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Flash Builder (Flex 4) for Free

May 5, 2010 by Steve

If you haven't heard of it, Flex is an Adobe product that makes it possible to edit Flash applications in an IDE similar to what most programmers are used to, rather than trying to edit your Flash application as a movie timeline. The SDK for Flex 4 is open source and available for download. Adobe's tool for editing Flex applications (based on the Eclipse IDE) used to just be called Flex. Adobe is now making a distinction between the Flex architecture and the tools you can use. The new version is called Flash Builder, and the trial version is available for download.

Their resource site,, has been worked over, lots of links to new tutorials and resources. (The formal documentation still hasn't quite caught up with the new release, so you can spend a lot of time searching for answers, but there are lots of good tutorials.)

Adobe has always made their product available at a substantial discount for educational customers. (Smart, because you can get customers locked into your workflow early.) For me, it has always meant that I could buy more product at the same time when I was a student - instead of blowing a lot of money on Photoshop, I could blow a lot of money on Photoshop and Premiere and maybe even Dreamweaver all at the same time.

A couple of links on the page caught my eye. For Flash Builder, the educational discount is 100%. That's right, if you are a student, you can download it and get a license for free. Which is pretty cool all by itself. But they have a link next to it which I thought was even cooler: "Free Flex for unemployed developers". A nice move on Adobe's part. They build their brand and get to be good guys at the same time, at a pretty low cost to them.


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