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Flash4j 3.0 - A Java Api For Flash Development

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Emitrom, a company providing custom enterprise software application services, has recently released Flash4j version 3.0 under the Apache Licence. Flash4j is a Java API (initially a wrapper over Apache Flex) that offers Java developers a familiar way to develop Flash applications on the desktop or on mobile devices.

Flash development is typically associated with ActionScript, a scripting language that might alienate Java developers who are not accustomed to scripting languages (a similar barrier is sometimes JavaScript). Flash4j offers instead a full Java API which is similar to the one found in Swing, GWT or Wicket.

Flash4j offers as self-contained Java classes:

  • Controls such as buttons, menus, datagrids, lists, Date choosers etc.
  • Containers such as Windows, boxes, accordions
  • Advanced controls for charts and graphs
  • An event system similar to Swing

There is a live demo showing several examples along with their source code.

It is interesting to note that even though Flash4j is clearly aimed at Flash runtimes, Emitrom acknowledges the importance of HTML5 as a fallback mechanism. Thus, Flash4j has smart detection for the presence of a Flash environment allowing the developer to handle differently devices that do not support Flash. It is therefore possible to write a Flash4j application that conditionally serves HTML5 depending on the environment.

Flash4j can also be integrated with:

The support for Adobe Air is important since it allows Flash4j to target applications that run on the desktop outside the browser. Therefore Emitrom argues that with Flash4j a single codebase written in Java can run on the desktop (via Adobe Air), on the browser (via Flash) and on mobile devices (via HTML5 from GWT). This makes development of cross platform applications (or games) easier since no porting is involved.

For more information, visit the Reference Documentation and Forum. Commercial support options are also available.

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