How to apply the Data Visualization license on command-line in Flex 3 !

In the last post, I talked about the various licensing changes in Flex 3 & FB3. I said that the way to create charting applications n Flex3, is to get a FB Pro license (as charting is not a separate product anymore) and enter the serial number in FB3 and then develop as usual. I also mentioned that the file has now been moved to a global location in Flex3from its usual “/frameworks” path in Flex 2.

Now, what if you are one of those IDE haters or prefer VI, EMACS, TextPad over any IDE then this causes a problem for you. You might have the FB Pro license number which includes the Charting & Data Visualization component license, but you might not have FB installed. Then the file does not exist and so you will get a Trial-Watermark on your chart as below, despite having the license key. This will not happen in Flex2, as the file resides in the SDK directory itself.

DV Watermark

The way to go, is to use the flex-config.xml file. flex-config.xml is the configuration file contains most of the default compiler settings for the application and component compilers. In Flex3, we have added a license tag, where you can specify the compiler option for your Flex serial number.

your serial number here</serial-number>

So, the compiler will now pick up the options from the config file, even though file does not exist.

The good news for those who have FB installed and still want to use the command-line compiler is that the compiler also checks for the existence of the file, so you may not have to do the above steps and it would work as is for you without problems…

Update (04/23/2008):

The path to find the file on various OS’s in the final Flex3 release is as below:

OS Location
Windows XP C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Flex\
Windows Vista C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Flex\
Mac OSX /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex/
Linux ~/.adobe/Flex/

You can get more details on this article in the livedocs…


7 Responses to How to apply the Data Visualization license on command-line in Flex 3 !

  1. Brant says:

    Hi Raghu,
    Thanks for listing this, I was having issues running the Flex Builder 3 on my mac so I am using the Eclipse plugins and have been running that fine. I have a license for Flex Pro and am attempting to use the charting. I have attempted to apply my Flex Pro Serial number in the manner you have stated above. I then restarted my Eclipse and I still see the Flex Data Visualization Trial. Do I have to specify the product as being the charting product of some sort? I have also tried to make it work by taking the file from FB2 and put it into /frameworks/ and put my serial in there as well and neither of them takes the watermark away.


  2. Larry says:

    I followed this updated advice and was able to compile on linux
    without getting the watermark, so please ignore the comment I
    added to your other blog entry on this subject.

    My next question is: Can our build team use this modified SDK
    for automated builds without purchasing more licenses?



  3. Chrisl says:

    Yeah, I’d be really interested to know if we can use a development license for automated builds, too. Anyone?

    • Lalit sharma says:


      I was going through this post and have similar question whether we can use development license for data visualization in production image? Appreciate if you can provide any input.


  4. Paul Colby says:

    A very useful post! Thanks 🙂

    I wrote a small follow-up post on my own blog explaining how to do the same for the Adobe AIR command-line compiler too (it’s very much the same process). If anyone is interested, they can check it out at 😉

    BTW, although your site is accepting my blog’s trackback, it does not seem to update your blog at all… not sure what’s going on there.

    Thanks again!


  5. Shefali Sherrin says:


    So as I understand it, if we do not have a FlexBuilder 3 Pro license, we will get the watermark. Which is surprising, cos the SDK is supposed to be free, but guess this is how Adobe plans to make it’s money.

    Now the question I have is what others before me have asked – do I need a FlexBuilder 3 Pro license for Production, or (a) can I use the dev license there or (b) can I just deploy an swf compiled on my env (not sure how to do this tho… Cos we build on the Prod box using Maven).

    Any help in this matter is appreciated.

  6. Eric Bloch says:

    I am also interested to know how licensing works for a build machine that does not need/want the IDE, but must compile apps with the data visualization components.

    Adobe seems silent on this as if you have to buy a whole copy of the IDE for each build machine. That seems strange.

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