ColdFusion as their application server. One day soon all of these technologies will work seamlessly together to provide the best possible user experiences online.)So enough of my babbling; what did you guys think? What are your questions, concerns, thoughts about the future?

4 Responses to I am home from MAX and curious what you guys thought?

  1. James Lyon says:

    MAX was great this year if only for Flex Builder, and the next gen AS and 8.5 player previews.I never had an opportunity to work with Flex 1/1.5 as pricing made it unrealistic but a standalone tool coupled with a compiler is just what I’ve petitioned for since the first Flex announcement.On the subject of murmurs, Flash Remoting wasn’t talked up as much as enterprise messaging and webservices. You say that it won’t be replaced but is it going to be pulled out of JRun and left with CF and Flex Ent.Our entire backend is JRun to JSP and JRun over Remoting to Flash. 😐

  2. jerry hamby says:

    Is Flex enterprise messaging just JRun JMS repackaged? How does the Flex enterprise messaging and JRun JMS compare?

  3. Ken says:

    Hi Jerry,I think you will find your answer here:http://weblogs.macromedia.com/mchotin/archives/2005/10/max_talk.cfmFlex Enterprise messaging is not JRun JMS re-packaged…

  4. Ken says:

    Hi James,As far as I know, remoting will always be available. However in my opinion you are liable to see completely new technologies evolve in Flex that will have capabilities beyond what Flash and ColdFusion and even Breeze were original designed for. As with most technologies there will be scenarios where each perform their best given the product requirements and resources available. Also at some point I would expect to see a smooth integration story where we have mapped out all the scenarios and how all the products fit together.Your opportunity on the beta is to help us with that integration story and make your needs as a developer known. There is a tendency in software for people to take the approach of out with the old and in with new. The reality of the world however normally requires we keep things running in parallel with each other because what is new does not generally meet real world needs 100% of the time no matter how attractive the new feature set may be. From my point of view the markets that will appeal to ColdFusion and Flex will be similar but different. As companys’ needs change in each market so will their needs for Flex or ColdFusion and those needs may not include swapping one for the other.That said, as a Cold Fusion Developer you have an opportunity to expand your individual skill set and marketability by making Flex and Flex Builder part of what use to develop applications. All without the steepest parts of the learning curve for Flash.