What is Flex - Adobe Flex for Web Development

By: Revill Web Design

What is flex

Overview of flex and flex history

Adobe Flex is an open-source suite that allows developers to create slick looking web applications for browsers, mobiles and desktops across multiple platforms.

Flex brings together MXML an XML based structure to create the GUI or visual part of the application and ActionScript to provide the functionality, animations and interactivity.

It is an object based development package that offers a massive deal of flexibility with many excellent built in methods and libraries.

What is flex used for?

Flex Web Applications

Adobe Flex's diverse suit provides a wonderful environment to produce powerful and feature rich web applications. In comparison to creating a HTML web application, Flex's MXML would be the HTML and the ActionScript would be the JavaScript, with the combination it is possible to create web applications with wonderful user experience and functionality. PHP and other popular server side programming languages can be used to provide database interactivity that bring the application to life.

Flex makes it easy to manipulate the look of all the applications and can be styled with CSS in a similar manner to HTML.

Flex Adobe Air Applications

Adobe Air allows you to make Flex applications for the desktop, the same code is used as with the web applications meaning that a web application is quickly ported to the desktop environment. Adobe Air is essentially a Flash wrapper, meaning that it will behave the same on any operating system a superb benefit for Adobe Air over other development suites.

Because of this it is very easy to make cross Operating System and platform applications that can be used on almost all Mobile Devices, Tablets, PC Operating Systems and web servers.

Go to revill web design's site to look at some examples of Adobe Air applications built in Flex. Start thinking of what you will be coding!

Flex Mobile Applications

Along with the above points it is possible to develop Mobile applications with Flex for Android, Apple iOS and other quality mobile Operating Systems, making Adobe Flex a truly flexible language and development platform.

So what is flex? An open source write-once-run-everywhere development platform with excellent corporate backing from Adobe!

Benefits of Flex over Flash and HTML

Flex takes all the best bits of Flash and provides you with an platform tailored to making user interfaces, with it seamlessly integrated with ActionScript it is possible to jump straight in and start making high quality and modern web applications.

With the new HTML5 it is difficult for many web programmers to see the requirement for Flex or any other Flash based language, but Flex does have many advantages over HTML. The biggest is cross-browser compatibility, no more annoying issues with Internet-Explorer, Flex runs in Adobe Flash Player which can be found nearly everywhere and providing it is running on the same version, it will run exactly the same.

Additionally another large advantage of Flex, especially for programmers is the hidden source-code. It is very difficult for someone to steal the source code from a Flex application where with a HTML5 and JavaScript enabled applications users have direct access to the code.

Flex makes it possible to do many things that would either be impossible or very difficult to achieve with HTML5 especially when you have to contend with so many different browsers and other environments.

Flex makes it very easy to re-skin and style your applications on the fly and makes keeping up to date with the latest formats simple, Flex has a huge set of components build in and readily available at the developers exposure, this with its object oriented nature makes it a dream to develop with.


Flex is a fast growing development package with some powerful in built features, if you have not already checked it out, you should be! Watch this space for further updates and information about Flex! Take a look at our website for Flex snippets and tutorials!

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