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Third Party Tools Support For Flex & Flash Development

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As interest in the Flex development platform grows, the industry is responding with additional tools support, giving developers options beyond the Adobe Flex Builder IDE.

JetBrains announced last week that they have added Flex support to their IntelliJ IDEA:
We’ve got great news for those of you who were waiting for an easier way to create rich Internet applications with Adobe Flex using IntelliJ IDEA.

Many advanced features are supported by the upcoming version 7.0.3 that is already available through the Early Access Program (EAP):
  • Smart code completion for MXML and AS files, with cross-resolution of code symbols between them, even inside of mx:Script blocks and attribute values
  • Automatic code formatting, highlighting and styling
  • On-the-fly code validation with instant quick-fixes
  • Code inspections to hunt performance bottlenecks, bad code practices and other problems
  • Rich set refactorings
BEA’s Workshop Studio IDE has a Flex bundle option to allow developers to build Flex applications in the same environment as their JEE applications. James Ward’s recent article introduces using this tool with the recently released BlazeDS:
For developers already using BEA Workshop Studio, the new Flex bundle makes it easy to build RIAs in the same IDE used to build the business logic of an application. For developers already using Flex Builder, the Flex bundle for BEA Workshop Studio adds sophisticated functionality for building and debugging the Java-based back-end code for an application.
For those looking for a powerful ActionScript 3 editor (the programming language for the Flash Player), FDT offers yet another option. Matthew Keefe offers a detailed review of the Eclipse plugin:
For a long time now Adobe’s Flex IDE has been the only tool for developing ActionScript 3 applications. Now there is an alternative in the form of PowerFlasher’s FDT 3.0 .
Flex does appear to be a maturing platform with third-party vendors working to offer tools support for the platform and the Flex 3 release coming in the very near future.

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