Apex is a programming environment that allows developers to customize applications running on AppExchange, the Salesforce.com on-demand platform. Flex, introduced by Adobe last year, is a Web programming environment the company refers to as "AJAX on steroids."
The new Flex Toolkit for Apex is a mash-up of the two programming environments that will allow developers to create rich Internet applications, improving the user interface and functionality of SaaS applications like Salesforce.com's flagship SFA customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Developers will also be able to make their Flex-based applications available on the AppExchange.
Adam Gross, vice president of developer marketing for Salesforce.com, said that the SaaS vendor's focus on usability has enabled it to win a lot of deals it wouldn't otherwise have won.
"We want to continue to see what is happening on the consumer Web and then make that available to our developer community on the business Web," he told internetnews.com
The developer kit mash-up is one fruit of Salesforce.com's announcement last October that Adobe was one of the founding members of its Apex Alliance.
Another fruit of this alliance may be born later this year. Gross said the Flex Toolkit for Apex will work within the Apollo development kit currently being tested by Adobe.
Apollo is a programming environment that will allow developers to create rich Internet applications that can also reside on the desktop.
Salesforce.com already offers an off-line complement to its on-demand CRM tool, but should Salesforce.com integrate SFA with Apollo, it would further help answer critics who maintain that business users should be able to access business-critical applications even when they're off-line.
Salesforce.com and Adobe share one other bond, which is a common rivalry with Microsoft (Quote).
Flex Toolkit for Apex is now available free of charge.