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Adobe Flash Builder 4

Flash Builder - Develop cross platform rich Internet applications

Adobe® Flash® Builder™ 4 (formerly Adobe Flex® Builder™) software is designed to help software developers rapidly develop cross-platform rich Internet applications (RIAs) and content using the open source Flex framework. It includes support for intelligent coding, debugging, and visual design and features powerful testing tools that speed up development and lead to higher performing applications.

Adobe Flash Builder Premium

Flash Builder Premium (formerly Flex Builder Professional) adds robust testing tools such as profilers, network monitoring, an automated testing framework, integration with Flex unit testing, and command-line build support as well as Adobe ColdFusion® Builder™ software. Learn more about the features.

Top new features

Data-centric development

Data-centric development

Introspect Java™, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion®, REST, and SOAP services to display methods and properties in the new Data/Service Explorer. Bind methods to UI components using a simple drag-and-drop approach.

Integration with Adobe Flash Catalyst

Import Flex Projects (FXPs) created using Adobe Flash Catalyst™ software, saving time and improving the quality of the user experience. FXPs contain functional UI elements, including MXML, ActionScript® language coding, component skins, and graphical assets, enabling developers to focus on core application logic.

Network Monitor

Network Monitor (Premium edition only)

Generate a detailed audit trail of all data passed between the local Flex application and the back end, assisting with debugging and performance tuning.

Command line build (Premium edition only)

Use the new command line build capability to automate your build process.

Flex unit testing integration (Premium edition only)

Automate functional testing using the Flex unit testing framework.

Automatic generation of common code

Automatically generate code for accessor functions (getters and setters) and event handlers to speed up development of commonly used functions.

Code refactoring enhanced

Quickly navigate through code or restructure it by renaming all references to a class, method, or variable. Flash Builder 4 adds move refactoring.

Rich visual layout enhanced

Visually design and preview user interface layout, appearance, and behavior using a rich library of built-in components. Extend the built-in Flex framework components or create new ones as needed.

Debugger improvements enhanced

Debugger improvements enhanced

Set conditional breakpoints, evaluate expressions, and set watchpoints on variables to halt execution on value change. Use the Expressions view to watch variables selected in the Variables view and to add/evaluate watch expressions. Break out of a loop during a debugging session using run to line.

Custom templates

Customize default information contained in new MXML, ActionScript, and CSS files, such as author and date, introductory comments, copyright information, opening and closing tags and attributes, ActionScript declarations, namespace prefixes, and more.

Flex Theme Browser

Easily browse and import Flex themes and apply them to your project.

ASDoc support

Display comments in MXML and ActionScript editors using ASDoc.

Adobe Flash Professional workflow

Import and update custom Flex components using the new workflow between Adobe Flash Professional software and Flash Builder 4.

Skinning and styling enhanced

Customize the appearance of an application using CSS and graphical property editors. Quickly set the most commonly used properties and preview the results in Design View.

Part of Creative Suite 5 Web Premium

Expand your development with Adobe® Fireworks®, Illustrator®, Photoshop® Extended, and a comprehensive set of tools for the Adobe Flash® Platform. Do more with Adobe Creative Suite® Web Premium

See all new features


Top overall features

Powerful coding tools enhanced

Develop using a powerful Eclipse™ based IDE that includes editors for MXML, the ActionScript® language, and CSS, as well as syntax coloring, statement completion, code collapse, interactive step-through debugging, and automatic generation of common code.

Rich visual layout enhanced

Visually design and preview user interface layout, appearance, and behavior using a rich library of built-in components. Extend the built-in Flex framework components or create new ones as needed. Import functional application UI created using the Adobe Flash Catalyst™ interaction design tool.

Data-centric development new

Introspect Java™, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion®, REST, and SOAP services to display methods and properties in the new Data/Service Explorer. Bind methods to UI components using a simple drag-and-drop approach.

Interactive data visualization enhanced

Create data dashboards and interactive data analysis by simply dragging and dropping a chart type and linking it to a data source using the Flex Charting library. Use the powerful Advanced Datagrid to enable users to explore complex data.

Skinning and styling enhanced

Customize the appearance of an application using CSS and graphical property editors. Quickly set the most commonly used properties and preview the results in Design View. Browse available themes and apply them to your project using the new Theme Browser.

Integration with Adobe Creative Suite design tools enhanced

Import design assets created using Adobe Flash Professional, Illustrator®, Photoshop®, or Fireworks® software, or import a complete application user interface created using Flash Catalyst. A new workflow between Flash Professional and Flash Builder facilitates importing and updating custom Flex components.

Native support for Adobe AIR

Create applications for the Adobe AIR® runtime with Flash Builder 4, including all the tools required to build, debug, package, and sign AIR applications. Adobe AIR lets you quickly develop RIAs for the desktop using the same skills and codebase you use to build RIAs for the browser.

Code refactoring enhanced

Quickly navigate through code or restructure it by renaming all references to a class, method, or variable. Flash Builder 4 adds move refactoring.

Powerful testing tools enhanced (Premium edition only)

Accelerate application performance using memory and performance profilers that monitor and analyze memory consumption and CPU cycles. Support for automated functional testing tools such as HP QuickTest Professional is also available.

Network Monitor new (Premium edition only)

Generate a detailed audit trail of all data passed between the local Flex application and the back end, assisting with debugging and performance tuning.

Advanced data services enhanced

Use open source BlazeDS to add binary, high-performance, HTTP-based data transport, or add the Adobe LiveCycle® Data Services ES2 module for real-time data push and pub/sub messaging.

Command line build new (Premium edition only)

Use the new command line build capability to automate your build process.

Flex unit testing integration new (Premium edition only)

Automate functional testing using the Flex unit testing framework.

ASDoc support new

Display comments in MXML and ActionScript editors using ASDoc.


All features

Improve productivity

Accelerate development and testing of expressive web applications using powerful developer tooling.

Powerful coding tools enhanced

Develop using a powerful Eclipse™ based IDE that includes editors for MXML, the ActionScript® language, and CSS, as well as syntax coloring, statement completion, code collapse, interactive step-through debugging, and automatic generation of common code.

Code refactoring enhanced

Quickly navigate through code or restructure it by renaming all references to a class, method, or variable. Flash Builder 4 adds move refactoring.

Native support for Adobe AIR

Create applications for the Adobe AIR® runtime with Flash Builder 4, including all the tools required to build, debug, package, and sign AIR applications. Adobe AIR lets you quickly develop RIAs for the desktop using the same skills and codebase you use to build RIAs for the browser.

Powerful testing tools enhanced (Premium edition only)

Accelerate application performance using memory and performance profilers that monitor and analyze memory consumption and CPU cycles. Support for automated functional testing tools such as HP QuickTest Professional software is also available.

Network Monitor new (Premium edition only)

Generate a detailed audit trail of all data passed between the local Flex application and the back end, assisting with debugging and performance tuning.

Debugger improvements enhanced

Set conditional breakpoints, evaluate expressions, and set watchpoints on variables to halt execution on value change. Use the Expressions view to watch variables selected in the Variables view and to add/evaluate watch expressions. Break out of a loop during a debugging session using run to line.

Custom templates new

Customize default information contained in new MXML, ActionScript, and CSS files, such as author and date, introductory comments, copyright information, opening and closing tags and attributes, ActionScript declarations, namespace prefixes, and more.

ASDoc support new

Display comments in MXML and ActionScript editors using ASDoc.

Adobe Flash Professional workflow new

Import and update custom Flex components using the new workflow between Adobe Flash Professional software and Flash Builder 4.


Integrate with existing infrastructure

Integrate with servers and services in existing infrastructure, including those based on Java™, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion®, REST, and SOAP.

Data-centric application development new

Introspect Java, PHP, ColdFusion, REST, and SOAP services and display methods and properties in a tree view in the new Data/Service explorer. Bind methods to UI components using a simple drag-and-drop approach. Display services based on different back-end technologies, all represented in a common, consistent model. Also use services to generate forms for master/detail functionality and to create charts.

Integration with Creative Suite design tools enhanced

Import design assets created using Adobe Creative Suite® components such as Adobe Flash Professional, Illustrator®, Photoshop®, or Fireworks®, or import a complete application user interface created using the Adobe Flash Catalyst™ interaction design tool.

Advanced data services

Use open source BlazeDS to add binary, high-performance, HTTP-based data transport, or add the Adobe LiveCycle® Data Services ES2 module to add real-time data push and pub/sub messaging.

Command line build new (Premium edition only)

Use the new command line build capability to automate your build process.

Flex unit testing integration new (Premium edition only)

Automate functional testing using the Flex unit testing framework.


Deliver more expressive apps

Create intuitive, engaging applications that deliver more compelling experiences.

Rich visual layout enhanced

Visually design and preview user interface layout, appearance, and behavior using a rich library of built-in components. Extend the built-in Flex framework components or create new ones as needed.

Interactive data visualization

Create data dashboards and interactive data analysis by simply dragging and dropping a chart type and linking it to a data source using the Flex Charting library. Use the powerful Advanced Datagrid to enable users to explore complex data.

Skinning and styling enhanced

Customize the appearance of an application using CSS and graphical property editors. Quickly set the most commonly used properties and preview the results in Design View.

Integration with Adobe Flash Catalyst new

Import Flex Projects (FXPs) created using Adobe Flash Catalyst, saving time and improving the quality of the user experience. FXPs contain functional UI, including MXML, ActionScript, component skins, and graphical assets, enabling developers to focus on core application logic.

Flex Theme Browser new

Easily browse and import Flex themes and apply them to your project.


Premium edition features

Network Monitor

Network Monitor

Accelerate debugging and optimize performance using the Network Monitor to trace and inspect the request and response packets that are exchanged at runtime between a Flex application (the client) and the application server. Examine XML, AMF, and JSON data, which are sent using SOAP, AMF, HTTP, and HTTPS protocols.

Using the Network Monitor you can inspect the request and response body, and see how long it takes for a particular request to be answered, helping to isolate performances issues or bugs. Source code correlation allows you to double-click on any network call and be taken to the exact location in the source code where the call was made.

Memory and performance profilers

Memory and performance profilers

The Flex profiler helps you identify performance bottlenecks and memory leaks in your applications to accelerate application performance. Launch the profiler from within Adobe Flash Builder, and as you interact with your application, the profiler records data about the state of the application, including the number of objects, the size of those objects, the number of method calls, and the time spent in those method calls. This information can provide you with deep insight into your code and can help you optimize the performance and execution of your application.

Flex Automated Testing Harness

Use the Flex Automated Testing harness to utilize industry-leading automated functional testing tools such as HP QuickTest[r] Professional to unit test applications. Functional testing tools can help you build higher-quality applications and reduce testing time. There are a wide variety of commercial testing tools on the market including HP QTP, Rational Tester, Silktest, FlexMonkey, RIATest and more, plus opensource projects like FlexUnit that provide core unit testing features offered by JUnit.

The Flex Automated Testing harness provides the core APIs required to leverage these testing tools, allowing you to create automation agents or to ensure that your applications are ready for testing.

Command-line build

Use the new command-line build capability to automate build scripts supporting automated build and test processes. Flash Builder provides the Ant task <fb.exportReleaseBuild>. Use this task to implement command line builds that synchronize a developer's individual build settings with the nightly build. Alternatively, use the <mxmlc> task in custom scripts for nightly builds. Using the <fb.exportReleaseBuild> task ensures that the nightly build's settings exactly match the settings used by developers during their daily work.

For example, if a developer changes a library path of a Flex project, the new library path is written to the Flash Builder project. When the nightly build machine runs <fb.exportReleaseBuild>, that task loads the Flash Builder project and all of its settings.

<fb.exportReleaseBuild> can also take care of additional "housekeeping" tasks normally included in a Flash Builder build, such as:

  • Automatically compile associated library projects
  • Copy assets such as JPEGs, and so on, into the output directory
  • Copy the HTML template, including macro substitution based on the compilation results (such as width and height)

Learn more

FlexUnit testing support – speed automated unit testing

Integration with the open source FlexUnit testing framework makes repeatable unit testing fast and easy. The FlexUnit test environment allows you to generate and edit repeatable tests that can be run from scripts or directly within Flash Builder. Flash Builder 4 Premium supports both FlexUnit 4 and Flex Unit 1 open source frameworks. From Flash Builder, you can:

  • Create unit test cases and unit test suites - Flash Builder wizards guide you through the creation of test cases and test suites, generating stub code for the tests.
  • Run the test cases and test suites - You can run test cases and test suites various ways from within Flash Builder or outside the Flash Builder environment. The results of the tests are displayed in a test application. Flash Builder opens a Flex Unit Results View for analysis of the test run.
  • Navigate to source code from the Flex Unit Results View - In the Test Results panel, double-click a test to open the test implementation. The Test Failure Details panel lists the source and line number of the failure. If the listed source is in the current workspace, double-click the source to go directly to the failure.

ColdFusion Builder

Flex Builder 4 Premium includes a license of ColdFusion Builder, the new Eclipse-based IDE for ColdFusion application development. ColdFusion Builder and Flash Builder are integrated, allowing ColdFusion developers to rapidly build and deploy expressive web applications using Flex and Adobe ColdFusion. Learn more


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