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Adobe, Salesforce Put Flash In Cloud and Adobe Systems are teaming up to put interactive, rich user interface applications in the cloud ahead of Microsoft's Azure launch. and Adobe Systems have teamed up to bring animations, rich multi-media, and Flash-based timed sequences to applications in an online setting that has, so far, been dominated by HTML pages. is offering as an online platform where developers familiar with the database environment can build applications that resemble's CRM in application style. It provides a limited number of tools there, such as Apex, a Java-like business logic language, and VisualForce for building HTML-based end user interfaces.

As of Monday that platform gets additional tooling, Adobe Flash Builder for In effect, all the capabilities of the Flash Player will be available as components for user interfaces in the environment. Applications built there will run on servers in data centers -- in other words, in the cloud. They can be linked in that environment to CRM and other applications and make use of database services.

"This will make it fast and easy to build these kinds of rich Internet applications, and rich CRM extensions," said Eric Stahl, senior director of It will also be easier to build non-Salesforce oriented applications as well.

For example, developers may use Adobe Flash Builder for to build drag-and-drop features into their user interface, something that's not possible when restricted to HTML code. Flash Builder will include Adobe's Flex user interface components, already familiar to many Web application developers as a prevalent rich user interface building tools.

Buttons that react when clicked on by a user, pull down menus, all the tricks of the graphical user interface will start to be built into custom cloud applications, which has previously been more fixed and static, predicted Dave Gruber, group product marketing manager for the Flash Platform business unit.

Flash Builder for can make use of sophisticated graphics, charts and visualizations, for use in custom decision support systems and other applications. In addition, what are typically many steps in a cloud application as one HTML page replaces another, can become single page concentrations of multiple steps, speeding the user interaction, he added.

The combination of Adobe user interface tools and the platform brings a more formidable competitor to the fore shortly before Microsoft is scheduled to launch its own Azure cloud platform, loaded with rich user interface tools and interactive features.

Adobe has been competing effectively with Microsoft from its nearly ubiquitous Flash platform in building Web applications to run under Windows. By teaming up with, Flash gains greater entre to cloud computing as well. Microsoft is set to launch Azure Nov. 16 in Los Angeles at Microsoft's Professional Developer Conference.

The developer preview version of Flash Builder for is available Monday. The generally available version is expected in the first half of 2010.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on application delivery. Download the report here (registration required).

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