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Changes in Flex 3 licensing model

There have been several changes from Flex2.0.1 to Flex 3. In this post, I’ll discuss about the packaging changes in Flex Builder(FB) and the changes in licensing for the product.

Packaging changes in Flex 3

In Flex 2, we had the following types of packaging…

  • Flex Builder 2
  • Flex Builder 2 with Charting
  • Flex Charting 2

In Flex 3, it has become as below…

  • Flex Builder Standard
  • Flex Builder Professional

This means that the Flex Charting product that existed in 2.0.1, no longer exists as a standalone buy in Flex 3. Instead, it is packaged in the Data Visualization package (which includes Charts & its enhancements, AdvancedDataGrid, OLAPGrid… etc) which is available only with the Flex Builder Pro.

Over and above the standard edition, the professional edition will provide premium features like Charting and Visualization components, the Profiler, and the Flex Test Automation Framework. If you need more info about prices and stuff, you can check out this post by Ted. A thing to note here is that the Automated Testing Framework is available only with the FB Pro & also that this would be the only way of buying the Automation framework of rhe product…

FB & Data Visualization Licensing and the “” file

Now, let’s talk about the licensing. In Flex2, if you had the charts.swc then you could write applications using the charting framework. But this would lead to a trial watermark to be displayed on the chart as below, which would make it useless for production applications.

Charting Watermark

The way to get rid of this was to get a Flex Charting license and then add it in the “Manage Flex Licenses” tab in Flex Builder 2 or add it in the file in the “\sdk\frameworks” directory.But with FB3, a whole new set of work flows emerge.

1. If you need to use charting in FB3 using Flex3 SDK, things are a breeze. You can install FB Pro, and enter the serial no in the “Manage Flex Licenses” tab in the “Help” Menu and you are ready to roll.

2. But, FB3 also supports multiple-sdks in it. It comes pre-installed with Flex 3 & Flex 2.0.1 sdks (you can find it in the “\sdks” directory). So you may want to still continue working with Flex 2.0.1 project in FB3. If that project has charting, you will still see the watermark, even if you enter the FB3 Pro serial. This is because the Flex 2.0.1 SDK takes the charting serial from the file in its SDK directory (“\sdks\2.0.1\frameworks”). So the way to work around this is to enter your Flex 2 charting license in the file.

Also, another thing to note is that if you want to manually enter the FB license in the file in Flex3, the file is now stored in a global location in the OS and not in the frameworks directory in the SDK path. The path to the file for various OS’ are given below.

  • “../Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/Adobe/Flex” directory on Windows
  • “Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex” directory on MAC
  • “$HOME/.adobe/Flex” on Linux


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