Adobe has announced a new product , developed as a result of a partnership with Salesforce. The new Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com is a customized version of Flash Builder which is enriched with the Force. The currently released version is a preview of the final application which they intend to release in the first half of 2010.
The Flash Builder for Force.com is an IDE which allows for building rich internet applications powered by Force.com -- an IDE based on the Flash Builder 4 (known as Flex Builder till v3) IDE which had recently released its second beta version; with integrated tools and features which make it simple to create web or desktop RIAs using Flash and Adobe AIR.
Here is what representatives from Salesforce and Adobe had to say in the press release:
“Adobe and Salesforce.com share a common vision for accelerating developer success with cloud computing,” said Ariel Kelman, vice president, platform product marketing, Salesforce.com. “Bringing together Adobe Flash Platform and Force.com will enable the creation of exciting new kinds of business applications that run in the cloud and are as compelling and easy to use as the best of the consumer Web.”
“This strategic partnership with Salesforce.com has opened up a significant opportunity to tightly integrate our platforms for the development and delivery of rich, highly productive business applications that can be quickly deployed in the cloud, adapted and scaled as the business changes and grows,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe.
Force.com is a cloud computing service by Salesforce which allows developers to create customized SaaS solutions which are hosted at their servers. It is essentially a Platform as a Service offering similar to Google Apps. The new IDE allows one to create a Force based application using a simple Wizard, which automatically retrieves the data model of the users' Force service.
Flash Builder 4 includes powerful data handling features, and the previously released betas had showcased simple ways of connecting Flex projects to ColdFusion, PHP, Java servers, or other web services. The Force.com enhanced version seem to extend this support to Force.com using the new wizards.
The IDE can automatically retrieve the data model from your Force.com account, and this The newly exposed data model can be easily bound to Flex controls with very little coding required. With the Flex charting and data visualization tools, the end-user can get a rich and flexible view of the data and visual reports and charts can be easily generated.
By developing the Force.com enabled application using Adobe AIR, the application can be made to work offline easily and on all platforms. The application can easily be built to synchronize data between the application's local store, and the data store on Force.com
While integration between Force.com and Flex has been possible for quite some time, and there have been tools available for the same, this new IDE brings a new level of integration between the two platforms. With a combination of Flex for a rich UI, and Force.com for a rich server environment, the Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com IDE enables you to create some truly powerful applications.
While the pricing details are not available as of yet, the Developer Preview is free to download while it is still in the preview phase. Get the IDE from the Salesforce developer website, and get more information and tutorials about how to build your own application using the Force at Adobe's devnet website for Salesforce. May the Force be with you...
A video demonstration of Flash Builder for Force.com: