I started working at a PHP shop and occasionally we have to go and tweak some legacy Flash and actionscript code. It's a small shop; we have about six developers. It seems almost every time we pull a flash file down from SVN, we run into some weird dependency, either with fonts, code suddenly deciding not to compile, or version incompatibility with Actionscript and Flash MX/CS3/4/5.

None of the folks who created the flash components are still working for the company (nor are any of the dependencies documented), so we have to slog through the code and it takes FOREVER.

This got me thinking: how does enterprise level Flash development work? What tools are used? Is it possible to allow for many people to be working on the same Flash file, and be able to unload that file to a new machine with a minimal setup hassle?

  • I have worked in several enterprise size companies. Not one of them used Flash for anything other than online training courses (usually licensed from outside). At least in the places where I worked it was viewed as too gimmicky, too buggy and too insecure to be used for any serious enterprise level purpose.
    – BBlake
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 17:44
  • I once worked in an enterprise sized organization that used Flex alot, an XML and Actionscript based version of Flash (Flex is now called Flash Builder) and that adapted quite well to the enterprise, since everything is stored in markup and code, not cryptic .swf or .fla files.
    – CamelBlues
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 18:06
  • 3
    Has "enterprise" suddenly reversed meaning and become synonymous with minimal hassle and lack of legacy code? Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


I don't know what "enterprise" means here, but I have used continuous integration with flash (Flex and ActionScript) without any problems.

The compiler and SDK is written in Java so you can run it from the command line. So you just need to configure your enterprise CI server to checkout the project code and compile away.

  • Is it possible to allow for many people to be working on the same Flash file? Yes That is what differentiates a good development enterprise from your numerous so called traditional flash shops.
  • Convince your company that all the legacy applications code should be re written/re coded in the latest version of flash.
  • It is a NIGHTMARE to integrate legacy content with new applications. There are Soo many mysterious compatibility issues and gotchas in code and movieclips and between as1,as2,mx,as3. Your LIFE will be way better off working on writing an old app in the new version of flash.
  • Even if you some how hack and manage it it will break for sure with the next code revision or deployment or integration with the next application.
  • It is a popular misconception that flash has a good backward compatibility.It is not true even though the new versions of flash player have support essentially the whole process of code development is different in avm1 vs avm2. The way the newer versions of flash players support the legacy code is a mystery as every release breaks support for an old method in the older avm's.
  • One of the main disadvantages with older applications from a developers point of view is that the code in as2/as1 is hidden places that only the original author can find. Its too obscure and it will take literally more time to find and understand the code than it will to simply write the new code and get the same functionality.
  • Stick to it and build up your frame works and documentation.Trust me it will save a lot of time money and effort.
  • These newly written code base and frameworks can me migrated to the newer versions of flash as and when they get released.
  • Basic reasons for migration,security,advanced features,marketing point,improved performance
  • Though this again depends on the written code, for most part flash/actionscript handles all the memory management issues. there are steps you can take to increase performance by your writing your own clean ups( its a must for performance).
  • Documentation aspect can never be stressed enough upon.You must get it started and set up properly for your environment knowing pretty well that the previous guys did not do it. It has to star some where rite? Just forget blaming the previous guys for it.

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