Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 accelerate mobile app development
Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced significant advancements in mobile application development as part of the Adobe Creative Suite® 5.5 product line that was released earlier this week in India. These innovations include all new tooling and framework support in Flash® Builder™ 4.5 software for developing, testing and deploying mobile applications on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms. Flex 4.5, an open source framework, includes new support for building mobile applications for Android, and support for BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS platforms is expected in June 2011. This new approach in mobile development enables developers to leverage a single tool chain, programming language and code base to easily create highly expressive applications across leading mobile platforms, greatly improving performance while reducing development time and cost of delivery.
Flash Builder 4.5 accelerates the development of Flex and ActionScript® projects, including new round-trip workflows with Adobe Flash Catalyst® CS 5.5 software that allow designers and developers to work in parallel throughout application development. Flash Builder 4.5 also includes new capabilities to enable faster and more productive coding as well as performance enhancements. The addition of Flash Builder 4.5 Premium to Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium software provides a major update to the award-winning suite of software for Web designers and developers.
“With these releases, developers for the first time have a single development platform for building highly expressive Web, mobile, and desktop applications, marking a leap forward for mobile app development,” said Ed Rowe, vice president of development tooling, Adobe. “With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, enterprises now need to ensure that their applications work seamlessly across many different types of devices. Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 will now allow companies to standardize on a common platform capable of delivering rich and consistent application experiences that perform great across Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS devices.”
One Common Code Base, Reduce Time to Market
In June, Adobe plans to release updates to the Flex framework that will enable developers to reuse most or all of their code across applications that target multiple platforms, including Web, desktop, Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS. Moving an application across different mobile platforms is often as simple as a recompile. New components expand the Spark skinning and component architecture introduced in Flex 4, while enhancements in Flash Builder 4.5 accelerate coding for Flex and ActionScript projects with best practice code templates, code completion and code generation features.
The new mobile development features in Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 are targeted at creating standalone installed applications using Adobe AIR 2.6 for mobile devices. In addition to Android Market, BlackBerry AppWorld and Apple’s iTunes AppStore, mobile apps can now be deployed to the Amazon Appstore for Android providing companies with additional monetization options through the largest online shopping destination. With advanced tooling and new features, such as soon to be deployed native code extensions, AIR is the most powerful way to deliver applications across multiple screens and platforms such as Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, iOS and desktop operating systems.
Recognizing the need for a better mobile experience, Standard Chartered utilized Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 to create a fully transactional banking application that offers a rich, engaging consumer experience across desktop computers, tablets, and smartphone devices.
“For the tablet and smartphone-based app, we cut time to market by 40 percent and investment by two-thirds by leveraging Adobe tools and our existing code for the Web-based application,” said Aman Narain, group head of remote banking, Standard Chartered. “Building a native application for each of these devices would not have been financially feasible.”
Improved Designer-Developer Workflow Speeds Development
Also announced today, Flash Catalyst CS5.5 features a new round-trip workflow with Flash Builder 4.5 allowing designers and developers to work in parallel. Now designers can open, make changes and save Flex projects that were created or previously edited in Flash Builder, leading to faster delivery of applications. Additionally, designers can rapidly prototype user interfaces for resizable Flex based websites and applications with new components, craft more precise and expressive transitions and effects, and efficiently design developer-built custom components. Flash Catalyst CS5.5 is also available in the Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium and Master Collection editions of Creative Suite 5.5.
“We use the Flex skinning architecture and Adobe Flash Catalyst to automatically generate graphics, which has cut our development cycle by 20 percent,” said Aaron Pedersen, founding partner and Web application architect, DevelopmentArc. “This workflow has helped the process of skinning and stylizing the look of Flex applications to meet the designer’s needs.”
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days, with availability through Adobe Authorized Resellers. Estimated street price is expected to be Rs 13741 for Flash Builder 4.5 Standard and Rs 45308 for Flash Builder 4.5 Premium. Flash Builder 4.5 Premium is also included in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available. Flex 4.5 is a free open source framework and expected to be available within 30 days.