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Adobe AIR: Web-Apps for the Desktop...

Andy Boyd, IDM
Marketing Manager

What is Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime)? If you haven't heard about AIR...

In Adobe's words, Adobe AIR makes it possible for developers to build and deploy rich internet applications for the desktop using their existing web development skills in HTML, AJAX, Flash and Flex. Using Adobe AIR, developers can create cross-platform hybrid applications that run on both the desktop and web.

Adobe AIR

According to Kevin Lynch, Adobe's chief software architect, "a developer will typically use AIR to write a desktop application that links to an online service". Some potential benefits of web-apps integrating with the "desktop" are that the applications can read and write to local files, or support drag and drop operations, or even sync with servers when the user goes back online.

I am excited about this new product from Adobe because I am a "web-guy" not a windows programmer. By the way... I'm not a member of the engineering department here at IDM. To me, Adobe AIR means I can leverage my existing web development skills and develop desktop applications. What's more, I can create desktop applications that interact with web applications. And that's good news to me...

While I have yet to write an application with AIR, I can imagine the potential of the technology. For instance, one might use AIR to increase the interactivity of their web application. Or, depending on the type of AIR application, it could be possible to develop an application that would be available when the user is not connected to the internet, making the web-app available anytime.

I was intrigued after learning more about AIR, so I downloaded and installed a few of the sample AIR apps. I was very impressed with all of them. They were really truly creative and best of all - very functional. In the brief time I spent evaluating the apps, I didn't notice any problems with functionality or performance. The apps all handled as I would expect any other desktop app.

An example I liked was the Kuler app - Adobe's desktop color theme tool for graphic designers. The Kuler app looks like it is a great tool for users and non-users of their kuler website. The app apparently uses an RSS feed for populating information. My favorite part about the app is the user interface and interactivity. Here is a screenshot of the Kuler app.

Kuler

The initial sample AIR applications I looked at are great, my initial experience was excellent. I am interested to see what developers will do with AIR and other similar technologies in the near future.

What are your thoughts about AIR?

Adobe and many other software developers are creating AIR applications. Click here if you would like to view some samples. In order to view the samples, you must first install the runtime environment.

Click here to learn more about Adobe AIR.

Adobe and the Adobe AIR Logo and all trademarks or registered trademarks are property of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

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Alex
Guest post
Comment
another failed attempt to lock-in?
Reply #1 on : Tue April 15, 2008, 21:59:25
The thing I like about Windows Vista native applications is that they look and feel like Windows Vista applications (especially, those using Microsoft's Ribbon). Microsoft has done a lot of studies on user interaction, and in my opinion, it shows, with Vista applications' UI being intuitive, recognisable and aesthetically pleasing - something that's been Apple claim to fame.
I can see how "web-guys" will like AIR but in post-Vista era, but if I were you, I wouldn't expect consumers to bite unless the UI is recognisably native.
Praveen Kumar P T
Guest post
Comment
Deploy an AIR Application
Reply #2 on : Thu June 14, 2012, 03:01:36
Hi,
Is it possible ti deploy an AIR application in windows CE based devices?

Thanks & Regards,
Praveen

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