Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Flex 2.0 Beta

Like many people who use flash to create webapp interfaces I've had my eye on Flex. The initial price put it way out of reach for most of the projects I work on. At that price point, even when you have a budget that can cover it you are reluctant to use it since there is little reason to learn a technology you are unlikely to get many chances to use.

I've been playing with Laszlo for a while since it is the affordable alternative but haven't used it on a real project yet. I've come close but the lack of some features, mostly a good validation
Yesterday's announcements about Flex being free were very interesting at first. From what I've seen, Flex does have a more sophisticated Validation system and the component approach would be more familiar since it is built on the Flash V2 components. Then I saw this paragraph:

"Flex Enterprise Services 2.0 will be free of charge for use by a limited number of concurrent users on a single, non-clustered server. Flex Enterprise Services 2.0 also will be licensed commercially on a per CPU, per project, and enterprise license basis. Final pricing and licensing for the Flex 2.0 product line will be announced when the products become commercially available."

Well, crap. while a command line tool is great for jumping in and and messing around with a language, the server side cost is the real problem. Buying an IDE is an expense that is covered by just general infrastructure. I can tell my employer it's something I need just like Flash or Visual Studio. The server-side is where you have to bill the client for and convince them that this should be part of their budget. Combined with recent whacky licensing approaches that Macromedia had, it was very difficult to even give a client a solid number. (Flashcomm 1.5 licensing was incredibly hard to explain to clients.) We don't know real prices yet so hopefully it is in a range that can be covered by average budgets and doesn't remain something that only major players can consider.


Post a Comment

<< Home