June 12, 2007

Adobe rolls out Betas

Adobe Systems announced the public beta of Adobe Flex 3, Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) formerly code-named Apollo, Adobe Builder Beta and Flash Player update. With the new Flex and AIR Abode is pushing itself up in the rich Internet applications (RIAs) competition.

Adobe Flex 3 Beta:

The new version of cross platform, free open source framework for creating RIA adds rich new UI capabilities, enhanced developer productivity, desktop deployment and enterprise testing and performance tools. The Flex 3 public beta also marks the first significant deliverable for the open source Flex project, beginning with the availability of nightly builds and a public bug database. Some of the key changes in Flex 3 from its predecessors are:

  • Enhancement to designer/developer workflow.
  • New Containers (mx:ConstraintRow and mx:ConstraintColumn).
  • Code enhancement include: faster compilation, compiler class caching, deeper language intelligence for AS3/MXML/CSS, Code Search, Refactoring, Code Outline, Profiling, Profiling Live Memory Data, Enhanced Module support, and Multiple SDK support.
  • New Widgets, Components and Classes.
  • Smaller SWF file.

Ted Patrick had a week long blog entries on the new Flex version. Each of the above mentioned features is explained in detail.

Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR):

Apollo Runtime becomes Adobe Integrated Runtime. The cross-operating system runtime was code-named Apollo. It allows developers to use their existing web development skills to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop. Now AIR is set to become a major runtime that all the desktops will have. AIR will also pay a major roll in RIA, mashup softwares and Web 2.0 and beyond.

Adobe Flex Builder 3 Public Beta:

Flex Builder 3 Public Beta is available for download in Adobe Labs. This early public prerelease version begins a new, more transparent product development process from Adobe, with frequent, regular access to early builds and greater insight provided into the feature roadmap and planning process. The Flex Builder 3 beta release will provide you with an opportunity to explore powerful new features. Some of the new major features include:

  • Support for the new Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).
  • Code Refactoring.
  • Memory and performance profiling.
  • SWF file size reduction through persistent framework caching.

You can also view the complete detailed specs for Flex Builder 3.

Flash Player 9 Update 3 Beta 1:

The new Flash player is code-named "FrogStar". It adds support for caching the Flex Framework within the Flash Player. Moving forward the Flex Framework will be cached within the Flash Player dramatically reducing the size of the output SWF files. SWF files will contain only your code and Flex Preloader containing the caching/loading logic. Some of the new capabilities of Flash Player are:

  • Flex Framework to be cached for use across domains.
  • The Player Cache will support Flex 3.0 and future versions of the Flex Framework.
  • Flex Framework now supports Runtime Shared Libraries (RSL's).


So with these new features, Adobe is trying to capture the market which other Ajax libraries have. The size of SWF has been an issue for some time. I know some of the projects which opted other technologies like Openlazlo and others due to the size of SWF file.

Another important factor is with Sun’s JRE. Unless Sun reduces the size of JRE and make it more portable, its new RIA technology JavaFX will find it difficult to compete. Compared to Sun Micorsystems, Microsoft seems to be making ground with its new Ajax projects and other .Net enhancements.

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