In This Appendix
Downloading Flex and Flex Builder
Installing Flex Builder
Installing the Flex plug-in
Building a sample Flex application
Working with the Flex SDK
Before you can start using Flex, you need to install and configure it. There are three options for using Flex. First, you can use the stand-alone Flex Builder application, which is the IDE developed by Adobe, built on the Eclipse framework. Second, if you already use Eclipse, you can install the Flex plug-in, which gives you the same functionality in the editor that you already know. The third and final option is the Flex SDK (command line). The first two options require that you purchase a license from Adobe; the third option, SDK, is free. In fact, Flex (not the builder) is open source and allows the community to submit changes as well as publicly test the functionality. The general advantage of open source is a large support user base that's not restricted to Adobe professionals; the same is true for Flex.
Before installing the applications, let's take a look at some important points for each option.
Is the self-contained IDE
Was developed by Adobe specifically for Flex and ActionScript development
Has the ability to load third-party Eclipse plug-ins, such as SVN and debugging tools
Flex (Eclipse plug-in):
Leverages existing plug-ins and abilities within the stand-alone Eclipse IDE
Is maintained by the Eclipse group
Has the ability to integrate with Flex plug-ins ...