UK-based software company SapphireSteel Software has announced the release of Amethyst Professional 1.5, its Flex, Flash and ActionScript IDE for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and 2010.
Specializing in professional-quality IDEs for Microsoft Visual Studio, SapphireSteel specifies that Amethyst is the "only non-Adobe Flex IDE to provide an interactive visual design environment," with its drag-and-drop design for Flex 3, Flex 4, Flex 4.5, and AIR.
The product also boasts a "Go Live" mode to allow developers to interact with controls in its Designer mode; double-click control to create event-handlers (as in C# and VB), and there is also the option to integrate with VS Toolbars and palettes.
Huw Collingbourne, SapphireSteel Software director of technology, said, "For developers, what is important here is the ability to work with both .NET and Flash in a single unified environment. Amethyst 1.5 gives programmers the ability to design and deploy Flash-based applications for the desktop, the web or mobile devices. Its multiprocess debugger even makes it possible to debug from .NET into Flash in a single debugging session."
In the code editing arena, the company's latest product version now handles extended code coloring with support for all VS standard colors plus 76 more. Code folding (based on syntax and user-defined regions) and customizable code formatting (spacing, newlines, wrapping, indenting) is also possible.
The product integrates with Adobe tools so that developers can share projects with Flash CS4/CS5 or Flash Builder and import entire Flash Builder workspaces, too.
Amethyst's Refactoring and Debugging functions include:
- Rename identifiers (auto rename all references in project)
- Auto-generate getters/setters (encapsulate field)
- Extract code into new method and many other refactorings
- Unique "Amethyst Cylon" debugger fully integrated with VS
- Multiprocess debugging (step between different SWFs in a single debug session)
- Flash/.NET debugging (e.g., step between ActionScript and C# in single debug session)
"Amethyst enables Visual Studio users to work simultaneously with Microsoft and Adobe technologies and this should be of tangible use to programmers who have previously experienced challenges working with multiple IDEs, including some such as Adobe's Flash Builder, which are based on Eclipse," said Collingbourne.