Adobe Flash Withers as Flex 5 Comes to Life

This is part of our Flex 5 Blog Series where we reveal progress on our HTML5 tablet app. For more Flex5 Blogs, click here.

Hello, everyone! This is Roger Diller, Technical Lead here at Flex. The purpose of this blog post is to briefly address the recent announcement from Adobe on ending updates for Adobe Flash at the end of 2020.

Some of you have likely already seen the Adobe announcement a couple of weeks ago that they are going to end Flash updates at the end of 2020; this is the official end of life date for Flash in terms of updates and support from Adobe. For us at Flex, this wasn’t a big surprise. We’ve known for years now that Flash’s days were numbered. Now, we have an exact date which is more than 3 years out, giving us a nice window to build out the Flex5 platform.

As you all know, we use Flash technology for our Flex4 frontend, so you will naturally have questions about our HTML5-based Flex5 timeline in light of the Adobe news. In short, we are already on the right path. The news from Adobe just validates the path that we have been hard at work on for the last year or so. Our development team is focused on completing the Flex5 tablet MVP (minimum viable product). We plan to begin incrementally rolling out Flex5 Tablet around the end of the year. From there, in 2018, we will have incremental updates going out for Flex5, some for tablet and phone but we plan to have some core desktop UI’s coming out sometime in 2018. The bulk of the UI transition will be completed in the next couple years well ahead of the end of 2020 Flash end of life date.

Not only are we reinventing the frontend and getting off the Flash platform, but we are also reinventing the backend as well. I plan to write about the Flex5 backend re-architecture soon in a separate blog post in the next couple weeks. In short, we have created an all new Flex5 multi-tenant backend that will run alongside the Flex4 backend for the next couple years. Eventually, all functionality will be migrated over, and the Flex4 backend will be decommissioned entirely. The new backend is designed to be faster, more scalable, and more reliable from the ground up and will serve as the foundation of the Flex platform for many years to come.

In summary, we are on a path to fundamentally transform the Flex product. From transitioning to HTML5-based UI’s for phone, tablet, and desktop to a new backend that will be able to handle the additional load that Flex5 will bring. We believe we will be entirely off the Flash platform well before the end of 2020.

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