Flash Builder 4 and Flex 4 SDK final release – A quick peek

Today, Adobe released the final versions of both the Flex SDK and Flash Builder 4. I have been dabbling with the beta versions for some time now and so I thought this would be a good time than any to note down a couple of things that I found interesting about the two.

Flex 4

Spark – The main change in next version of this completely open source framework extraordinaire is no doubt, Spark, the new component architecture introduced in this version. At first it was a bit daunting, and I didn’t even know why Adobe felt the earlier Halo components needed tweaking. However, after reading more and with just a little effort, the advantages were obvious. Spark was designed to completely separate appearance from behavior, and achieves just that. New users of Flex, not used to MX, will find Spark much more easier to learn.

States – This is one change I’m sure no one will complain about. The earlier implementation of states in Flex was something archaic and one that always felt out of place. The new process is much easier and simply speaking, makes much more sense.

FXG – A new format that helps exporting project files within the platform. Developers/designers who use multiple tools will definitely like this. I used it when testing out the Flash Catalyst.

Easier binding – Throw out the [Bindable]. Welcome ‘@’.

Other new or improved features in Flex 4 include a new video component and wrapper, an ASDoc tool and support for the text layout framework. The text layout framework is a highly powerful framework that greatly enhances our text display capabilities. Something I’ve experienced in an earlier project. Now it comes built-in.

Flash Builder 4

Automatic getter/setter generation – The surprise would have been if this wasn’t included.

Network monitor – Something for which I had to rely upon third party tools, and that too in a non-direct methods. Extremely useful in testing and optimization. The built in network monitor helps easily identify which part of my Flex application eats up network resources so that I can modify it and make it more efficient. The feature is doubly useful when you are also in charge of the server side.

The data/service model – What I would rank as the best new feature. The data/service model and related features incorporated make development of client-server architecture solutions rapid and mind bogglingly easier. We can now view all the server side logic listed as a tree, what are the required parameters and the output types. We can now even unit test with test data each function and view the output. And if you are feeling lazy, it can even develop some server side Coldfusion or PHP classes for you on properly defining the database tables. A very helpful feature for developers who hate working on anything other than ActionScript. This feature is so powerful, it’s hard to believe that it’s a standard part of the IDE. I would have hardly minded throwing out some more money just for this feature alone.

Package explorer – You no longer have to make do with the old Flex Builder explorer which was just a file explorer posing as a package explorer.

Some of you might say that I missed the most obvious and most hyped introduction, the Flash Catalyst based work flow. It does simplify things, and definitely speeds up the process, but it still is a separate tool. Extremely useful for coders who have a designing handicap. Again, Flash builder 4 also features many other enhancements and features and also many under the hood changes such as improved debugger and others.

Latest stories

  • How LEGO-like software development using Microservices helped Toobler?

    Microservices: Legos for Software Development  We are so much in love with colorful plastic bricks aka LEGOs! In an age of online games and internet-connected toys, the humble Lego brick has risen against all odds.With approximately 62 pieces of Lego bricks for every man, woman and child  on the face of the earth, mere 6 […]

  • If you are in Jordan looking for app development support you should read this

    From downloading a mobile app  to visiting a brick-and-mortar store, customers today value every interaction with a brand. A great customer experience leaves a lasting impression in their minds about the happy and satisfying experience.  Winning the customer experience race Every  interaction offers  a make-or-break opportunity for a brand to either  build a loyal customer […]

  • Enhanced Efficiency & Optimized Cost of Project Development with Sweden Hybrid Model.

    Going beyond the cost factor and striving to deliver quality, innovation and flexibility to its customers across the globe, Toobler introduced a Hybrid (Onshore and Offshore) Software Development Model. Huge popularity of the hybrid model is fuelled by scores of organizations choosing to keep design and architecture phases at geographic proximity.  Driven by a customer-centric […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *