Flex 3 Release World Tour Hit Raleigh/Durham

Last night, Ben Forta came to Cary, North Carolina to showcase the soon to be released Flex 3 and AIR products from Adobe.

Flex Builder 3 is a compelling upgrade for the product. The IDE offering has actually gone down in price even while adding nice new features like Improved Designer/Developer workflow, a memory profiler, advanced components, and support for the AIR platform.

For more complete information on Flex 3 Features see the labs.adobe.com page.

Also soon to be released is the long awaited Abode Integrated Runtime product. AIR, as it is known for short, offers a cross-operating system runtime that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax) to build and deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop.

This means your application can now access the local file system, accept drag and drop assets from the desktop, run outside of the browser and actually run completely offline. The product even contains the SQLite database to help handle offline data.

Many people have not fully grasped one of the most interesting features of AIR. You can write a desktop application using the AIR platform, HTML and Javascript. This will level the playing field by allowing existing web developers and designers to use their current skilling to create functionally relevant desktop applications.

Honors of the night go to the Anthropologie demonstration. The premise of the application is to show how the Anthropologie catalog of apparel can be displayed in an offline mode. The user can search for an article of clothing based on standardized parameters. The user can also drag an image onto the application and use a color dropper to select a color and use that color as search criteria using very intuitive workflow. When Ben actually drug a picture onto the application, selected a color and the search results automatically filtered, the collective breath left the room. See for yourself at this video of the Anthropologie Catalog AIR application.


Are you prepared for the upcoming RIA arms race? It promises to be interesting!

Note: I've been keeping up to date with the blog chatter on the meeting. A local TV station even interviewed Ben Forta! See my article on ria.dzone.com for more content./p>

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1/25/08 11:56 AM # Posted By Lola LB

The Anthropologie application looks very intriguing. It'd be nice to see a Lands End or L. L. Beans version. No more paper catalogs! Ah, well, one can always wish . . .