If one browses the Adobe AIR 3 web page that is a part of the Adobe’s main website, one would come across encouraging testimonials written by the users of the technology. From them, it becomes extremely clear that Adobe AIR runtime can help businesses to deliver internet rich applications to their respective clients. Adobe AIR is a development environment formed through the convergence of market-recognized technologies and therefore, proves to be effective for the development of the business critical new age applications. With Adobe AIR, enterprises can create native applications that extend beyond the boundaries of the browsers and are extremely interoperable across different mobile platforms. The runtime not only helps an enterprise generate superior ROIs but also leverage existing IT infrastructure. As a result, there is an increasing trend in the market to hire an Adobe AIR developer with great industry exposure and relevant certifications.
The path for developing AIR applications is mostly similar to the other development environment. Inspite of that, there are some features that are unique with this particular runtime environment. Let us take a close look at the native application (desktop oriented application) development lifecycle with Adobe AIR. The native application development follows six important functions and they are:
• Establishing a workflow- The workflow comprises of following steps such as coding, compiling, testing, and packaging into an installer file. A developer can write the application code in Flash, Flex, ActionScript, and compile-using Adobe based technologies such as Flash Professional as well as Flash Builder. The developer can then test the applications with the ADL tool and integrate with Flash Debugger. Furthermore, he or she will package each AIR application into the installer file. The workflows slightly differ in the types of applications such as:
. SWF-based applications
. HTML-based applications
• Setting up the application properties- It is important to specify the version of the Runtime required by an application, and one does this by using the namespace of the AIR descriptor file. This namespace is responsible for the features of this particular application. Then the developer needs to set up the application identity and the version. Then the developer needs to set the main window property such as content, depthAndStencil, height, maximizable, maxSize, minimizable, minSize, and renderMode.
• Debugging- For debugging an application, a developer has to first run the application with ADL, print trace statements, and connect to the Flash debugger. The importance of ADL lies in the fact that it prints trace statements and enables HTML parsing.
• Packaging the AIR installation file – Every Adobe developer has to ensure that a native application has an application descriptor file and either a main swf or an HTML file. The authoring tools that a knowledgeable developer uses for this purpose are Flex Builder, Flash Builder, Flash Professional, and Dreamweaver.
• Distributing application packages- The process of distribution involves four major steps such as:
. Installation and subsequent running of AIR applications on the desktop
. Installation and running desktop applications from a web
. Deployment on desktops
. Installation of logs on the desktops