Flex Builder gets rebranded to Flash Builder

Something had to be done about confusing Flash Platform product names and if you paid close attention you could see this one coming for a while now. From the upcoming release onwards Flex Builder will be known as Flash Builder.

I initially had some reservations about this but it does go a long way in making the name more accurately describe what the tool does. Flex Builder is more than a development environment for Flex framework based applications. Myself and I’m sure many others in fact use it primarily for creating pure ActionScript 3.0 projects.

The Flex name will still be used but now exclusively to refer to the framework. If you call yourself a Flex developer and code using the Flex framework that is still a perfectly valid job title. This seemed to be a particular sore spot for some people, but I don’t get their argument — after all, you don’t call yourself a Dreamweaver or Visual Studio developer when talking about HTML or C#. Surely your job title describes the technologies rather than the specific tools you use.

If you still have your doubts, Josh Tynjala posted some very insightful comments on Lee Brimelow’s blog post that I can highly recommend reading.

One point I do feel strongly about: Flash Builder vs Flash Professional naming. The epithet “Professional” doesn’t cover what the Flash authoring environment really is. With the new name changes it comes across as though Flash Builder is a basic tool and Flash Professional an extended version of that.

I’d recommend going one step further and rebranding Flash Professional to something like Flash Designer and get it back on track to being primarily a tool for animation and interface design.


15 thoughts on “Flex Builder gets rebranded to Flash Builder

  1. Ain says:

    Most correct suggestions.

    I’ve been on the Flash Platform since Flash 4 and all the mixed fuss about various builders, platforms, tools etc. is tiresome even for those familiar with it. Some consistency is desirable esp. if the tools represent different usecases.

  2. Ronny says:

    I don’t know about the Flash rebranding itself.
    I can see how one might be confused by ‘Flash Builder’ and ‘Flash Professional’, but rebranding ‘Flash Professional’ to ‘Flash Designer’ might make people think that ‘Flash Designer’ is not capable of creating fully featured Flash Applications (which IS possible).

    If Adobe were to do such a rebranding (‘Flash Designer’, and actually taking out some of the developer support), people wouldn’t be happy either. They’d have to buy 2 software packages in order to be able to create fully capable applications.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  3. Peter says:

    I see your point Ronny —

    Think we need to face facts and recognize that Flash Professional isn’t the ideal tool to develop in. I’d not take out any existing developer features but rather make sure it can integrate well with *any* external editor (Flex Builder, FlashDevelop, FDT, notepad,…)

    Don’t think its worthwhile for Adobe to invest time and resources to have both Flash Builder and Flash Professional become an ideal programming environment. That money could perhaps be better spend adding some spectacular new feature.

    The two tools have a different focus and target audience and would personally like to see the overlap as minimal as possible but work more towards better integration between products.

  4. Ronny says:

    You’re completely right: Flash CAN be used to create Actionscript driven applications, but it isn’t the most ideal way to do so.

    However rebranding the name (without really changing the product) might just shift the problem itself I think.
    I can see how people will wonder what IDE you need to create Flex applications (as the Flex name disppears, and only Flash Pro/Builder stay), and why Flash Builder can create Flex applications, while Flash Pro/Designer can ‘only’ create Flash/AS3 applications. (As far as I know Flash CS4 can’t create Flex applications yet…)

    That’s where they lost me… ‘Solving’ the problem doesn’t really solve it to me… (but I might just be nitpicking here…)

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  6. Dave says:

    I think rebranding Flash Professional is also a good idea as well. I’d rather have the two robust products that are complimentary to each other while reducing the overlap (besides, the fact that FlexBuilder and Flash Pro don’t share the same codebase already is asinine anyway). Following the suggestion of making Flash Designer integrate more seamlessly with Flash Builder I think will actually open the door for the two products to be bundled together. So when you purchase CS5 Web Premium you get Flash Builder and Flash Designer as part of the package. Up till now FlexBuilder has never been offered in any of the suites.

    From the conversations I have to have with developers and business owners on a daily basis who dont realize Flash/Flex are the SAME THING once compiled, this actually helps my case. Today when I refer to a Flash project I get this “oh God not Flash” look… which often times is followed by “we dont want Flash we want Flex” as if its a different and somehow more legitimate format. Then I have to explain for the next 30 minutes that they compile to the same format and by saying Flash I am referring to the .swf file and not the IDE used to create it.

    Anyway, enough of my little rant… what it boils down to is “This is a GOOD thing”!!

  7. […] Last point, the naming Flash Builder vs Flash Professional. I strongly agree with Peter Elst’s post, the epithet “builder” sounds so cheap compared to “Professional”! Flash […]

  8. […] un point, soulevé par Peter Elst », qui porte à confusion : Si on a d’un côté Flash Builder, et de l’autre Flash […]

  9. […] un point, soulevé par Peter Elst », qui porte à confusion : Si on a d’un côté Flash Builder, et de l’autre Flash […]

  10. Konrad says:

    I think that the better way than changing names is to create 3 lines of products:

    Flash Professional as tool to animate, draw, design and add code (like it is now in Flash IDE) + additional work views of Flash “Designer” and “Flash “Developer”.

    Flash “Designer” – something like Adobe Flash Catalyst where you can (in simple way for Designer = with no code) add interactivity (as clue for FlashDeveloper less then way creating final movie) of basic components to UI elements of creation imported form other programs.

    Flash “Developer” – exactly the same features as Open Source FlashDevelop or Eclipse + tool where we can preview and simply modify (change properties) products of work form Flash Pro and Flash “Deigner”.

    My dream is a tool (more like separate view) to add, view and manage tasks/comments in all Flash family programs. One click on UI element to add comment for designer like “You forget roll over state”, click commit, wait few minutes until “New version available” appear, click update document and everyone happy 🙂 Better Adobe works on new cool features then change names.

  11. […] hold. Two, Flex Builder is being renamed rebranded as Flash Builder starting with the next release. Peter Elst, Ryan Stewart and Lee Brimelow cheer this new development and are all surprisingly reassuring that […]

  12. Ain says:

    There’s another side of the coin here guys.

    Adobe is a corporation that is on top of software production and while they do want to keep us happy with the products, they also aim at profiting. We all know there are numerous versions of Windows Vista and Office, we can confirm the monopoly of Adobe graphics packages that have been pieced together for various niches. I sincerely hope any rebranding, renaming, repackaging etc. won’t result in a need to get 4 different products instead of 1 just to make a simple Flash app.

  13. Ryan Stewart says:

    Hey Ain, this definitely isn’t a case of Adobe trying to maximize revenue just by releasing random products. The three main apps: Flash Builder, Flash CS5, and Flash Catalyst, all fit different needs and target different audiences. You can make a Flash application with any of them, but depending on what *kind* of app you want to build, you may find that one of those three tools works best for you.


  14. […] many people agree with the renaming, I’ve heard some mention about this being a bad move. Quite frankly, […]

  15. […] pas indifférente, pour s’en convaincre, il suffit de lire les articles de Lee Brimelow et de Peter Elst (lisez les commentaires, c’est […]

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