Sencha Launches Adobe Flex to HTML5 Program for Developers

Sencha has launched a program to try to get Adobe Flex developers to move to HTML5 development using Sencha's tools and frameworks.

Sencha, a maker of application frameworks, tools and cloud services for developers, has launched a new fast-track program for Adobe Flex developers looking to develop HTML5 applications.

The new program provides Flex developers a variety of ways to become familiar with the Sencha suite of professional tools, which include Sencha Designer, an application builder for mobile and desktop Web applications, and Sencha Touch, a JavaScript framework for developing HTML5 Web apps and mobile-packaged applications.

Adobe Flex is an open-source software development kit (SDK) for developing cross-platform rich Internet applications based on the Adobe Flash platform. Flex applications can be written using Adobe Flash Builder or by using the freely available Flex compiler from Adobe. Flex, a powerful, open-source application framework, enables developers to build mobile applications for iOS, Android and BlackBerry Tablet OS devices, as well as traditional applications for browser and desktop using the same programming model, tool and code base.

Ted Patrick, Sencha€™s director of developer relations, said the company€™s technology is a great fit for Flex developers who want to reach the rapidly growing market for HTML5 applications.

€œDeveloping with Sencha frameworks enables Flex developers to leverage their core skills and build apps from classes, components and JavaScript that deliver pixel-perfect rendering across all popular mobile and desktop platforms,€ Patrick said in a statement. €œIn addition to our professional-grade tools, Sencha offers the training, support and documentation that Flex developers need to tackle serious development projects.€

In a blog post, Patrick added:

"Having worked on Flex at Adobe, I have a deep respect for Flex as a technology and ecosystem. Flex is great technology but the foundational dependency on Flash Player is forcing many projects to re-architect towards HTML5. Within this disruption, I believe there is a great opportunity for Flex developers to learn a new technology, leverage existing knowledge and deliver great application experiences with Sencha. I also believe that Flex developers have the opportunity to define and lead the movement toward HTML5 applications as they bring years of experience building world-class applications with components, classes, MVC and a futuristic version of ECMAScript."

Sencha offers Flex developers a fast path to getting productive with HTML5, Patrick said. Similar to Flex, Sencha frameworks are object-oriented and component-based, and offer a rich set of UI widgets, layouts and animations, with object lifecycle management and event handling. For more rapid development, Flex developers can use Sencha Designer, a visual application builder for creating complex user interfaces, data models and controllers. Sencha toolsets and frameworks also are backed by the company€™s technical support, services and training.

€œSencha is our vendor of choice for JavaScript frameworks,€ said Yakov Fain, managing director and partner of Farata Systems, in a statement. €œExt JS and Sencha Touch are well-architected, cleanly extensible and offer a solid foundation for any serious JavaScript development.€

To help Flex developers ramp up fast with new HTML5 technologies, Sencha has developed an educational curriculum and tools designed specifically for Flex developers. The Sencha initiative kicks off with a free webinar: Moving from Flex to HTML5 and Sencha. Along with the webinar, Sencha is delivering a series of HTML5 applications to road show training events over the coming months, and has published a white paper: "The Development Manager€™s Quick Guide to HTML5." In addition, Sencha is developing new features for its products to make it easier to connect to SOAP and SOA-based back-ends, and is implementing support for Adobe Action Message Format (AMF) to make it easier for developers to leverage existing back-ends while migrating their user interfaces to Sencha-based technology.

€œSencha frameworks provide a solid transition for Flex developers who want to get productive with HTML5,€ said Brett Cortese, president and CEO of Universal Mind, in a statement. €œWe€™re excited by the speed and efficiency we€™ve gained by using Ext JS and Sencha Touch for our clients€™ projects.€

€œSencha Touch is built from the ground up to leverage HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, enabling us to build rich Web applications that look and feel native right out of the box,€ Craig Walker, CTO of Xero, said in a statement. €œRelying on the extensive set of UI widgets, layouts and animations, we were able to start building features immediately from day one rather than worrying about the underlying architecture. Plus, we were able to leverage our existing skills and use open Web technologies.€

€œSencha frameworks provide a component layer and solid structure to ensure our large dev teams stay in sync when we create intricate components for our clients€™ multilayer enterprise apps,€ said Michael Labriola, senior consultant and founding partner of Digital Primates.