Nevertheless, here are some simple guidelines that might make it easier for you to make a decision:
ArcGIS API for Flex
- This API leverages great web design tools from Adobe. You’ll be able to create rich, fun to use, web applications that you can build once and run across all supported browsers.
- Developers can take advantage of the robust Adobe Flash Builder development environment and there’s an extensive market for Flex components that accelerate the creation of applications. Along these lines, ArcGIS Server features an optimized output format for Flex called Action Message Format, which accelerates queries to the GIS server. This API is also a friendly environment for Java developers.
- Users of your Flex applications will require the Flash browser plug-in, which is perhaps the most ubiquitous browser plug-in. However, some devices don’t currently support Flash.
ArcGIS API for Silverlight
- If you’re a .NET developer, this is the API for you. You’ll be able to create rich, fun to use, web applications that you can build once and run across all supported browsers.
- Developers can take advantage of the great Microsoft development environment. The API is built on the Microsoft Silverlight platform, which is integrated with Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend 4. The Microsoft Silverlight platform includes a lightweight version of the .NET Framework CLR (CoreCLR) and the Silverlight runtime - all hosted via a browser plug-in.
- Users of your Silverlight applications will require the Silverlight plug-in. While the technology is relatively new, the market for Silverlight components is growing. However, some devices don’t currently support Silverlight.