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Adobe to open-source Flex back-end connector

BlazeDS is messaging software for getting data from enterprise applications or databases to Flex-built Flash Web applications.

Adobe Systems on Thursday released the code for messaging software designed to connect back-end data sources to rich Internet applications written with its Flex development tool.

Called BlazeDS, the software is a subset of Adobe's full-featured LiveCycle Data Services ES, which it will continue to sell to its corporate customers.

BlazeDS will be made available for free under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL). Adobe will initially host the open-source project and next year plans to create a separate site to host BlazeDS and its Flex developer tool, which it intends to open-source, said Phil Costa, director of product management for Adobe's Platform Business Unit.

The software is not meant to replace other messaging products, such as enterprise service buses, Costa said. Instead, it can get data from messaging software to move data between databases or enterprise applications and Flash clients, he said.

The company already offered a free, low-end version of LiveCycle Data Services, but the companies decided to go the open-source route because customers were interested in using only pieces of the overall package, Costa said. Also, the free version had limitations on how many users could connect to it.

Like nearly all software companies, Adobe has started to use open-source techniques for its own developer products. It is also building its own products using other open-source software, such as the Eclipse development tool and the SQLite embedded database, which will be part of AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime).

Costa said Adobe plans to offer subscription-based support services for customers of BlazeDS.