Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Adobe Flex 2.0: Beta Released

Category: Flash, JavaScript

Adobe/Macromedia has released a public beta of Flex 2.0. This includes the new Flex Builder which is based on Eclipse. No more timeline in your face!

Adobe Flex 2.0 delivers an integrated set of tools and technology enabling developers to build and deploy scalable rich Internet Applications. Flex provides a modern, standards-based language supporting common design patterns and includes a client runtime, programming model, development environment, and advanced data services.

Adobe Flex 2.0 consists of:

  • Adobe Flex Framework 2.0
  • Adobe Flex Charting Components 2.0
  • Adobe Flex Builder 2.0
  • Adobe Flex Enterprise Services 2.0


Posted by Dion Almaer at 4:35 pm

4 rating from 36 votes


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You forgot the best part… the SDK is FREE!!!

The cost of using FLEX just dropped to 0. The only software that you have to pay for is the IDE.

Comment by Jonathan Boutelle — February 1, 2006


The cost of the SDK != the cost of use. Making developer tools free is not the same as making FLEX free. I haven’t seen any indication that the deployment licenses for commercial use are free. All Adobe has done is make the hook for their sales team free.


Comment by Alex Russell — February 1, 2006

It is my understanding that the IDE (Eclipse Plugin) will be the only thing you have to pay for, and will be less than $1,000 each. Kinda pricey, but it is significantly better than the $30k or so Flex used to cost.

Comment by Spencer Uresk — February 2, 2006

It’s true. The Flex SDK and the free version of the Flex Enterprise Services are free for both development and deployment. From the press release:

“The Flex Framework will be made available free of charge through the Flex Software Development Kit, which will include the command line compiler and documentation required to develop, compile, and deploy Flex applications that connect to XML and SOAP web services with no additional charges or server licensing required. Flex Builder 2.0 will be sold for less than $1,000 and will provide advanced visual design, intelligent code editing, debugging, and automated testing for delivering rich Internet applications. Flex Enterprise Services 2.0 will be free of charge for use by a limited number of concurrent users on a single, non-clustered server. Flex Enterprise Services 2.0 also will be licensed commercially on a per CPU, per project, and enterprise license basis. Final pricing and licensing for the Flex 2.0 product line will be announced when the products become commercially available.”

So that’s a Free SDK with full rights to deploy anything you build with it, a free server-side data servers (and the data services piece is recommended, but not required, BTW) on which you can deploy an app with a limited number of concurrent users. We’re still working on the specific number of users allowed by the free server, but the idea is to have it be enough to support relatively low volume, non-critical applications.

I think if you compare what you get for free here in just the SDK, you’ll find that it far surpasses the functionality and productivity you get with anything else on the market today. And it’s free. And if you want to do more advanced, data-intensive apps that benefit from some additional server-side intelligence, that’s still free for many smaller scale usage scenarios. Our goal is to take price out of the equation when developers are considering the best technology for building RIA.

Jeff Whatcott
Adobe Systems

Comment by Jeff Whatcott — February 2, 2006


Thanks for taking the time to reply.

It’s really great news that you’re actually opening up the tools *and* the deployment runtime like this, if for no other reason than that it makes a command-line AS 3.0 compiler available to everyone. Given that there will be commercial pricing for some components, I still don’t think it’s fair to characterize this as “free FLEX”, but it does look like an encouraging set of steps in the right direction.


Comment by Alex Russell — February 2, 2006

Hi Alex,

I think there is still a misunderstanding. It is fair to say “Free Flex” because you can develop and deploy Flex apps for free. There is a commercial IDE and a commercial server, but these are not required to build and deploy applications. Since this is AJAXIAN, let me put it in AJAX terms–building an AJAX application is free, and their are also free frameworks like OpenRico, but if you want to use tools and servers such as Tibco GI or Backbase those are commercial products. This is identical–we are creating an ecosystem to consists of both free and commercial products and developers/enterprises can pick and choose what they want for their needs, budget, etc.

Sound good?


Comment by David Mendels — February 2, 2006

I wonder how the limitation on the runtime will work. If it’s limited to a certain number of users and/or connections, what happens if you go over that? Will your site go down? That wouldn’t be acceptable for most commercial companies, however small. Anyhow, I know it’s difficult to work out such a limited ‘free’ model. Backbase can be used free of charge for non-commercial purposes, which is fairly limited, but it does allow anyone to get familiar with the software. I agree with Alex that the word ‘free’ is not 100% correct, but I guess that’s marketing: it would be strange to call it ‘sort-of-free’ :-)
Jep – Backbase

Comment by Jep Castelein — February 2, 2006

You mean Flex has finally come around and copied the last remaining feature of Laszlo – that it hadn’t already copied?

Being free is a good thing. Laszlo has been for over a year now.

Welcome Flex to the world of Laszlo.

Comment by Marc Canter — February 2, 2006

Hey David

I’m w/ Jep on this one. It’s unclear to me how “free up to an as-yet-undetermined limit” == “free”. I fully support your effort to return on your investment, and as I said before, it’s great news that you’re opening up the dev tools. That said, I’m also interested in seeing the announcement described accurately.


Comment by Alex Russell — February 3, 2006

Hi Alex,

Let me try again..I think I am failing to communicate:

The Flex SDK is free. Free free free. There are no limitations on development or deployment or runtime of Flex applications. No limits at all. Your site will never go down if you exceed certain limits. Free–free development, free compilation, free deployment, free runtime.

Flex Enterprise Services is *never* required. Flex Builder is *never* required. Again, the Flex SDK is free. :)

We also offer a product that is called Flex Enterprise Services, but so as not to confuse the issue (again :), I’ll address that seperarely. Suffice it to know for now that there are no dependencies on FES–you can always build and deploy Flex apps without buying anything.


Comment by David Mendels — February 3, 2006

Windows installers? I thought with the move to eclipse flex might become cross platform for development… bummer.

(i’m a mac user)

Comment by James — February 4, 2006

Hi James,

We are doing Mac as well. It just isn’t on the exact same schedule.


Comment by David Mendels — February 4, 2006

How free is Flex?

How free is Flex? I like David Mendels’ phrasing, in a discussion at Dion Almaer’s Ajaxian weblog: “The Flex SDK is free. Free free free. There are no limitations on development or deployment or runtime of Flex applications. No limits at all. Your s…

Trackback by JD on [TBD] — February 4, 2006

>mac support

You can find info on how to get things working on mac here:

(we will be posting more mac friendly downloads shortly).

Once you are set up on Mac, you can find info on how to compile here:

hope that helps…

mike chambers

Comment by mike chambers — February 4, 2006

Is it free like PHP? Can I develop in vi and serve it from any old *nix/Apache server?

Comment by pwb — February 6, 2006

Q: “Is it free like PHP? Can I develop in vi and serve it from any old *nix/Apache server?”

A: Yes.


Comment by David Mendels — February 7, 2006

Very true. You always seem to get your facts right.


Comment by digital electronic scales — February 13, 2006

Do you have an rss feed I can subscribe to?

Comment by Prefabricated Building — February 13, 2006


Will hosting companies be able to deploy flex for free for their users?

Q: “Is it free like PHP? Can I develop in vi and serve it from any old *nix/Apache server?�

A: Yes.


How does Macromedia plan to make money on flex if it is just as free as PHP?

Comment by Brian — February 19, 2006

I was wondering when some documentation/books will be release for Flex 2.0 application development….or maybe there are already?

Thanks for all the info

Comment by Eric — February 21, 2006

“How does Macromedia plan to make money on flex if it is just as free as PHP?”
PHP is free if you want the basic stuff, but Zend is a company that makes money off of it, with things like IDEs, training, support and enterprise services. Adobe plans to charge for the IDE (Flex Builder 2), as well as Flex Enterprise Services, which will be for large enterprises.

However, you will be able to write Flex applications in MXML and ActionScript using whatever editor you like, and compile those applications into Flash files using the compiler, which will be free.

If you’re interested in a tutorial on how to connect PHP and Flex, I’ve written a small sample at

I’ve also got Flex working with AMFPHP, and will be posting a tutorial shortly on how to use the two of those together.


Mike Potter
Adobe Open Source Evangelist

Comment by Mike Potter — February 24, 2006

FlashForward Keynote

There is a new feeling at the FlashForward conference this year. For starters, the swag bag covered a sizeable portion of my hotel bed (above). I was most impressed by the FlashFoward/Adobe beer mat and napkin. Then there was the keynote……

Trackback by cybergrain — March 1, 2006

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Comment by Hans — March 3, 2006

Thank you!

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Comment by e bonds — March 28, 2006

After many hours in the weightroom I have finally found the answer to my prayers… Lifting Adobe bricks makes my muscles Flex for free. Then when I react to the camera Flash and see my image down at the Photoshop I can finally see why an Illustrator would want to take note of my frame and suggest to a screenwriter friend that they write an Actionscript to support my ever increasing ego and Eclipse the notoriety of Arnold, making me as ubiquitous in the weight lifting world as perhaps Atlas.

Comment by Howdy Doody — April 6, 2006

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Comment by workhome — April 20, 2006

Hello David from Adobe,

Any more news about what the details are on the free server-side data server.

Let’s say someone wanted to make a simple Flex chat client that uses the messaging sevices of the Flex server that could handle like 20 client in the chat application (or any other low volume application like a psudeo-realtime or turned-based strategy/logic game). The client-side Flex application would pass chat messages (or game moves) to the sever and the server would push out the chat message to all clients (or in the case of a game, based on game logic, only some of the clients would get state updates).

Would a applications like these fall uder the “Flex Enterprise Services 2.0 will be free of charge for use by a limited number of concurrent users on a single, non-clustered server.” clause?

If not, that would kinda suck for the computer hobbyist as a high $$$ cost of a server license would make theses project useing Flex/Flex server not doable.

I would buy the IDE at under $1000 to make my coding so much easier, but without a “free low volume server” to process the messages, I would have no need to buy the IDE. Also, without a useable free sever, the open source guru’s (not I) might just make a “oFlex Server Project” for all of us little folks which could pull some enteprise user out of the buying market.

I can not find any real information about the server pricing and what the free server would offer. Any information or direction to information would be most appreciated.

P.S. I know it’s a long post, but it is atleat on topic… ;>

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Comment by movie mp4 psp — August 13, 2006

When I first found Flex I was really amazed. I had also previously tried some similar web application technologies like AJAX (of course), and XUL. At last, Adobe has created a tool to create Flash .swf with the programmer in mind. I always hated that designer’s “timeline” thing which was originally made for simple animations and then it tried to become an application platform. Now it IS or at least it CAN be an application platform. And it IS free in it’s concept at least as free as Java ;)

Anyway, what worries me is that Flash Player 9 supports Win and MacOS X. No mac os classic or even worse not a mention for Linux support. And it is even more worrying to me that support on Linux has somewhat stoped at version 7 of the player. Windows and Mac is not multiplatform support at least compared to where AJAX is and will be available.

The thing is that the more you try to implement Flashy stuff the more you need to take advantage of specific platform services and the less platforms you are able to support in the end. I ‘m worried that Flex/Flash might finally end up being an ActiveX for IE for Windows XP and above only !!!

Comment by Flex Startup — August 18, 2006

Adobe: On MAX, Mo’ Money, Walled Gardens, the Google Web and why Ecosystems are Like Nations.

I am some way behind on my conference blogging. One event I that I need to write up is Adobe MAX 2006, the developer conference held at the Venetia Hotel in Las Vegas last month. A central theme put forward during the two days…

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