What’s this Flex thing?

Flex is a technology that allows the creation of Rich Internet Applications.

It’s somewhat of an alternative to DHTML w/ AJAX but they can also complement each other.

The visual building blocs for this kind of apps are the components. You can of course build your own components (from scratch or extending an existing one). Also, there are places where you can get additional components either commercially or from Open Source repositories.

Their main target is the Information Systems market and for the vast majority of these, the Adobe predefined components with or without a little style personalization will suffice.

The target platform is as ubiquitous as the Flash player, because these applications are compiled into plain .swf files.

It seams it was the result of a fork in the Flash platform caused by the different needs of two kinds of professionals that where using it: animators (who like time lines, frames, drawing tools and the like) and application builders (who just need combo boxes, radio buttons, text areas, menu bars, etc.).

Here are some cool examples of what you can do with this:

Dashboard

Home Locator

Restaurant Finder

You can go directly to the source to learn the technology:

If you’re a J2EE / JEE developer, this is a great place to start:

Other related links on my del.icio.us account:

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