Amethyst from SapphireSteel: Develop Flex in Visual Studio, an alternative to Tofino

Not long ago I looked at an early preview of Ensemble’s Tofino, an extension to Visual Studio for developing Flex applications that target the Adobe Flash runtime. It was disappointing, though I’ve been assured that an improved build is in preparation. Ensemble had better be quick: I’ve just been informed of an alternative called Amethyst, from SapphireSteel software, creators of the Ruby Visual Studio extension Ruby in Steel. Here’s what I know so far about Amethyst:

  • ActionScript and MXML editing and project management
  • Installs into commercial editions of Visual Studio or the free Visual Studio shell
  • Initial beta of free personal edition available next week
  • Planned for the 2nd quarter of 2009: commercial Professional Edition with drag-and-drop Flex/AIR visual design environment, IntelliSense and graphical debugging tools
  • Can integrate with Ruby In Steel to create a multi-language Visual Studio solution with Flex at the front end and Rails at the back
  • Amethyst Personal will remain completely free

All sounds good; and Ruby in Steel is well-regarded so this is worth watching out for if you have any interest in developing for Flex in Visual Studio.

A high quality Visual Studio design tool for Flex would help Adobe gain adoption for Flex and AIR among Microsoft-platform developers.

One thought on “Amethyst from SapphireSteel: Develop Flex in Visual Studio, an alternative to Tofino”

  1. The latest news is that Visual Studio now provides end-to-end design, development, debugging and integration of Adobe Flash, Flex and AIR applications using the Amethyst/WebORB IDE plug-in for Visual Studio. It’s really awesome! Here’s a link to the Reveiwer/Evaluator Guide. http://bit.ly/e4Zf7r The link to Release Candidate 1.2 of this Amethyst/WebORB plugin is located here: http://bit.ly/flddQF

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