Flex apps can only be built through the free Flex SDK while the Adobe Flash Builder software speeds up development by offering features like intelligent code editing, memory and performance filters, step-through debugging, and visual design.
Flashdeveloper has been mentioned as a free tool to develop flex applications. I just want to add a free tool to design applications (create an MXML file using a designer): designview. It's available directly on the adobe website, it's an air application that is basic but that give the possibility to take a look freely and easily to the possibilities of flex.
Flex is a free and open source framework based on ActionScript to develop SWFs and AIR applications. Flex Builder (now renamed to Flash Builder as of version 4, to avoid the confusion) is a commercial IDE from Adobe to develop SWF/AIR using the flex framework. While flash (CS3) is good for animation related stuff, flex is good for application/ui related stuff. Adobe positions flex as an RIA (Rich Internet Application) framework.
Adobe Flex is a software development kit released by Adobe Systems for the development and deployment of cross-platform rich Internet applications based on the Adobe Flash platform. Flex applications can be written using Adobe Flex Builder or by using the freely available Flex compiler from Adobe.
Flex Builder is a popular, free program only available for Windows, belonging to the category Development software with subcategory Development editors (more specifically Multilanguage). 2b1af7f3a8