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Revoking a Flex 3 License Activation is not easy.

This is a bit of a weird story, which most people probably won’t have happened to them. Still for those out there in the same situation, this is what happened.

Previously I had bought the “Flex builder Standard edition”, which comes without graphic elements (bars, charts, pies, whatnot). In order to show the results of filtering in my flex program I found it didn’t do all I needed. So I purchased the Flex Builder Pro edition (the full build, not an upgrade).

When you register your products on the Adobe website, you can see on your profile page that each flex builder product can be installed two times – typically used for installing once on Windows and once on Mac, so you can test your products on both environments. This suited me fine, as I have a windows XP laptop and an iMac.

Each time you install Flex builder, you can see in your profile page on that the license count for the registered product decrements by one. My standard edition was installed on both my Mac and my XP, so I had zero licenses left to install (which it showed on my Adobe profile page).

After buying the full Flex Builder, I no longer needed the Standard edition. So I wanted to uninstall and if possible sell the standard edition. So I searched for a deactivation routine inside of the Flex builder Standard edition. Most recent Adobe products like Photoshop and so on have online activation, but I did not find one, so I uninstalled my standard Flex Builder 3 completely, thinking that uninstalling would also revoke the used Flex license with the Adobe server. This does not appear to be the case, as the license count does not increase again.

Erasing the license key from your machine and replacing it with the full flex license also does nothing for the used-up licenses on

So in the end I asked for help at Adobe (Benelux). They too asked me if I could not start the deactivation routing, but admitted they did not have much training in supporting Flex builder. After some more mails and phone calls, the technicians could not help me further, and had no further information to give me, as Flex Builder is a server product, only used in big corporations ( I told them I had bought it in via the online shop as a retail customer, so it’s not only just for big corporations) . After inquiring internally, they told me the only support for Flex on the issue I was experiencing was in America, which I could try to call, but probably would not get in as I would need a support contract.

I reopened the by-now closed support case and wrote quite a lengthy mail explaining that I was not satisfied with the solution. An extremely helpful (dutch) lady has since then tried to help me and has herself contacted the Flex support guys.

It seems Flex is considered an enterprise product, so it is not supported by retail support people and you need an enterprise support contract.

However, the upshot of it seems to be that a normal uninstall should be sufficient. There should be no penalty or license deactivation apparently needed, you can reinstall the Standard edition elsewhere. However, I have not yet tried to sell my license, and probably will not for some time. I’m a bit scared of trying it, and not everybody around me is so deep into programming as I am…

All in all, I have mixed feelings about the support I’m getting for this issue. On the positive side, I was always courteously treated by the support people, and all of them were helpful (but in particular Helene was helpful above and beyond her duty, for which I thank her). On the negative side, it seems that Flex is not considered a retail product, although there are scores of people out there using it to create lots and lots of cool things with it in flex/flash.

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