NEW! Flex Component Explorer – The Downloadable Adobe Evangelist

A few months ago, I blogged about the Flex 3 Component Explorer,  a simple one paragraph article intended to raise awareness of the existence of the tool.   To my amazement, this post has seen consistent heavy traffic and is in the top 3 posts in my 15 months of blogging.   This led me to the conclusion that developers are looking for good Flex resources and that many developers are not aware of the component explorer.

After several discussions with my fellow evangelists and our management, we decided to put together a little side project to build a better component explorer with a much broader purpose.   We acquired some internal funding, hired the team at HD Interactive and collaborated for 3 months to bring you Tour de Flex.   As you can see in the screen shots below, this ain’t the old component explorer!

We decided to make Tour de  Flex an AIR application (after some gentle nudging by Christophe Coenraets) so we could show off desktop capabilities as well as web capabilities. The application showcases core Flex components, AIR capabilities, Flex data access (BlazeDS and LiveCycle Data Services), numerous coding techniques, cloud APIs, and a growing list of community-developed components, effects, skins, and more.  There are 217 total samples in Tour de Flex as of this writing.  We expect to add more every month and have built in a mechanism to easily push out new samples.

Each sample has a running demonstration, source code, links to related resources such as ASDocs, community commenting, and more.

One step further…

Two weeks after kicking off the project, James Ward had a crazy idea (crazy ideas are not uncommon when it comes to James) 🙂  — James suggested that we later add an Eclipse plugin that allows the various samples to be searched directly from an Eclipse view window.  The idea was so crazy, we decided not to wait, and by the next day our project had a new milestone.

I’m proud to announce that the Tour de Flex Eclipse plugin is part of the 1.0 launch!

The Tour de Flex home page is available now at   There you will find the installer, user guide, and instructions on how to submit samples of your own custom components, effects, skins, etc.

I’ll do a followup post soon to provide more “behind the scenes” as to how this tool was built.

If you are attending MAX, find me or any member of the evangelist team and ask us for a copy.  We have 1,000 USB Flash drives ready to give out.

~ by Greg on November 17, 2008.

16 Responses to “NEW! Flex Component Explorer – The Downloadable Adobe Evangelist”

  1. This is so cool!
    Thanks a lot.

  2. […] keep my self from not posting about them. Just to be fair I would like to ask you to read the original post from Greg Wilson because besides the specific post, his blog is realy amazing. I should also […]

  3. It would be great to have a resource for visualising the effects of skinning. How skinning a button cascades through to the combo for example. The eclipse plugin is a good idea though … you could provide build scripts for automatically generating code that extends certain components and includes all the overrides you’d need. Good stuff.

  4. Would it be possible to run the tour just as a web application (no Air)?

    The demo has a look really outstanding. Great work!

  5. What about the huge list of Google code projects ? (Flex, AIR, AS3 etc). That can be a section on this?

  6. thanks a lot for this great tool! Awesome work!
    This will be extremely useful for presentations of Flex to others!

    Thank you!

  7. […] more about Tour de Flex on Greg Wilson’s Blog.  You can also download the AIR application as well as the User Manual from the Tour de Flex […]

  8. It’s really cool and helpful, but I get errors when I try to run any of the non flex core examples, “An Internet connection is required.”. The weird thing is, I am connected and I also gave the app an exception in my firewall settings. Any idea what this might be??

  9. Michael – the errors were the results of our apache config on the server side. It should be resolved now. Thanks! Greg

  10. […] some info here and go to the home page here for […]

  11. I can’t seem to resize the window when installing the application. I’m on a 13 inch macbook and it stretches past my dock on the bottom of the screen.

    Any ideas?

  12. What resolution is your screen? Are you available to help me test a new build?


  13. […] Tour de Flex at Adobe MAX 2008 and have already seen over 8,000 users try it!  The pace of downloads is still accelerating as people discover this new tool.  Also, it’s worth noting that over 250,000 samples were viewed via the application in the first 5 days.  In other words, people are checking out lots of samples! […]

  14. […] Data Services and Tour de Flex In addition to the many UI-related samples in Tour de Flex, we have included several samples on accessing data from Flex applications.  This is sometimes a […]

  15. These are some really nice visual components, but they are a bit pricey. I’m waiting for a similar product that is maybe half the price.

    Electronic Business Cards

  16. […] over a million samples. If by some chance you’ve not stumbled upon Tour de Flex then visit Greg Wilson’s Ramblings blog. Tour de Flex is a ‘component’ explorer that demonstrates the abilities of Air and […]

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