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SapphireSteel has set out to add Flash development features to Microsoft Visual Studio giving developers a viable alternative to Microsoft's Silverlgith RIA offering. Monday is the expected release date for this IDE, Amethyst ithat includes Flex, Flash, and ActionScript development capabilities for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and 2010.
Prior to this release there just hasn't been a lot of choices for using Flash with Microsoft Visual Studio. The Flash Platform is arguable the most widely used platform used for video on the web so it was a matter of time. It's report from Adobe that 99% of Internet capable comuters have a Flash player installed on them and as developers we all want to reach the most people. Developers are able to drag components from the Microsoft Visual Studio toolbox and drop them onto the Amethyst Designer for building Flash user interfaces.This product is reported to work like C# and Visual Basic environments. SapphireSteel aims to give developers a real choice.
Amethyst Professional costs $249. A free 60-day trial is available. After the trial period, the software upgrades to the Amethyst Personal free, limited version of the software unless a license is purchased.
SapphireSteel sets themselves up as an alternative to Microsoft's Silverlight RIA platform in Visual Studio.