Flex Builder 2
Flex Builder 2 is the official Adobe IDE for building and debugging Flex applications. Built on the popular Eclipse IDE, Flex Builder has built-in tools for writing, debugging, and building applications using Flex technologies such as MXML and ActionScript. Instead Flex Builder, you can opt to install the free Flex SDK, which includes the compiler and the Flex framework. You can then integrate the Flex framework with a different IDE, or you can use any text editor to edit the MXML and ActionScript files, and you can run the compiler from the command line.
Integrating with Data Services
Data services are an important aspect of most Flex applications. They are the way in which the Flex application can load and send data originating from a data tier such as a database
Flash Player supports any text data, XML, a binary messaging format called AMF, and persistent socket connections, allowing for real-time data pushed from the server to the client.
Integrating with Media Servers
Since Flex applications are deployed using Flash Player, they can leverage the media support for Flash video and audio. Although Flash Player can play back Flash video and MP3 audio as progressive downloads, you can benefit from true streaming media by way of a technology such as Flash Media Server.
Understanding How Flex Applications Work
Flex applications deployed on the Web work differently than HTML-based applications. Every Flex application deployed on the Web utilizes Flash Player as the deployment platform. All Flex applications require at least one MXML file or ActionScript class file, and most Flex applications utilize both MXML and ActionScript files.
A typical Flex application compiles to just one .swf file.You then deploy that one .swf to the server, and when requested, it plays back in Flash Player. That means that unlike HTML-based applications, the source code files remain on the development machine, and you do not deploy them to the production server. Asset files such as MP3s, CSS documents, and PNGs can be embedded within a .swf, or they can be loaded at runtime.