Over the weekend I got to see a really cool Flex application that is presenting at DEMO, Sprout Builder. Sprout is a rich Internet application that can be used to create other, smaller, rich Internet applications. It provides a powerful toolset and subset of components that can be dragged and dropped onto a canvas to let you create a multi-page Flash application. [Photo Gallery]
There are a lot of drag and drop application builders out there including Coghead and Bungee Connect but none of them that I've seen specifically focus on Flash content. This one does and it goes about it in such a way that I hope we see a lot of new blood in the Flash community. The interface is powerful yet straight forward and Sprout offers a number of drag and drop components that you can quickly customize for your own look and feel. You can add your own images, audio files and video files to the site and then drag those on to your application and modify how they appear.
Another great thing about Sprout is the way they're partnering with 3rd parties to offer components. They will have a Meebo IM component, a Ribbit phone component, a Yahoo Maps component and others that let users very easily add advanced functionality to their Flash applications. The low barrier to entry (it's just a web app) means that this could open up the world of Flash to a whole new community from hobbyists to advanced designers looking to create more interactive applications.
I think this is a big, awesome jolt to the Flash community. So much energy has been focused on developers and Flex and now we have a free tool built on those exact technologies that speaks to the wider novice-Flash market. That's a great thing. Once you're finished creating your application you can embed it anywhere you go including MySpace, Facebook, or your Blog. Go create something![Photo Gallery]