This Monday MM released the new Flex 2 and ActionScript 3 (alpha test). Although itâ€™s not a final release, itâ€™s interesting to know what the role of Flex product line and how will it affect to Flash professional developers.Flex 2 includes several parts software, Builder 2, Framework 2, Charting components, and late enterprise service 2. In them the core parts are Framework 2 and enterprise service 2.Generally, without Flash IDE, Flex Builder 2, Framework 2,(sometime with charting components) together will create a Flash SWF file, which compiled from MXML script, ActionScript 3 classes, together with standardized components, class library. I think this SWF file will have no difference with what we will create with Flash professional (should be 9). Like what we did with Flash 8, Flex SWFs could also talk with HTTP url, XML socket web service.
But it seems Flex is more focus on enterprise/e-commerce, and maybe, more focus on Java developers. It offers standardized graphics user interface layout/elements, that become jobs drag/drop/move/set, save a lot of time and much fast for development, leave developers more time on Actionscript classes and server side. The Flex enterprise service 2, a J2EE server side program, will be something integrating with Flash SWFs, whatever made by Flash professional or Flex Framework (I suppose).
So compare Flex Bulder/Framework with Flash IDE?
1. Fast, standard(wholesale), cheaper Flash user interface for clients.
2. (Maybe) Buy Flex 2 also buy enterpise J2EE server side (or bundle discount).
1. No flexible interface(although it could I donâ€™t think ppl will try to).
2. Bigger size SWF files (think about Visual Basic).
Thus in my opinion(only valid this moment of course), Flex will be used by lazy Flash developers, or serious Java developers, while Flash (9) for Flash artists, hard-working Flash developers. A bad news for Flash professional developers will be, some enterprise clients may look for lower rate Flash developers with the wholesale Flash by Flex.