IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding the fundamentals of Flex
Getting to know Flex applications
Developing in Flex versus Flash
Using Flex with object-oriented programming
Understanding the Flash Player
Learning the history of the Flash Player
Making the most of Flex 4 development tools
Flex 4 is the most recent version of a platform for developing and deploying software applications that run on top of Adobe Flash Player for the Web and Adobe AIR for the desktop. While such tools have existed for many years, the most recent set from Adobe Systems enables programmers with object-oriented backgrounds to become productive very quickly using the skills they already have learned in other programming languages and platforms.
Since the release of Flex 2, the Flex development environment has encouraged a development workflow similar to that used in desktop development environments such as Visual Studio, Delphi, and JBuilder. The developer writes source code and compiles an application locally and then, for applications designed for deployment from the Web, uploads the finished application to a Web server for access by the user. That isn't how Flex started, however.
Flex was originally released by Macromedia as a server-based application deployment and hosting platform. In the early versions of the Flex product line, an MXML/ActionScript compiler was included in a Java-based Web application hosted on a Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) server. Application source code was stored ...