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Who is Using Flex?

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When considering new tools, decision makers in the software industry often consider the rate of adoption as a key metric in their assessment on whether or not to embrace a given tool. Adobe’s Flex framework seems to be nearing a critical point in this cycle, as a number of large companies are now using Flex to implement new features. So, who is using Flex anyway?

Flex is a key part of SAP’s plan to improve the quality of their user interfaces. In a recent piece, James Governor explained the need for SAP to pursue improvements in their user interfaces.
"Anything that improves SAP's interfaces, which are hideous and hard to use, is a good thing," said James Governor, an industry analyst with RedMonk LLC.
Spend Analytics is SAP’s first full-blown effort with Flex:
SAP has just developed its first application based entirely on Flex, called Spend Analytics, for aggregating and analyzing spend data, said Matthias Zeller, a senior Adobe product manager, in a presentation at Tech Ed.
HP has also pushed ahead with Flex, launching a Print Studio recently built using Flex. Adobe’s Mike Potter announced the release of the new application on his blog this week. He outlines how the application works, and observes:
This is a really nice looking Flex application that doesn't look anything like a typical Flex application. Kudos to the HP team for doing such a great job on it.
Google has joined the Flex developer community with a Flex version of their Searchmash application. Adobe’s Mike Potter makes a few observations on their Flex implementation:
There are a few interesting things about this Flex application. First of all, for video searches you can play the videos right in the search results, without having to visit the site. A nice touch, though the way they've implemented it could be done in an HTML page as well (the videos play on the right side of the results - it would be neat to play the search results themselves).

The second interesting thing that they've done is embed Google Maps in their Flex application. I haven't had time to figure out how they've done this (are they overlaying the HTML over the Flex application, or have they built a Flex version of Google Maps), but either solution would be really cool.
In addition to those adopting Flex, Adobe has formed a few interesting partnerships, including a recent alliance with Business Objects. details the partnership:
Adobe Systems Inc. is teaming up with Business Objects SA to add business-intelligence capabilities to rich Internet applications (RIAs).

… Adobe and Business Objects also will explore technology to integrate Adobe's Flex development environment and Xcelsius to make it quicker and easier for developers to create more visually interesting business-intelligence applications.
Along with a growing number of groups building Flex applications, Adobe is boasting a number of notable early adopters to their Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). The Register notes a number of the companies highlighted at the Adobe Max 2007 conference:
Adobe paraded a string of early adopters at its Max 07 conference in Chicago to reinforce the message AIR is ready for action. AOL, eBay, PayPal, Business Objects, SAP, Yahoo! and showed off desktop applications developed using AIR, Flex and Flash.
Adobe has created a lot of buzz of late. There are certainly a number of interesting adopters to put some substance behind all the hype.

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