Adobe Releases Next-Gen RIA Platform

Beta News article and Dr. Dobbs article talk about Adobe's recent release of the Flex 2 development platform and the client-side Flash Player 9 for rendering of Rich Internet Applications.

I have always been impressed with Flex back when it was called 'Royale' and when the IDE was referred to as 'Brady'. The concept was very appropriate for Macromedia with its Flash flagship; it appears as Adobe attempts to further assert itself into more than just tools for graphic designers, Flex will continue to be appropriate in the Web 2.0 generation (I hate the 'Web 2.0' moniker - oh well). What is interesting about the toolset is its positioning of the proprietary ActionScript scripting language.

In terms of 'Rich Internet Applications' or in non-Macromedia/Adobe speak 'rich clients' there appears to be many alternatives in terms of implementation choices. Flash with Flex, plain ol' AJAX (or as Adobe's representative in the Beta News article says 'JavaScript spaghetti'), or what Microsoft is working on around Windows Presentation Foundation / everywhere (WPF /e) and ASP.NET 'Atlas'.

These are interesting times to be in technology. In terms of the delivering end-user applications there appear to be two platforms that can be developed upon: Windows, and the Web. The vendor race is on to win the hearts of developers in terms of what tools and platform are going to deliver the best experience.