Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Can Flex be used in e-learning?

...And my first reaction to this was WHY NOT? Flex gives me many reasons to use it for developing e-learning solutions. E-learning is not just limited to page turner today. RIA has made an entry in e-learning industry as well. Well, one may argue that Flash can also be used for developing e-learning solutions with RIA at its heart. True and it has been used quite successfully until now. But Flex has certain advantages over that. The biggest reason why I would prefer Flex over Flash is that it distinguishes between a programmer and designer. They both can focus on their specialized areas while working for the common goal.

One of the most exciting features of Flex is its layout controls which give me immense flexibility and ease to create templates for an e-learning solution. Layout controls is revolutionary addition in Flash platform. While I talk in favor of Flex, I do not want to disgrace Flash. After all it’s Flash which made it possible to have a wonderful tool like Flex. Flash is an awesome tool with its own capabilities. But Flex takes over advantage when it comes to programming a solution. Actually, Flex and Flash both complement each other really well. The integration between Flex and Flash is amazing. Skinning has been made so easy with Flash being integrated so nicely with Flex. We anyways need Flash for developing animations which will further be integrated with the solution built in Flex.

Flex has some more exciting features such as transitions, effects, CSS support, enhanced XML support, wide range of UI controls, Accessibility support and many more to make it a suitable candidate for developing e-learning solutions. Even a non-programmer can also develop complex solutions by just using MXML.

In a nutshell, Flex and Flash do complement each other. These need to be used together to develop an overwhelming e-learning experience. Flex helps programmer and Flash helps designer to exhibit their capabilities and creativity while giving immense flexibility and ease.

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