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Flex Vs Other Application Development Tools


Keywords: flex vs, flex versus, flex, adobe flex, flex application, flash flex, Macromedia flex, flex feature

For months people have debated which is better: Flex or other commonly used application development tools. Well, even though giving an answer to this question is hard, but a comparative analysis between Flex vs other application development tools would show whether or not Adobe Flex has the capability to become the favorite choice of developers and designers alike.


Flex Vs TextMate:

  • As compared to TextMate, Macromedia Flex has a number of awesome features that aid in application development.
  • The Flex application has an integrated debugger. This flex feature makes the job of debugging the application for the user extremely easy and painless.
  • Flex features Code Completion and Code Sense characteristics. This provides a swift backhand for the user. It is what makes the Flex application an all in one solution with a rich and awesome text editor. Even though, the user can use the escape key to auto complete the text in TextMate, but as compared to Flex, this feature of TextMate is pretty weak.
  • The exclusive Find in Language Reference feature of Flash Flex makes the application development tool and easy buy over TextMate.

Flex Versus Silverlight:

  • In terms of maturity, Flex is obviously ahead of Silverlight, because Adobe Flex has been developed and deployed into a number of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) whilst Silverlight has been changed numerous times between its' 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 versions making it unstable for the users.
  • When it comes to simplicity, Flex application development tools' MXML is fairly easier that Silverlights' XAML format. The Actionscript of Flex is also quite as simple as that of the .NET language of Silverlight.
  • The IDE factor makes Flash Flex a sure shot winner. Silverlight has to be developed on MS Visual Studio 2005, 2008, which is a little tougher than IntealJ and Eclipse, an instant hit especially with Java developers.
  • The Library and Component support of Macromedia Flex helps the Flex developers create medium to large sized applications (PureMVC, Cairgorm) through the various frameworks available on the Flex application development tool. Silverlight on the other hand is rather new to have supportive frameworks for developers.
  • The online availability of Flex components (graph components, themes, utility libraries etc) unlike those of Silverlight makes Flex an easier choice for developers to opt for.
  • The great browser support of Adobe Flex makes it better than Silverlight. This is simply because, the Flash Player that supports Macromedia Flex is installed for more than a billion times by all users whereas the Silverlight 1.1 platform that is used for running Silverlight applications faces problems on Firefox and other browsers.

Flex Vs Ajax:

  • Ajax is without doubt much more complicated than Flash Flex when it comes to Browser Compliance Testing. Ajax is a pure nightmare for XHTML and CSS users. Flex application development tool, in comparison, easily compiles Flash SWF files, no matter which operating system is being used.
  • Macromedia Flex relieves developers and designers off the pain of laying out DIV tags unlike Ajax, which has a seemingly difficult markup language. Flex's Markup language: MXML, is container based which is far more simpler to lay out, both in terms of fixed and liquid designs. Flex MXML also provides a much more accurate and predictable result.
  • The simple validation of fields are inbuilt in Adobe Flex as compared to Ajax. This helps the user to deal with E-Commerce or business applications like form field validation, credit card numbers and zip codes, much more easily.
  • The Flex platform has absolutely dominant media players which support rich media. It is also lighter and works without the user having to install anything. Ajax on the other hand requires the users to download certain applications in order to get audios and videos.

So, a comparative analysis about Flex Vs other application development tools definitely proves that Adobe Flex has a better developmental environment for designers and developers alike. As Macromedia Flex also allows the users to build web applications that replete business rules, the resultant outcomes are extremely compelling all the while providing a rich end-user experience, making it widely accepted.

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