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Flex Release Notes

Flex 3 SDK Release Notes

This document contains release notes and installation instructions for Adobe® Flex® 3 SDK. It is updated to reflect version 3.6.

About Flex 3 SDK

Flex 3 SDK includes the Flex framework (also known as the Flex class library), Flex command-line compilers, the Flex debugger, the ASDoc utility, and the debugger version of Flash Player. Use the Flex SDK to develop, compile, and deploy Flex applications that connect to XML and SOAP web services or connect to various server technologies such as PHP, ColdFusion, Java, and .NET using a server technology such as BlazeDS

What's new

This section lists some of the major new features and changes for Flex 3 SDK. See the Flex Developer Center for more information on new features.

Sandboxed and multi-version applications (new as of Flex 3.2) – Flex 3.2 added the ability for an application developer to divide functionality between multiple sub-applications and allow them to interoperate. Applications can be developed using different versions of Flex, and can optionally operate in an untrusted environment which allows applications to safely load code provided by third parties. Refer to the section below as well as the documentation for more details.

Native support for Adobe® AIR™ – Flex 3 adds support for Adobe AIR, which lets developers use their existing web development skills in HTML, AJAX, Flash, and Flex to build and deploy RIAs to the desktop. Flex 3 introduces new components and incorporates the Adobe AIR development tools into the SDK and Flex Builder.
Note: Flex 3 updates this support to AIR 1.5.2.

Persistent framework caching – You can make Flex 3 applications as small as 50K when leveraging the new Flash Player cache for Adobe platform components.

Advanced DataGrid component – The Advanced DataGrid is a new component that adds commonly requested features to the DataGrid such as support for hierarchical data, and basic pivot table functionality. Available only with Flex Builder Professional.

OLAP DataGrid component – An OLAP (online analytical processing) data grid lets you aggregate data in a compact format, and display these data aggregations in a two-dimensional grid of rows and columns. Available only with Flex Builder Professional.

Enhanced Constraints layout mechanism – Enhanced Constraints builds upon the existing constraint-based layout mechanism allowing you to create complex, resizable layouts using sibling-relative constraints (in Flex 2 you could only define parent-child constraints).

Flex Charting package enhancements – Flex 3 improves the Charting package with a number of enhancements. The axis system can now support multiple axes, and the DateTimeAxis allows for work-week filtering. A new data-oriented graphics API allows you to draw data coordinates, leaving the chart to render everything in its proper screen position. There are new formatting options and added interaction capabilities for all of the existing charts. Available only with Flex Builder Professional.

Flex Component Kit for Flash CS3 – The Flex Component Kit for Flash CS3 provides a complete workflow for authoring content in Flash that can be seamlessly integrated into a Flex application. Flash users can now develop components in the familiar timeline model of Flash and then, by following a few simple patterns, can enable Flex developers to incorporate those components with no additional code. The Flex Component Kit for Flash CS3 is available from the Adobe website.

Flex Ajax Bridge library – Flex 3 now includes the Flex Ajax Bridge (FABridge), a small code library that you can insert into a Flex application, a Flex component, or an empty SWF file to expose it to scripting in the browser. Using FABridge you can make your ActionScript classes available to JavaScript without any additional coding. After you insert the library, essentially anything you can do with ActionScript, you can do with JavaScript.

Flex moves to open source – Adobe Flex is now open source with source code for the framework, compilers, debugger, and more available under the Mozilla Public License. Learn more at

Support for JAWS 10 – As of Flex 3.4, Flex supports the JAWS 10 screen reader.

Installation instructions

The Flex SDK installation is delivered as a ZIP file and contains the Flex framework, Adobe AIR framework, and command-line tools, such as the mxmlc command-line utility, Adobe AIR command-line utility, the ASDoc utility, the Flex command-line debugger, and the debugger version of Flash Player.

Uninstall Current Flash Player

You should use Flex SDK with the latest version of the debug Flash Player 9 or Flash Player 10. Prior to installing the Flex SDK, you should uninstall your current Flash Player

Windows–Plugin-based browsers
Run the appropriate uninstaller available from this Tech Note.

Run the appropriate uninstaller available from this Tech Note.

Manual removal (for users who installed the plug-in via Install script):

  • Delete the binary and the flashplayer.xpt file in directory /home/<user>/.mozilla/plugins/

RPM removal:

  1. As root, enter the following command:

    # rpm -e flash-plugin
  2. Click Enter and follow the prompts.

Install the Flex SDK

  1. Download Flex SDK ZIP file from the Adobe website.

  2. Create a directory to contain Flex SDK

  3. Extract the Flex SDK ZIP file to this directory. The Flex SDK contains the following directories:

    • /ant — Contains Flex Ant Tasks.
    • /asdoc — Contains helper files for the ASDoc tool that creates HTML documentation from your MXML and ActionScript source code.
    • /bin — Contains the mxmlc, compc, asdoc, and fdb utilities. The bin directory also contains the jvm.config file, which specifies Java settings that you can modify, if necessary.
    • /frameworks — Contains compiled framework classes, configuration files, and framework source code.
    • /lib — Contains JAR files used by the utilities.
    • /runtimes — Contains installers for the Adobe AIR runtime inside the air directory and installers for debug versions of Flash Player 9 inside the player directory.
    • /samples — Contains sample applications.
    • /templates — Contains HTML templates for Flash Player detection and browser integration and inside the air folder, a sample Adobe AIR application.xml file.
  4. Ensure that the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed on the computer and that the java_home/bin directory is defined in the system path. JRE 1.4, 1.5, or 1.6 is required. For 1.4, JRE 1.4.2_06 or later is required.

  5. Install the appropriate debug Flash Player from the install_root/runtimes/player/platform directory.

  6. (Optional) When the Flash Player installation finishes, restart your computer to ensure that the updated Flash Player browser plug-in is enabled.

  7. Continue by reviewing the explorer sample. To run the explorer sample, you must first compile it running the install_root/samples/explorer/build.bat (Windows) or install_root/samples/explorer/ (UNIX and Mac OS X) files. For more information on the Flex compilers, see the "Using the Flex Compilers" chapter in the Building and Deploying Flex Applications manual.

Compatibility issues

Backwards compatibility compiler argument – There are a number of Flex SDK backwards compatibility changes where you can return the behavior to Flex 2.0.1 using a new compiler argument -compatibility-version. To get the full details refer to Flex 3: Backwards Compatibility.

Backwards compatibility issues not supported by the -compatibility-version argument – There are some backwards compatibility issues that might affect applications built in Flex 2.0.1. These issues involve the behavior of the following components and configuration settings:

  • flashType – flashType has been deprecated
  • ComboBox ItemRenderer – Changes to how paddingLeft is configured
  • DataGrid – DataGrid behavior compatibility issues include the verticalScrollBar, rowCount and lockedRowCount, verticalSeperatorSkin, and headerStyle.
  • List – Selecting list-based components corresponding to null items.
  • Button – Buttons that use customized selectedUpSkin, selectedDownSkin, and selectedOverSkin do not size correctly.
  • UITextField – UITextField hat were protected are now type IUITextField.
  • TileList – TileList has different behavior when scrolling through items with the pageDown key.
  • keep-as3-metadata – keep-as3-metadata was removed from flex-config.xml.
  • locale – Locales are now included in frameworks.swc, and other related issues when specifying locales.

For details on these compatibility issues, refer to Changes Not Supported By The Backwards Compatibility Flag, a section in the Flex 3: Backwards Compatibility document.

A new unloadAndStop( ) method was added as of Flex 3.2 to take advantage of the player’s ability to unload swfs. For more details, see SDK-16764.

As of 3.2 SWFLoader has a new property, loadForCompatibility and a new method, SWFLoader.unloadAndStop(gc:Boolean=null).

Also, the ModuleLoader.loadModule() method’s signature has changed from loadModule() to loadModule(url:String = null, bytes:ByteArray = null)

Using the Data Visualization components with Flex SDK 3.6

A new version of the data visualization libraries needs to be downloaded and installed into the SDK 3 installation to leverage features such as charts and the Advanced DataGrid. The library can be downloaded from the main Flex download page:

To install the library and related assets do the following:

  1. Unzip '' onto the SDK 3 folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\Flex Builder 3\sdks\3.0). This will extract the following into the SDK 3 installation
    1. datavisualization.swc into the frameworks\libs folder
    2. datavisualization__3.0.9147.swz and datavisualization__3.0.9147.swf into the frameworks\rsls folder
    3. datavisualization_rb.swc into the appropriate frameworks\locale\<locale> folder

Using Automated Testing with the Flex SDK 3.6

Flex Automated Testing is available to users of Flex Builder 3 Professional. Automated testing is installed as a part of installing Flex Builder 3 Professional, for details please refer to:

To enable Automated Testing for Flex applications compiled with Flex SDK 3.4, additional steps need to be performed after the installation of the Flex SDK 3.64. The Automated Testing libraries can be downloaded from the main Flex download page:

To install the library and related assets do the following:

  1. 1. Unzip '' onto the SDK 3.4 folder (e.g. C:\Program Files\Flex Builder 3\sdks\3.64.0). This will extract the following into the SDK 3.4 installation
    1. In the frameworks\libs folder of the Flex SDK 3.64 installation directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Flex Builder 3\sdks\3.64.0\frameworks\libs.) the files qtp.swc, automation.swc, automation_agent.swc, automation_dmv.swc and automation_flashflexkit.swc are extracted
    2. b. In the frameworks/locale directory, automation_rb.swc and automation_agent_rb.swc are extracted into the en_us and ja_jp directories

Known issues

This section contains selected known issues. For a complete list of Flex issues and their status, see the public bugbase. The public bugbase lets you search for known issues, comment on them, and add new bugs.

Tip: Use Filters to customize your search.

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