Originally, we didn't think Flex Builder installation with MyEclipse 9.x needed a tutorial, as Adobe provides an installer to get their tools into Eclipse. However, we heard from many customers that they had difficulty getting their Flex Builder add-on to validate properly using the installer provided. So, to solve that problem, we can install Flex Builder manually using the following steps.

Note: Since Adobe chooses to install their plugins via dropins only, Pulse/MyEclipse profiles that include Flash Builder will not be "shareable" at this time.

1. First, you'll need to download Flash Builder from Adobe. Since it'll take a minute, you might want to get it started at the beginning.

Get the right OS, of course.

2. Next, you'll want to install MyEclipse 9.x. You can do that using the installers from the MyEclipse website, or you can do as we show here and open up Pulse (if you don't use Pulse, it's easy and free). You can use it completely anonymously, if desired. We'll default to that for you cloak-and-dagger types.

Use Pulse anonymously, if desired.


3. Once Pulse is installed, you can go to the "Popular" area in Pulse. It's the top choice, with a star. Select the latest MyEclipse 9.x release and choose to install it. Pulse will be sure you get the right install by having you select your system architecture, if applicable. In this case, you'll see a few Mac-centric choices where we select 32-bit Cocoa as our architecture (which is required by Flash Builder, so don't pick something else).

Select the version of MyEclipse appropriate to you

4. Pulse will show you the amount of additional software you need to complete the install.

Pulse will calculate what you need

5. If you're comfy with the details, you can proceed, and Pulse will finish installing MyEclipse 9.x. Leave the box unchecked to install without opening up MyEclipse immediately, if desired.

Get MyEclipse installed

6. Now that your Adobe download has finished, you can install the bits on your system. In this case, I'm on a Mac and have a .DMG file, but your OS will of course use the appropriate files.

7. You'll open the installer and Adobe will walk you through the next few steps. Continue though the installer as you normally would, and accept the license agreements.

The installer works its magic.

Accept the Adobe license to continue

8. Install a free trial to check it all out. If you purchased a license, you can of course enter it here. For our purposes, you'll be a free user for a month.

Utilize the free trial

9. We'll use the default options and install all Flash Builder components offered.

Install the offered options

If it all works as expected, you'll see a screen like this.

A successful install

As mentioned in the beginning, Adobe utilizes the Eclipse dropins folder to install their Eclipse plugins, so we have an extra step or two to make this install work for us.

The Eclipse installer for Flex Builder attempts to complete this next step for you, but this is where many users have had trouble getting the install to validate, so we need to take care of it manually.

10. Create a new text file, and place the location of your Flex Builder install in it as the example below. Be sure to enter "path=" right before your install path. Save the file and rename it "flashbuilder45.link" (not a .txt extension). This file, which contains only the path, should be placed in your MyEclipse dropins folder.

The simple text file.

The .link file goes in your Eclipse dropins folder

11. Re-launch MyEclipse, either from the Pulse Explorer or directly from its shortcut, and Pulse will install Flex Builder into your MyEclipse IDE stack.

12. To verify it, you can view the preferences page to see the Adobe tooling.

Adobe tools in the preferences page

Now you're finished and Flex Builder is installed. Since Adobe is one of the few companies that utilize dropins as their main installation method, most other tools will not require the manual steps described above to install plugins and can be much more easily installed from the MyEclipse Configuration Center at Help > MyEclipse Configuration Center > Software. Happy coding!

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Posted on Jul 12th 2011