17 March 2008
Developers love to see applications that other developers have made. Seeing the work of others inspires them, and gives them ideas to add to their own applications. Once you've built something great with Adobe Flex, you want to make sure that as many people as possible see your application. Adobe has several free resources and programs available that help you promote your apps. In this article I'll list the main ones.
The Flex.org website is a community site for Flex developers. The Flex Showcase on Flex.org allows any developers to add their applications to a central location, where other developers can see their work. You can add any Flex applications to the Flex Showcase, the most popular page on Flex.org. Since its launch, over 350,000 people have checked out the Flex Showcase, which was updated in September to a Flex application. In January alone, the Flex Showcase received over 70,000 visits.
There are currently over 200 applications in the Flex Showcase. There's an RSS feed that anyone can subscribe to in order to be updated when new applications are added to the Flex Showcase. Instructions are up on how to add your own application to the Flex Showcase.
"The Flex Showcase, without a shadow of a doubt, has been the single most important source of valued visitors for Activa Live Chat. The showcase has led to countless connections with developers from around the world who have expressed interest in our product and their feedback has been key in developing things like the SDK for the upcoming release of Activa Live Chat 2. We've also gained incredible exposure from customers interested in the next generation of Web applications—specifically RIAs—and they look for them on the Flex Showcase. This includes developers from top tier enterprises who frequent the showcase looking for applications that meet their unique needs. So in all, the Flex Showcase has been invaluable to our efforts on both a development and a marketing side."
— Jeff Kazmierski, Activa Live Chat
Applications can also be submitted for Adobe Site of the Day consideration. The work must be completely original and not require the user to register. When submitting the application, you can decide how else Adobe can use your project: whether to include it in Adobe newsletters such as the Edge, include it in corporate presentations or even whether Adobe can use it in banner advertisements.
The Adobe Customer Success Program allows business leaders to highlight how their company has benefited from Adobe software. Program participants are normally senior managers or senior executives. To apply for the program, fill out and submit the application form.
Express your inner teacher—share technical know-how about your app with the community, and consider submitting a writeup and a link to your app for the Flex sample applications tab in the Flex Developer Center. Here's how to do it: Send your proposal (ZIP, 8K) by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject of: "Flex DC Sample App Proposal." You must fill out the proposal template and enable source code view in your Flex SWF file so other developers can peruse and learn from your code. We can't guarantee we'll feature your app, but the Flex Developer Center editor will consider your proposal with the Flex team. This is one of the most-viewed pages in the Adobe Developer Connection, and your app could be featured! If you can only share a bit of your code, and not the entire app, post your how-to recipe and code in the Flex cookbook. It's a great way to share your app with the community.
Adobe technical evangelists are another great way to get publicity for your application. Adobe employs a number of well-known bloggers, including Ryan Stewart who blogs for ZDNet. A number of blogs are available to highlight your applications, including RIApedia.com, Ryan Stewart's blog, James Ward's blog, Ted Patrick's blog, and more. Flex.org has a list of Flex team members who blog. Find an Adobe technical evangelist who blogs about a product you use, and tell them about it.
Flex user groups are a great way to present your product to enthusiastic and passionate Flex developers in your area. Flex.org has a list of Flex user groups throughout North America, with links to their user group websites. Contact the user group manager to arrange a presentation at the user group—most user groups love having someone present a real application.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to promote your Flex application. However, the most important thing to remember is that you can't promote anything that hasn't been built yet—isn't time you started developing with Flex?