September 13, 2010

Publish to iPhone – From Captivate 5 and eLearning Suite 2

Apple’s recent announcement that it has lifted restrictions on its third-party developer guidelines has direct implications for the publishing options available from Captivate 5 and Adobe eLearning Suite 2. You can now author your elearning courses in Captivate and publish them as a swf to run on any Flash enabled device, or follow the steps below to publish the same as an iPhone app.

To deploy a Captivate course on an iPhone you need Adobe eLearning Suite 2, or both Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe Flash Professional. You also need to install the ‘Packager for iPhone’ from Adobe Labs.


1.       Get an iPhone developer certificate from Apple

2.       Get Development Provisioning profile from Apple (A file that lets you test or distribute an iPhone application. You obtain provisioning profile files from Apple. A provisioning profile is assigned to a specific development certificate, an application ID, and one or more device IDs). More details here.

3.       Create a Captivate project for the iPhone form factor – 320 *480

4.       While publishing the SWF, turn ON this option in the publish dialog – “Enable SWF for conversion to iPhone application”.

5.       Now use the ‘Packager for iPhone’ to convert the Captivate 5 swf to an iPhone app.

We will have a more detailed blog post to walk you thru this later this week.

Posted by Shameer Ayyappan6:01 PM
  • This is great news! I’m very excited to start developing training apps for the iPhone and iPad!

  • So, anyone successfully publish a Captivate module that is compatible with an iPhone/iPad? We are using Blackboard Mobile and have a ton of Captivate CBTs. Would really like our learners to be able to view the elearning modules on these devices. If Adobe Captivate and Apple are not going to work together, then can anyone suggest a elearning software product that works with Apple? Seems sorta stupid that Apple is pushing iPads for education when it is not compatible with most elearning software. Yes, Blackboard Mobile works. But good god, it is ugly.

    • Steve, just wanted to encourage you along this thread. Yes we’ve done this internally. Let us know how we can help. You can always email me at allenp (at) adobe (dot) com where I can connect you with engineers with direct experience. I found the help in Flash regarding iOS publishing to be incredibly helpful to weave through the requirements for publishing to iOS. You’ll also need to follow all the instructions that come with your Apple iOS Developers License.

  • I’m looking into how to convert a Captivate project into an iPhone compatible format.

    I’ve got as far as downloading the ‘Packager for iPhone’ but have no idea how to use it.

    Are there any guidelines on how to use the packager? I noticed at the end of this blog post it mentions a detailed more blog article on how to use the packager but i cannot find it.

    • Steve, the next step is to use the iOS packager from Flash Pro CS5. There’s a detailed help doc in the Flash Pro CS5 docs that covers all the steps.

      • Laurie-anne Gignac

        Can you give the link to that document that covers all the steps? I can’t find it

  • Edward Apostol

    Hi – I am working on some Captivate 5 content now and have had inquiries of porting the content to iPhone/iPad. This is good news, but I was wondering if submission to LMS of interactions and scores is supported when the presentation is prepared as an iPhone/IPad app?

  • Nathan

    This does not work. At all. The best way I found is to export Captivate to Flash and then export it to a swf. Then you have to package it with the iPhone packager. All of these tools adobe has for the iPhone do not work well. Plus swfs hog most of the CPU on the device and it runs slow.

    Also trying to load external swfs does not work at all as well. You can only compile one swf at a time.You can’t even package multiple swfs in the packager and reference them through xml. Pointless! You might as well rebuild it in XCode if you really want an app on the iPhone or iPad.

    • Nathan, I hope you’ll share your experience / concerns with the guys in QA via – as the iPhone publishing got sort of short circuited a bit by all that strange rules shifting, I’m sure they’d be interested in helping you optimize and in learning what experiences / problems you had. Also, I’d love to see your finished work, any chance you can share the app with me?

      • Nathan

        Unfortunately I cannot share my app since it’s proprietary to my enterprise. I built an app in Flex that launches Captivate sims. I can get the main Flex swf to run fine, although it’s a little slow. I cannot however get the other swf files, Captivate sims, to launch.

        I wish someone at Adobe would post something that shows how to do this. Whether it’s a swf or a swc file. I’m sure it can be done somehow. I see examples of Flash built apps, but it seems as though Adobe is the only ones that know how to do it.

      • Nathan

        By the way the documentation on all of this is terrible!

        • Nathan, There is a fairly detailed doc included in the Flash Player CS5 docs. It’s probably the best you’re going to do.

  • Ray Boehmer

    I can’t get this to work either. I get the following error in terminal when running the packager for iphone: “File /path/filename.swf is not a valid AIRI or AIR file”

    Is there some other setting in captivate that I need to set besides the obvious one mentioned in the article, to make the SWF compatible with the packager?

  • J_UWF

    I can’t find the option to ” While publishing the SWF, turn ON this option in the publish dialog – “Enable SWF for conversion to iPhone application”.” in my Captivate. How can I turn it on ?

    • J – choose Publish, then look for a box / line on the lower right of the dialog.

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  • It would be nice to have this for Android =)

    • Lee, having it for Droid apps would be cool yes. But along those lines have you tried just running the project in Flash on your Droid? It runs flawlessly on my Atrix and on Xoom. Depends on the hardware, but those with Flash 10.2 support seem to be running in browser Cp Flash projects without modification pretty smoothly. Mobile is certainly a priority for us.

      • It runs great on my Atrix & my Galaxy Tab 10.1. I’m a part of the Flash, AIR & Flash Builder pre-release programs. Is there one for Captivate? I just finished my first large project with Captivate 5 and have some good ideas on how the application could be more efficient.

  • Laurie-anne Gignac

    I got a question… Maybe sound stupid… If I transform the 15-20 “swf” videos I have made to show how to use databases are turned into 15-20 iPhone apps. am I obligated to create an app to include all these apps and to publish it in apple store? Or can they be embedded in a web page which is found into safari? I just want something simple for my students with iPads and iPhones can see my videos which are now all embedded in a web site. I’m not a developer.

    • You will need to publish each of these swfs as an app. If this is not going to be deployed by a large number of users (less than 300 I think), then you could get an adhoc license from Apple… you don’t have to go the app-store route. If your swf is non-interactive, consider publishing this as an mp4, in which scenario, you can access it via a web browser.

  • Mike S

    Hi Allen, I hope you can help me. I published out a swf from Captivate 5. I used Flash Builder 4.5.1 to develop a mobile app that will run the SWF on a iPad. When I launch the app on the iPad I get a blank white screen. I tried using Flash Professional 5.5 to develop the app and get the same results.

    I repubished the file as an Android app and it runs fine on my Droid. Is there somthing I need to do differently when I publish the SWF from Captivate to get it to work with Flash Builder and Flash Professional? I tried “Enable SWF for conversion to iPhone application” checked and unchecked with the same results.


  • Since Flash is pretty much dead, what are other options to publish an interactive CBT to Apple and Android Market places?

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  • Hattie A


    I realise this is an old post but I am trying to convert some eLearning that I’ve made in captivate 5.5 so that it can be viewed on an iPad and I am struggling to find a solution that works…

    The ‘packager for iPhone’ no longer seems to exist…I have the eLearning suite 2.5 so have Air as part of Flash and Device Central, however I don’t seem to be getting anywhere with them!? Any ideas or instructions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi, We discontinued the ‘Packager for iPhone’. The best option would be to upgrade to Cp6, import your Cp5.5 content, and publish the same as HTML5. You can download the Cp6 trial and see if it meets your needs; or even try a month’s subscription (which will ensure that your published content does not expire).

  • Nandhu

    How to develop iphone apps using adobe captivate 7?

  • I followed these steps and tried to install on my iphone 5 plus, and it didn’t work. Is this supportable for the iphone 5?

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