Introduction to Flex 4.6

Adobe® Flex® 4.6 introduces new features and continues to build upon the major architectural changes in Flex 4.

If you are a new Flex developer, and have not previously developed applications in Flex, you can use the many available resources to learn more about Flex. For more information on the resources available for new Flex developers, see Getting started with Flex 4.6 and What's new in Flex 4.6 SDK.

If you are an existing Flex developer, you can use the information in Migration to decide how best to upgrade your applications to the newest SDK.

Getting started with Flex 4.6

Adobe and the Flex developer community provide many resources that you can use to get started with Flex development. These resources are helpful for new users, and for experienced users seeking to increase their knowledge of Flex.

The Flex Developer Center contains many resources that you can help you start using Flex 4.6, including:

  • Getting Started articles, links and tutorials

  • Samples of real applications built in Flex

  • The Flex Cookbook, which contains answers to common coding problems

  • Links to the Flex community and to other sites devoted to Flex

As a new Flex user, there are other Adobe sites that you can also use to get familiar with Flex, including the following:

Features new for Flex 4.6

Flex 4.6 contains several new features, including:

  • More Spark mobile components including: SplitViewNavigator, CalloutButton, Callout, SpinnerList, DateSpinner, and ToggleSwitch

  • Better performance

  • Updated platform support

  • Enhanced Tooling – Flash Builder 4.6

  • Text Enhancements

For more information on additional features, see What's new in Flex 4.6 SDK and What's New in Flash Builder 4.6.

Features new for Flex 4.5

Flex 4.5 contains several new features, including:

  • Support for mobile applications

  • More Spark UI components including: Image, DataGrid, and Form

  • Integration with Flash Player’s globalization classes

  • RSL enhancements

  • TLF 2.0

  • OSMF 1.0 integration

  • Spark validators and formatters

This list is a subset of the new features in Flex 4.5 SDK. For more information on additional features, see What's New in Flex 4.5 SDK. You can get more information about productivity enhancements in Flash Builder 4.5 at What's New in Flash Builder 4.5.

Development tools for Flex 4.6

Flex developers typically use two development tools:

  • Adobe® Flash® Builder™

    Flash Builderis an integrated development environment (IDE) for building cross-platform, rich Internet applications (RIAs). Using Flash Builder, you build applications that use the Adobe Flex framework, MXML, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe AIR, ActionScript 3.0, Adobe® LiveCycle® Data Services ES, and the Adobe Flex Charting components. Flash Builder also includes testing, debugging, and profiling tools that lead to increased levels of productivity and effectiveness.

    For more information on Flash Builder, see About Flash Builder.

  • Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™

    Catalyst makes it easy for designers to create Flex-based RIA UI's from artwork imported from Adobe® Creative Suite® tools, and to define interactions and behaviors within Catalyst. The applications created in Catalyst are Flex applications. Flash Builder provides a simple workflow for importing these applications, which allows designers to collaborate with developers more easily than ever before.

    For more information on Flash Catalyst, see About Flash Catalyst.

Migration

If you are an existing Flex customer, you might migrate your existing applications from Flex 4 to Flex 4.6, or even from Flex 3.

For Flex 4 users, migrating to Flex 4.6 is relatively simple. The differences are largely cosmetic and are summarized in Flex Backwards Compatibility.

For Flex 3 users, before starting the migration process, you should be aware of all new Flex 4 and 4.6 features, and be familiar with changes to existing features. The greatest differences are from Flex 3 to Flex 4. For information on migrating applications from Flex 3 to Flex 4, see the Adobe Flex 4 Features and Migration Guideat http://www.adobe.com/go/learn_flex4_featuremigrate_en.

If you upgrade to a new version of Flash Builder to take advantage of new features in the IDE but do not want to use the new compiler features, you can downgrade the output application. You do this by setting the player-version compiler option. You can also select an older SDK to compile against. For more information, see Backward compatibility.