Flex Flexing Its Muscle

With the announcement of silverlight and now Sun’s JavaFX, it’s clear that Microsoft and Sun have serious Flash envy. Figuring out how to capture not just Flash’s original designer market but the designer/developer market for Rich Internet Applications is the new holy grail for the software industry.

Meanwhile, after a slow start with Flex 1.0, Flex 2.0 seems to be hitting its stride. Our recent book Programming Flex 2 was our strongest new product release on Amazon in years.

Bonnie Sheehan, our sales rep for Amazon, wrote:

Amazon released backorders from the accumulating pre-orders last week. Not as big as Harry Potter yet but there is hope. ;) The last time we had this excitement was back in March 2005 when Make volume 1 debuted. Before that, it was Programming the Perl DBI back in February 2000, surpassing Grisham at the time which was at the top of the overall best sellers then.

Here’s the treemap from our Bookscan data warehouse showing the Web Design and Development area for last week. At least for the week of this new book release, Flex is as large as JavaScript and larger than Ruby on Rails, up 344% over the week before! (Do remember that this graphic shows data from one week only, rather than the quarterly view we normally show. Only time will tell if the momentum continues.)


The spike is partly an artifact based on accumulated backorders, but still shows the emerging strength of Flex. Also interesting in this treemap view is the category of Web Content Management, where Drupal and dotnetnuke are making waves, at least according to the book market.