Exciting Developments with Hero

August 27, 2010

I’d like to share some exciting developments with the Hero release (codename for the next version of the Flex SDK).

The Hero release development practices have changed some from the Flex 4 release. The biggest change is that the Hero release is built atop the latest (and as of yet, unreleased) Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Because of this tight coupling, we have been unable to provide nightly builds that showcase in-development Flash Player and AIR features. Once the current in-development Flash Player and AIR runtimes are showcased in a public release, Hero nightly builds will resume. In the interim, we are releasing semi-regular stable builds that showcase Hero feature work not dependent on features under development in the latest Flash Player and AIR runtimes. The first of such builds has been posted!

This build showcases in-development work like the Spark DataGrid (Tier 1), Spark Image, Spark Form, enhancements to RSLs, OSMF 1.0 integration and the SWF Size Report compiler option. Please download the build and play with the features and provide us feedback through JIRA.

Next, we have announced our first Hero Open Source Iteration meeting! This meeting is a gathering of the product team and the Flex community where we share work that has been completed in past Hero iterations as well as discuss whats in store for upcoming iterations. The first meeting will be on October 1, 2010. You can find more details here.

And lastly, a bunch of new Hero feature specifications have been posted! This includes:

We are eager for feedback through commenting on feature specifications and filing bugs in JIRA.


  1. Tink says:

    One of the biggest issues with the current forms is premature validation (yeah validation).

    Has this been look at, addressed in any way?

  2. Abdul Qabiz says:

    Hi Deepa

    Thanks for posting details, was really looking forward to it.

    BTW! It was really nice meeting you at #adobesummit.



  3. Vatsala says:

    Hi, Deepa I attended your talk at the AFPS day before yesterday in Bangalore. It helped clarify all the questions I had in mind about the latest version of the SDK. And I just heard about Flex 4.5 release.
    I feel that the next releases come too quick with a big learning curve involved.

    I really wish that Adobe labs would follow a structured twice in a year fixed date release plan- o/w developers hv 2 spend their time just upgrading code to the latest release. – and it makes life very difficult to focus on product development

    just my thoughts.

  4. Danny says:

    Does this mean Flex 4.5 will not be compatible with Flash Player 10?

  5. Nick says:

    You guys are fast! :)

    I’ve installed it and started spending some time today on it.
    The skinning functionality of the DataGrid is totally cool I have to admit. You can customize it in any way you want.
    The one thing I havent found how to accomplish is the sorting of the columns. Maybe thats not ready yet.

  6. That’s great that we will have such nice DataGrid.

    I was thinking about writing a custom one, but now I’ll better wait for yours ;)

  7. Jos says:

    I can not agree more with Vatsala. One of major issues we encountered is that old bugs have not been fixed in Flex 3.0 yet Flex 4.0 has been releases. I have mixed feeling on Flex 4.5.

    Please slow down, and make it stable before pushing new releases.

  8. @Nick – Sorting is not yet completed in the builds posted. That work is scheduled for subsequent iterations.

  9. @Jos & @Vatsala – First off, the builds I’ve blogged about posting are in-development builds. They are bleeding edge – there is no stamp of approval beyond passing tests. Thats the point – to get early feedback on design and usability of features.

    We are aiming to share a more mature public preview of all of the Hero functionality by the end of the year.

    And lastly, we understand that the Flex 4 release was long and are looking at ways to be more nimble, that is, push out major (and stable) releases to the Flex SDK in a quicker manner.

  10. Glenn Williams says:

    Hi Deepa,

    4.5 is really heading in directions Im really happy with. Great work you guys.

    I must say though, I’m quite intrigued to find out what the changes are that’s happening in the Player. Looking forward to more info when possible. One thing that is sounding good though, is that you are obviously now working closely with the Player team. I hope this means that the Flex team is getting features in to the player to benefit the SDK. Working closely like this should really benefit the SDK. I’m really intrigued to find out exactly what you’re all up to. :-)


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  11. Deepa, I completely agree with @Jos & @Vatsala, I don’t think they meant stable 4.5 but rather stable older versions. Having recently posted on Flex forum, to ask if 3.6 will ever be official released, it was sad to hear its way at the bottom of priority queue. Hero will be cool and probably the first 4.x release we will even consider migrating to, but 3.x is still widely used and would be nice if it got at least some love.

  12. Judah says:

    @Glenn +1

    Would the Flex Framework run faster if it was native in the Flash Player? I don’t need to mention online access speeds are fast enough now that ~600kb – 1000kb downloaded over the slowest 3G speed takes 3 seconds. At average 3G speeds it is closer to 1 second.

  13. Sorry for the off-topic but is it possible to join the Flex SDK team as a developer?

  14. Ganesh Bhat says:

    Hi Deepa,
    I had met u during the flash summit@ Blor. Your session was amazing.. Would it be possible for you to post the example that you had shown in the spark internals session (Spark DataGrid showing stickies).

    Thanks & regards
    Ganesh Bhat

  15. [...] As part of the new Hero development process, we have posted a second Hero build for folks to play with certain Hero features and capabilities. (Remember, these builds of Hero do not include any features reliant on new features in the Flash Player or AIR runtimes as explained in this post). [...]

  16. Pankaj says:

    Hi Deepa,

    I went through the documentation provided for Hero-Flex SDK. I think it will be good for developing righ GUI,but I didn’t found any references for accessing native features of mobile device (SMS, MMS, bluetooth, location, PIM, etc).

    As per FAQ section “The mobile features in “Hero” will therefore initially target standalone applications that can be deployed through Adobe AIR on mobile devices”. So, does it is possible to include native features of mobile application.

    Also can you please explain how we will use Hero-Flex sdk in mobile enterprise application development.


  17. @Pankaj: The AIR runtime is what will query and expose the mobile native features (accelerometer, GPS, touch, etc etc). Flex “Hero” SDK sits atop the runtime and exposes whatever the runtime exposes through Flex (and ActionScript) APIS.

    You can read more about AIR for Android here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/air2/android/

    Flex “Hero” SDK can be used to build all types of mobile applications. We aimed to provide controls common to all types of mobile apps, whether they are targeted as enterprise/business applications or consumer media, social and utility apps.

  18. Pankaj says:

    Thanks Deepa…Thanks for your quick reply…I would like to explore more in this space :)

  19. gauravflex says:


    Nice post. I am working on Flex SDK 4.0. I got some runtime errors related to FocusManager then after Gogling a lot I got some links stating it is fixed in SDK 4.5. But now my concern what are the impacts of switching.
    Please suggest …


  20. Dr Krish says:

    Hi there
    I wonder whether it is possible to hook up SMS service in Flash CS5 or Flex 4? Any tutorial, book, or link?
    Thank you

  21. [...] – code-named Hero – has gone live and Deepa Subramaniam, Flex SDK product manager, just announced it. Newsworthy on Deepa’s post is that Adobe, at least for this release, has chosen to build [...]

  22. Nithiyananthan says:

    Hi Deepa,

    1. I am working in Datagrid using Flex 4.5. when convert datagrid 3 to flex 4.5 datagrid. lockColumnCount property is missing in spark datagrid. Is it in any other name or any solution to achieve that functionality?

    2. How bring Header renderer in spark datagrid using actionscript. any examples.

    Thanks and Regards,

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