Adobe Ships New Flash Platform Tools, Social Service

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-03-22

Adobe Ships New Flash Platform Tools, Social Service

Adobe Systems has announced the availability of Adobe Flash Builder 4 and ColdFusion Builder software, next generation Flash Platform tooling for building multiplatform rich Internet applications (RIAs). In addition, Adobe added a new Social service to its recently introduced Adobe Flash Platform Services.

Flash Builder 4, formerly known as Adobe Flex Builder, is an Eclipse-based development tool for building multiplatform rich Internet applications (RIAs) and content using the open-source Flex framework. Developers can build more intuitive Web applications that enable customers, partners and employees to better understand and use data, Adobe officials said.

In addition, Flash Builder 4 accelerates development and testing of RIAs and content, providing new and improved coding and testing capabilities, while allowing designers and developers to more efficiently collaborate using new integrated workflows with Adobe Creative Suite. And Flash Builder 4 enables enhanced integration with a variety of data back ends -- including PHP, ColdFusion, Java and Adobe LiveCycle -- and easy introspection and consumption of Representational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) based services.

"Companies are under extraordinary pressure to keep their competitive edge," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Adobe Platform Business Unit, in a statement. "The Flash Platform helps companies deploy business-critical applications to a wide audience, while ColdFusion Builder and Flash Builder truly accelerate the development process. We look forward to seeing what our talented developer community creates with these latest additions in our developer ecosystem."

Chris Griffith, a staff engineer at Qualcomm, said: "Adobe Flash Builder 4 and the Flex framework have become invaluable in Qualcomm's user experience efforts. With the release of Flash Builder 4, it has enabled us to build projects - from mobile to Web to the desktop - faster and in a cleaner, more concise fashion. As a result, our team can now explore new ideas without the previous overhead of recoding user interface elements."

Meanwhile, Adobe also has introduced an updated version of its open source Flex 4 framework, which includes a new component architecture for RIAs providing separation of appearance and functionality, enabling each to be changed independently without affecting the other. It provides a new skinning and component architecture, code-named Spark, which builds on top of the existing MX architecture, providing a more efficient mechanism for developers and designers to work together to control the appearance of their Flex applications.

"Creating the UI components with the new skinning architecture in Adobe Flash Builder is significantly faster - making my job much easier and less stressful - and lets us produce more creative, compelling interfaces," said Jason Ervin, a Flex and Flash developer at Spiceworks.

Emmanuel Laborde, director of engineering at SAP, said, "When our developers work with Flex, they can take a more creative, visual approach to building applications, and it shows in quality and interactivity of the end product."

And Jaanus Kase, an engineer in the human-computer interaction program at Carnegie Mellon University, said, "I've worked in other environments like HTML and JavaScript, but Adobe Flex literally takes half the time to create each iteration. With Flex, I can focus on delivering an engaging user experience, versus spending non-productive time debugging, working on speed optimizations, or worrying about browser compatibility issues."

Integrating with Social Networks


Meanwhile, Adobe's new Social service streamlines integration between Web applications and 14 leading social networks using Facebook Connect, Sign-in with Twitter, MySpaceID and LinkedIn. In collaboration with Gigya, the new Adobe Flash Platform Services Social service enables developers to rapidly integrate applications created with Flash Builder and Adobe Flash Professional with social networks.

Adobe officials said developers no longer need to do the work of integrating with each separate, constantly changing social network service API to provide users access to multiple networks. A single Flash Platform Services layer does the heavy lifting across multiple social networks, Adobe said. Additionally, the Social service will monitor each social network site to ensure changes to APIs do not break applications.

"We are pleased to partner with Adobe to provide technology for the Adobe Flash Platform Services Social Service," said David Yovanno, chief executive officer at Gigya, in a statement. "With the recent growth in referred traffic coming from social networks, this new service will help developers more easily create innovative applications that can reach larger audiences. Our customers experience increases in registration rates, social referred traffic and time spent by establishing and optimizing connections to the social networks."

Also for developers, Adobe announced the availability of ColdFusion Builder, a new Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for rapidly building ColdFusion applications that is integrated with Flash Builder 4 for fast, easy RIA development, the company said. ColdFusion Builder provides a unified, customizable and extensible development environment to code applications, manage servers and deploy projects.

James Brown, development director at Wrecking Ball Media Group, said, "ColdFusion Builder is fast and intuitive. With features like line-by-line debugging, code introspection, and code highlighting, we can save hours that would otherwise be spent saving files, checking them back in, and refreshing them. ColdFusion Builder is a powerful IDE that brings ColdFusion 9 even more solidly to the forefront of enterprise-level programming languages."

The availability of Flash Builder 4 comes in advance of the much anticipated release of Flash Player 10.1, which is expected in the first half of 2010. Currently available in beta, Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 software enable designers and developers to use the same code, assets, frameworks, tools and services to create the most expressive applications, content and video for the browser and the desktop today, as well as mobile platforms in the future, the company said.

For detailed information on Flash Builder 4, Flex 4, ColdFusion Builder or the new Adobe Social service go to,, and, respectively.

Pricing for Flash Builder 4 Standard is $249, Flash Builder 4 Premium is $699 and ColdFusion Builder is $299. 

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