Using Flash Builder’s Mobile Workflow with Flash Professional Projects

Posted on September 13, 2011 | 7 comments

Flash Professional and Flash Builder both have mobile workflows. If you want to use the mobile workflow of Flash Builder with a Flash Professional project take a look at the video at the end of the post.

The basic idea is to use Flash Professional and/or Flash Professional Project type in Flash Builder as the compilers. They compile the swf’s, but do not handle the packaging of the mobile application.

Then you create a Flash Builder ActionScript Mobile Project that does the compiling and publishing out to mobile devices, with the compiling turned off. The compiler projects still put the debug symbols to allow debugging with the mobile project to work with full Flash Builder breakpoints and trace statement capabilities.

When you want to make a change, just make it in the Flash Professional Project in Flash Builder and it will compile the new swf to the ActionScript Mobile Project’s bin-debug. Then you can launch it through the mobile project to test/debug.

Using Flash Builder’s Mobile Workflow with Flash Professional Projects from Renaun Erickson on Vimeo.

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  • Michael Kaufman

    Hi Renaun,

    I’ve been looking for advice for creating an interactive storybook for ipad (and possibly iphone too). My head is spinning trying to decide on what would be the most appropriate workflow. The storybook is 30 pages, and each page has some degree of animation that would be hard to do outside of Flash IDE, zooms, rack focus effects, games on some pages, some blitting animations, text, sounds etc… I made a quick prototype using Flash IDE, using a 30 frame timeline and movieclips and gestures swiping to each page and it works pretty well. But, I’m thinking what am I missing out on by not using a FB 4.5 View Based mobile app or AS Mobile project that has so much built in with regard to events, debugging, Views, speed etc… So my question is – since they both ultimately produce an AIR 2.7 iOS app, is the one produced by Flash Builder ultimately more optimized than its Flash IDE counterpart? And if this were your project, what would you do? Would you use the Flash IDE to create swcs packed with animations and embed inside a FB 4.5 mobile project. Or create an an Actionscript mobile project ?? Seems there’s so many choices and I don’t want to mess this up so I’d be grateful for any advice. Thanks for the video too btw. -Thanks in advance. MK

    • Anonymous

      AIR 2.7 is the same regardless of FB or Flash Pro. The FB 4.5 view based mobile stuff is really Flex apps, but this type of content is not necessarily suited for Flex. I would stick with the Flash Pro and the animations. I tend to do more in AS3 then timeline and thus use either the Flash Pro out to SWCs or this Flash Pro as a FB Flash Pro project type (with AS mobile project in FB for packaing). Both work well and I would say choose which one you like.

      • Michael Kaufman

        I really appreciate that advice. That’s what I’m doing and found the AS3ViewNavigator stuff Piotr W. made and extending a little… combined with swcs from Flash pro. It’s a nice workflow. Thanks again!

  • Matt Duffy

    Very useful info — thanks!

    I have transcribed the steps for those who have already watched the video and just need a quick refresher/overview:

    • Start with a standard Flash AS3 .fla file (e.g. TestDebug.fla) open in Flash Professional.
    • Open Flash Builder and select File > New > Flash Professional Project.
    o Select the .fla file (e.g. TestDebug.fla).
    o Click “Finish”.
    • Select File > New > ActionScript Mobile Project.
    o Give the mobile project a name (e.g. TestMobileDebug).
    o Rename the mobile project’s default .as file so that it has the same name as the target .swf file (e.g. as specified in Flash Pro.
    o Delete the superfluous .swf and .xml files that were automatically created along with the mobile project (e.g. TestMobileDebug.swf and TestMobileDebug-app.xml).
    • Select the mobile project and then select Project > Properties > Builders.
    o Disable “Flex” and click “OK”.
    • In Flash Professional, select File > Publish Settings.
    o Set “Output file:” to the bin-debug folder of the Flash Builder mobile project.
    o (Optional test: Delete the old .swf file created by Flash Professional, switch to Flash Builder, and select Run > Debug Movie. Flash Professional should compile a new .swf file in the correct location and debug it.)
    • In Flash Builder, select the mobile project and then select Run > Debug.
    o (Optional test: Set “Launch method:” to “On desktop:”, click “Apply”, and then click “Debug”. ADL should launch and play the .swf file.)
    • In Flash Builder, select the Flash Professional project and then select Project > Properties > ActionScript Build Path.
    o Set “Output folder:” to the bin-debug folder of the mobile project.
    o (Optional test: Delete the old .swf file. Make a change to the target .as file of the Flash Professional project. Undo the change and save the .as file. Flash Builder should automatically compile a new .swf file.)
    • In Flash Builder, select Run > Debug Configurations.
    o Set “Launch method:” to “On device:” and configure the subsequent settings as necessary.
    o (Optional test: Select “Debug”. If everything works, you’re all set!)

  • Amy

    I have multiple swfs that all share the same xml data, so they are all published into the same “bin” folder. I tried pointing the two projects to a bin directory that doesn’t belong directly to either, and this works pretty well. It also means you don’t have to interrupt your existing work flow if you’re still using those swfs. Now, if only I can find a good way to load in the XML without making major changes to my class code…

  • marius

    Spent hours trying to make a Flash Professional Project from a FLA file and set the document class and debug it in Flash Builder 4.7. (from CC) There is no way I can make it work like in your video! Please help

  • marius

    The target file’s parent folder cannot also be a parent of the project location or the workspace location.