ActionScript ( AS short ) is a programming language of the U.S. software company Adobe Systems based on the ECMAScript standard (ECMA -262) for programs that are developed for Adobe Flash, Flex or Air. Through the class libraries of Adobe ActionScript permits a programmed access to the graphical and technical capabilities of the Flash environment. It can be rich internet applications, desktop applications (Adobe Air) and apps for Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS create. The language was originally developed by Macromedia, which was acquired in December 2005 by Adobe Systems.


While originally Adobe Flash was the only Integrated Development Environment ( IDE) for the ActionScript programming language is now supported by numerous development environments. They include the FlashDevelop freely available and proprietary programs FDT and IntelliJ IDEA. Adobe provides for the development of ActionScript -based applications Adobe on Flash Builder, which is based on Eclipse and both alone executable, as is also supplied with a plug-in that an alternative to the use of the program can be integrated into an existing Eclipse development environment itself. Applications such as Ming and OpenLaszlo enable the server-side generation of SWF files.


ActionScript 1 was introduced in 1999 in version 4 of the Flash player, which was then developed by Macromedia. ActionScript 1 mastered rudimentary control functions in order to make a presentation interactively. Object orientation is available in ActionScript 1 and prototyped object orientation.

ActionScript 2 is compatible with the previous version more object-oriented extension of the language that was introduced with Flash MX 2004 and Flash Player 7. The prototyped object orientation from the first version was encapsulated with a new syntax, took over the syntax and programming paradigms of Java and C , enabling class-based development. The prototype chain is taken to preserve and the inheritance mechanism has not changed in this release.

Since the introduction of ActionScript 3 API of ActionScript 1 and 2 was no longer being developed, is supported for backward compatibility but also in current versions of Flash Player. Flex and AIR applications can be developed entirely in ActionScript 3.

ActionScript 3 was introduced in 2006 with Flash Player 9 and allow a class-based object-orientation. This version thus represents a large, non -compatible extension of the language based on ECMAScript 4 designs. Among other things, the support AS3 Run-time types. It is these large changes leading to discontinuation of the development of ECMAScript 4.0, so that ActionScript 3 is an isolated representative of this language design.


Using the object orientation can be provided based on the ActionScript class about open source packages and binary class libraries extended functionality. These can be integrated into Flash or Flex projects. The class libraries are ZIP archives with the file extension SWC, which can contain all the data formats in addition to ActionScript code that can be embedded in SWFs. In this way, also designed as components ( configurable GUI elements for Flash or Flex) elements can be passed in these files side ActionScript logic.

In addition to the extensive class libraries that delivers Adobe with the proprietary Adobe Flash or the free Flex SDK, there are a variety of free, free or commercial offers of other developers and companies. Expand the functionality of the core language enormously and make based on the basic functions of language and platform features, such as Tweening or 3D functionalities available.

Runtime environment

ActionScript 3 is executed in the ActionScript Virtual Machine 2 ( AVM2 ), while the previous versions are executed in the AVM1. Between the two virtual machines have no seamless or direct communication is possible, so that ActionScript 1 and 2 separated from ActionScript 3 run.