What is Adobe Flash Builder?

In this brief walkthrough, we've shared the basics of Adobe Flash Builder, an integrated development environment (IDE) for web and desktop applications. 

What is Adobe Flash Builder? 
Formerly known as Adobe Flex Builder, Flash Builder is an integrated tool designed to speed up app development. Whether you're building a cross-platform desktop application, or a rich internet application (RIA), Flash Builder offers an intuitive framework for the entire development process. 

The software includes a separate code editor for MXML (a user interface markup language) and ActionScript (an object-oriented language). There's also a WYSIWYG (short for "what you see is what you get") editor for MXML apps, so you can quickly preview the final product during the development process. 

Popular Flash Builder Features
  • Performance Analysis: Starting with Flash Builder 3, you can view real-time statistics about memory usage, execution time, and other valuable details (known as profiling). This is extremely useful when you're optimizing an application.
  • Easy Testing: Using USB or WiFi, it's possible to test a mobile application in seconds. With the Flash Builder IDE still open, you can send your work-in-progress to a smartphone or tablet, and then start debugging right away.
  • Built-in Code Templates: Flash Builder includes more than 100 templates (or "snippets") for its supported programming languages. You can even create custom templates, and then import/export them on multiple computers. 
  • Advanced Debugging Tools: You don't even need a mobile device to test your app; just use Flash Builder's mobile emulator. The software also includes a detailed Network Monitor, which lists the entire data trail, and can serve as a handy guide during the debugging process.
Standard vs. Premium
Flash Builder Standard Edition has all of the basic features required for professional-grade app development. This includes interactive debugging, multi-platform publishing, and support for mobile and web applications. 

Meanwhile, Premium Edition adds features like performance profiling, automated testing, network monitoring, and other testing tools. You'll also find support for command-line builds and unit testing. It's the ideal choice for serious development teams that want to build a streamlined and effective product.  

Standard Edition is currently priced at $249, and Premium Edition is $699. If you're not sure whether Premium is worth the extra money, you can sign up for a free trial and find out for yourself. Flash Builder is also included in the Adobe Creative Cloud "All Apps" subscription, which costs $49.99 per month for an annual plan. 
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