Macromedia Inc has launched an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for its Flex rich-server environment, to simplify development of application interfaces in Java.
One hundred days after launching the Flex server, Macromedia yesterday announced the Flex Builder IDE based on Macromedia’s Dreamweaver MX 2004.
Flex Builder extends Dreamweaver with the ability to generate Maximum Expression Markup Language (MXML), the tag-based XML programming language used by Flex to generate interfaces and underpinning drag-and-drop development. Flex Builder also provides the ability for developers to view their work.
Other IDE features include code hinting, code coloring and completion of code to help speed progress of developers using a purely code-based environment.
Until now, developers had used other Java vendors’ tools to build applications for Flex, such as Borland Software Corp’s JBuilder. Macromedia said, though, it is committed to providing faster and better performing developer tools for Flex via an IDE.
Lucian Beebe, Flex Builder, senior prod manager said light weight code editing tools, like Flex Builder, have a future among code-based developers to help automate and simplify commonly occurring tasks. There’s a lot of opportunity around the Flex IDE – there been a lot of success around lightweight editing tools, Beebe said.
Flex and Flex Builder are the latest attempts by vendors to reduce the complexity of building applications and interfaces in J2EE. Others, such as IBM Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc, are using the Java Standard Faces (JSF) standard in IDEs, to provide drag-and-drop development of Java-based interfaces and web applications.
Macromedia launched Flex in March, a presentation server and application framework that extends Flash and Dreamweaver and is designed to reduce the level of programming required for complex HTML applications. The company claimed more than 40 organizations are using Flex.
Other underlying Flex Builder features include code editor, debugging, error detection and rollout tools for construction with J2EE components like Java Server Pages (JSPs). Flex Builder is available bundled with Flex.