Andrew Shorten, Product Manager of Flex and Flash Builder, has just published an article on the Flex Team Blog about the future of Flex. If I were to try to summarize it, I’d say that:
- Adobe is still very committed to investing in Flex and the Flash Platform.
- One of the main use cases the team will focus on is enterprise applications. Despite the emergence of HTML5, we still believe that Flex is and will remain the best technology to build large-scale enterprise applications. The team is also actively working on a new generation of tools for Flex with amazing features such as build system integration, performance analysis and a new compiler.
- Flex developers woke up one morning and became mobile developers. The trading apps, dashboards, CRM, ERP, e-commerce front ends, games, photo editors, and other applications we’ve seen built with Flex can now target mobile platforms. It’s a new and very compelling story as this market is exploding. Mobile apps are a high priority for the Flex team as they represent a huge business opportunity for our community, and also for Java and PHP developers.
- You’ll discover a lot of exciting new stuff around Flex during the first week of October.
To conclude, I believe that Flex has a great future and a unique position in the market. It addresses multiple developer needs:
- Java, PHP, Ruby or .NET developers who want to improve the user-experience of their front-office applications can rely on Flex to build first-class user experiences running as web apps, desktop apps or mobile apps (iOS, Android, QNX). Flex is a valuable addition to their existing developers skill set. It’s fun, easy to learn, mature and agile. Plus, it enables design-centric development, a strategic methodology imperative for many in the current IT industry.
- Existing Flex developers can now extend the scope of their applications by developing professional mobile apps for iOS, Android and the PlayBook devices. Sharing one code base, they can rapidly build the best experience for desktop and mobile users. Thanks to Flash Builder, the coding and debugging experience is reliable and incredibly efficient. And that’s just a start; the next generation of Flex tooling will bring even more productivity, automation, and analytics to your development chain.
- Tablets will quickly become a natural first choice for workers in large organizations. Soon, you’ll discover how Flex can address this new generation of devices thanks to a unique set of components.
- Flex combined with services such as BlazeDS or LiveCycle Collaboration Service represents the most powerful architecture for building real-time collaborative applications, and consequently the next generation of enterprise apps.
The future of Flex charting components
Charting components are a key piece of the Flex SDK. A lot of dashboards and professional business intelligence tools such as SAP Business Objects are using Flex to improve the decision making time of the end users. Instead of displaying a large amount of data on the screen, charting components help transforming the data into information. Data Visualization is at his best with Flex and some actors such as IBM (with Elixir
) and KapIT (with Kolbert
) are pushing the boundaries of Flex to enable first-class data-viz experiences. Tablet devices are also a fantastic support for dashboards, but this new generation of devices also impacts the way we navigate and interact with charting components. Lastly, the new Stage3D will let us explore new fields to express static data into visual experiences.
That’s why the Flex team needs your help! As we’re considering moving the charting components to the Spark architecture, it’s also the perfect time to talk about your expectations, what you’re doing today with charting components, what you would do on mobile devices, what is missing, what is useless, what is great, etc… That’s why the Flex team just published a public survey. Let’s build together the next generation of interactive dashboards ! Here is the link to the survey:
If you think that a question is missing, just comment this post. Thanks.