Adobe release public betas of Flash Builder 4, Catalyst and the Flex 4 Framework

! Warning: this post hasn't been updated in over three years and so may contain out of date information.

Adobe promised us public betas of the next set of Flash development tools in June and they have lived up to their word, releasing it on June 1st and – as a really nice touch – they haven’t made us wait until the start of the business day in California.

Flash BuilderFlash Builder 4
This is the new name for Flex Builder 4, as Adobe feel the Flex moniker was putting AIR and pure As3 developers off using it. The beta download is for the “Premium” version. According to the Flash Builder 4 FAQ on the Adobe Labs site, this is a name change from the fully-featured Flex Builder’s “Professional” tag to avoid confusion between Flash Builder and the Flash designer program, Flash CS4 Professional. Giving the Flash designer package a proper name would have caused a lot less confusion, but at least they have given it a bit of thought.

Flash Builder 4 can be installed as a stand-alone application alongside an installation of Flex Builder 3. So it is possible to test out the beta without losing one’s production environment. Everyone can enjoy a 30 day trial, but you’ll need a Flex Builder 3 license key if you wish to use it longer.

Flash CatalystFlash Catalyst 4
A new addition to the Adobe stable, this tool is designed to fill the gap between Flash developers and designers in a way that the Flash designer program couldn’t. It allows the designer to turn their static picture designs into MXML code, which in turn can be used to skin the new Flex 4 components (sadly the term “gumbonents”  has inevitably been dropped as the new components of now Spark components, rather than Gumbo ones.)

Having installed the beta and experimented with it for twenty minutes or so, my immediate reaction is one of “eh?” It doesn’t seem very intuitive to this developer. The tutorial info on the Adobe Labs is going to be essential reading.

You can download Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst and the Flex 4 SDK from the Adobe Labs.

One thought on “Adobe release public betas of Flash Builder 4, Catalyst and the Flex 4 Framework

  1. Thanks for the info. I am a big fan of adobe and with the release of CS4 we have so many more options that was missing before.

Comments are closed.