Posts in Category "Announcements"

Important Development Workflow Change in AIR 2

If you’re an AIR application developer, and you tend to run an installed version of an application at the same time that you’re developing it, this post contains important information on how your development workflow will need to change for AIR 2.

In AIR 1.5.3, we made some changes to the way that AIR files are signed. Previously, publisher IDs were computed using developers’ certificates, and were associated with applications at install time. When running the same application from ADL (which is what you’re doing when running or debugging from Flash Professional and Flash Builder), unless the -pubid flag is passed in, the application runs without any publisher ID. The result was that you could run an application from ADL while running the installed version of the same application simultaneously.

Starting with AIR 1.5.3, publisher IDs are specified rather than computed. If no publisher ID is specified (which is the default), the application is installed without a publisher ID. Since ADL typically runs applications without a publisher ID, and since only one instance of an AIR application can run at a time, the result is that if an installed version of an application is running, you cannot use ADL to launch the same application. In other words, you cannot run and develop the same application at the same time. (For more information on the changes we made in 1.5.3 and the reasoning behind them, see Oliver Goldman’s post, Upcoming Certificate Renewal Changes in Adobe AIR.)

This new behavior isn’t technically a bug since the previous behavior was not so much intended as it was a convenient byproduct of the signing and installation process. That said, we realize this is an important workflow for many developers (including myself), and we plan to re-enable it in the future. In fact, not only should you be able to run and debug the same application at the same time, but we intend to actually support the workflow this time.

Explicitly implementing and supporting this workflow has two advantages over the previous behavior:

  1. We can make sure we never "break" it in the future. (When things just kind of work accidentally, you never know when they might stop working.)
  2. We can make it even more comprehensive and useful than the previous behavior. (We have some good ideas we’re currently considering, but feel free to post suggestions here.)

In the meantime, if you find that you really need to be able to run and debug the same application at the same time, I’ve found that the best work-around is to change your application ID in your application descriptor file. For example, I’m currently working on an application called MailBrew which I also usually have running in the background. The installed application ID is com.christiancantrell.mailbrew, but while developing it, I change the ID to test.com.christiancantrell.mailbrew. Not only does this give me the workflow that I’m used to, but it also allows my test application to use a different application storage directory, encrypted local store, etc. Just make sure that you change your application ID back before building a release version since if you don’t, updates to your existing version will not be allowed. (Note that you can also use third-party tools like Apache Ant to manage this switch for you.)

We apologize if this change negatively affects your development workflow, and we intend to not only re-enable the old workflow, but to also make it better than it was before.

Adobe AIR 1.5.3 Now Available

The Adobe AIR 1.5.3 runtime and SDK are now available for download. This release includes an updated version of Flash Player, security updates and several bug fixes. The developer release notes include critical information that all developers building AIR applications should be sure to read including important information related to certificate renewals (see earlier blog post) as well as bug fixes.

Highlights of some of the important changes in this release:

  • If you have deployed an existing Adobe AIR application using AIR 1.5.2 or earlier and you want to update your application to use the 1.5.3 namespace, you will need to specify the old publisher ID of your application in your descriptor. Instructions on how to find your publisher ID and specify it in your descriptor are described in the release notes.
  • The process for changing certificates in an update to a deployed application has changed. Beginning with AIR 1.5.3, certificate renewals will no longer be handled automatically and you will need to use the migrate feature of ADT. Please learn more about this topic by reading the release notes.

Critical issues fixed in this release:

  • When an intermediate certificate expires, it is no longer possible to sign an application with a renewed certificate (fixed by removing the publisher ID).
  • The AIR application installer crashes on Linux systems using AMD Phenom processors.

Important links:

Localized versions of the release notes for both developers and end users are also available.

If you have questions related to AIR 1.5.3, please leave us a comment.

Adobe AIR 1.5.3 Coming Soon

Update: Adobe AIR 1.5.3 is now live.

We are very close to shipping Adobe AIR 1.5.3, the next minor update to the AIR runtime. If you are a developer building Adobe AIR apps, it is highly recommended that you review the blog post "Upcoming Certificate Renewal Changes in Adobe AIR" by Oliver Goldman, a member of our development team. The release notes for AIR 1.5.3 will include additional information on the upcoming certificate renewal changes. Once AIR 1.5.3 is made publicly available, we will be sure to link to those release notes from a new post on our blog.

JavaScript Memory and CPU Profiling in Adobe AIR 2

One of the biggest challenges our team continued to hear from JavaScript developers using Adobe AIR 1.5 was that it was too difficult to track down CPU and memory issues within their HTML-based AIR applications. To help JavaScript developers detect and resolve these issues, we have introduced new runtime support for CPU and memory profiling of HTML-based AIR applications in the Adobe AIR 2 beta.

By doing so, tools like Aptana Studio can build powerful features that make analyzing memory and CPU usage of JavaScript execution within an AIR app a breeze. In the video above, Paul Colton, CEO of Aptana, provides an overview of how Aptana Studio is able to take advantage of the new runtime support and build powerful new features to assist developers in tracking down performance issues.

Some of the features included in the new Adobe AIR 2 Beta Plug-In for Aptana Studio include:

  • Live Objects View
    • Shows current information about how much current and cumulative memory is used by the application
    • Shows the number of current and cumulative instances of objects
  • Memory Usage View
    • Peak memory used
    • Current memory used
  • Memory Snapshot and Object References Views
    • Captures the number of class instances as well as memory used at a point in time
    • Select an object to view its references
    • Allocation trace information reveals where the objects are allocated
  • Loitering Objects View
    • Displays the memory usage difference between two memory snapshots
    • Helps detect loitering objects that are still present
  • Performance Profile View
    • Displays a list of all method calls along with amount of time for each to run
  • Method Statistics View
    • Presents information on the callers and callees of a function including statistics
    • Quickly navigate to location of the function in the code

Both Adobe AIR 2 and Adobe AIR 2 Beta Plug-in for Aptana Studio are currently in beta. If you run into issues or have feature requests, both the Adobe and Aptana teams would appreciate hearing your feedback on these new capabilities.

Next steps:

  1. Watch the tutorial video for a quick introduction on the new profiler capabilities
  2. Download the Adobe AIR 2 Beta Plug-In
  3. Discuss the feature on the Adobe AIR 2 Beta forums or post a comment below

Note: For Flex and Flash developers, support for application profiling has been available in Adobe Flex Builder for some time. We are very excited to bring this support to JavaScript developers as well.

Official Avatar Interactive Trailer Powered by Adobe AIR

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To promote the upcoming release of the much anticipated Avatar motion picture, 20th Century Fox just released an interactive trailer powered by Adobe AIR that provides exclusive content to fans including video interviews with the cast. In addition, the interactive trailer provides a way for fans to track official updates posted to Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Avatar opens worldwide on December 18th, 2009.

Related links:

Adobe AIR 2 Beta Now Available!

Today we are very excited to announce the availability of the Adobe AIR 2 beta (runtime and SDK) for Windows, Mac and Linux. At Adobe MAX, we provided you with a preview of Adobe AIR 2 and now you will have a chance to test drive the beta version. AIR 2 builds on the success of AIR 1 by giving developers new capabilities and even tighter integration with the desktop. This is the first time we have sim-shipped for all three major operating systems for both AIR and Flash Player (also in beta) and represents a major step forward in delivering on the promise of the Open Screen Project. In addition, the Flash Player team has also announced the availability of Player 10.1 on Adobe Labs.

Next steps:

  1. Download the Adobe AIR 2 beta runtime and SDK from Adobe Labs
  2. Explore the AIR 2 Release Notes, Developer FAQ and documentation
  3. Download source code and sample applications
  4. Ask questions and provide feedback in the the AIR 2 beta forum

In addition, we are making the following articles available today in the Adobe Developer Center:

Join us today as we start the next step in the evolution of Adobe AIR. On Adobe Labs you will find articles, videos, documentation, and sample applications with code to get you started with AIR 2. The beta forum will also be open to post questions, provide feedback and share your experiences with the beta.

We look forward to your feedback and thanks for your continued support. See you all in the Adobe AIR 2 Beta forum!

Adobe AIR 1.5 Supports Windows 7

We are pleased to announce that the current version of Adobe AIR (1.5.2) supports Windows 7. For additional information on supported operating systems, please see our Adobe AIR system requirements page.

Only Two Weeks Left Until MAX! Do Not Miss These Sessions!

Adobe MAX is less than two weeks away and members of our team are working around the clock in preparation for the event. For those of you interested in AIR and learning more about what we have been up to in the past year, please be sure to sign-up for the sessions listed below. All of these sessions will be presented by members of the Adobe AIR team. As a manager for the AIR track at this year’s MAX, I have been deeply impressed by the quality of content this year and I am very much hoping many of you will be able to join us.

A few pointers for MAX this year:

  • If you are interested in learning more about what is coming in AIR 2, do not miss Christian Cantrell’s session on the topic (see session summaries at the bottom of this page).
  • If mobile application development is anywhere on your radar, there are two must-see sessions by AIR team members. Again, session descriptions are listed at the bottom of this post.
    • One session, presented by Arno Gourdol and titled "Designing Applications for Desktops and Mobile Devices with Adobe AIR," will cover how to build applications than span both desktop and mobile. This is an exciting topic and core to Adobe’s multi-screen vision for application development.
    • The second session, presented by Aditya Bansod, is titled "Building Mobile Applications with Adobe AIR" and will focus on mobile application development. The session will cover new ground and there will be two instances of Aditya’s session.
  • Oliver Goldman, lead developer on the AIR team, is presenting a session titled: "Explore Deployment and Distribution Options for Adobe AIR Applications." For those of you looking to better understand the full set of options available to you in terms of deploying your AIR applications and the AIR runtime to end users, this session will provided a detailed look at what is possible today and new options that will be made available in AIR 2.
  • One of the most groundbreaking Adobe AIR applications to date is the popular Times Reader built by the New York Times in collaboration with Adobe. Jeremy Clark, an experience design manager at Adobe, will be presenting on how this application was created from the ideation to production phases. Jeremy’s team led the creation of the application on the Adobe side and he will be sharing his experiences during the design and development process. In reviewing the slides, I expect this session will be a huge source of inspiration for many developers.
  • On Monday night, there will be a "meet the team" session in room 512 where members of the AIR and Flash Player teams will be available to answer your questions. Pizza, beer and other beverages will be provided. This is a great chance to learn more about Adobe’s runtime technologies from the engineers and product managers that work on these products day-to-day. For more information on meet the team events, see the evening events section on the MAX website..
  • If you would like to stop by and say hello, I will be at the platform demo station located in the Adobe booth on Monday (10/5) from 2:00PM – 4:00PM and Wednesday (10/7) from 1:30PM – 3:30PM. Please stop by to introduce yourself and tell me more about what you are working on. If you are not able to catch me, drop me a note on Twitter (@robchristensen) and we can try and meet-up.

Additional Details on AIR Team MAX Sessions

What’s Coming in Adobe AIR 2 by Christian Cantrell

Adobe AIR allows developers to build rich Internet applications (RIAs) that run outside the browser on multiple operating systems. In this session, you will learn about the planned capabilities of the upcoming release of Adobe AIR 2.

Designing Applications for Desktops and Mobile Devices with Adobe AIR by Arno Gourdol

See how Adobe AIR has made it possible for web developers to build cross-platform desktop applications. Learn how the platform is expanding to enable the delivery of applications not just for desktop operating systems, but also for mobile devices.

Building Mobile Applications with Adobe AIR by Aditya Bansod (2 sessions)

Learn how Adobe is working to bring Adobe AIR development out of the desktop and onto a mobile phone near you. We will cover how the AIR SDK and platform will evolve to add capabilities to help developers mobile enable, test, and publish their content. Mobile computing and mobile applications provide publishers and developers with exciting opportunities to get their products into the pockets of millions of people.

Explore Deployment and Distribution Options for Adobe AIR Applications by Oliver Goldman

Learn how to get your AIR applications to your users and how to keep them up to date. We will discuss important considerations for distribution on the Internet or an intranet, including impacts on your auto-update mechanism. We will cover existing deployment options such as badge installation and IBM Tivoli support. Finally, we will explore the new deployment options that will be available in Adobe AIR 2, including the native installer support required to use some of the advanced new AIR 2 APIs.

The Future of Digital Publishing: Delivering News through Adobe AIR by Jeremy Clark

Learn from Jeremy Clark of Adobe’s Experience Design team how his group has leveraged Adobe AIR, Flex, and the Text Layout Framework (now in beta on Adobe Labs) to help the New York Times and others reach new and existing customers with a revolutionary desktop news application.

Adobe AIR 1.5.2 Now Available

We are pleased to announce that Adobe AIR 1.5.2 is now available for download. Adobe AIR 1.5.2 is a minor update that includes bug fixes related to reliability, compatibility and security. For additional details on changes from the previous release (AIR 1.5.1) including bug fixes, API changes and known issues, please see the Adobe AIR 1.5.2 developer release notes.

In addition, I encourage developers building AIR applications to read the article "Overview of the Flash Player 10.0.32 Security Update" on the Adobe Developer Connection website. This article describes some of the security-related enhancements related to both Flash Player 10.0.32 (also just released) and Adobe AIR 1.5.2.

What are we up to next? We are continuing to work hard on the next major release of Adobe AIR and we’re looking forward to sharing more details including teaser demos soon. If you have feedback on AIR 1.5.2 or in general, please let us know by dropping us a note directly using our feedback form or on the Adobe AIR discussion forum. We greatly appreciate hearing feedback from the community!

Adobe AIR now installed over 200 million times

During the Flash Camp Keynote in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch mentioned that AIR reached over 200 million installs. We’ve gotten some questions from developers about that number, so this is a quick post to confirm that as of June 1, 2009, AIR has been installed on over 200 million desktop computers worldwide.

With 100 million installs in the first 10 months of availability, and 200 million in just 16 months the rate of adoption continues to accelerate as more applications are developed and come to market.

The Acrobat.com application built by Adobe and provided with Adobe Reader continues to be one of the most popular applications. Many of the early adopters like TweetDeck and eBay Desktop continue to be broadly used and we’re seeing many new applications that are gaining popularity including:

In addition to those large brands, we’re excited by the smaller companies that are achieving incredible reach with their applications. Seesmic Desktop now says they are getting about 10,000 downloads a day driven by their integration with Facebook and Twitter.

It’s also exciting to see enterprises widely adopting Adobe AIR. So far, these applications aren’t driving as many installs of the runtime as the media and social applications, but they are helping to confirm the reach the Flash Platform has established in the enterprise. We’ve recently talked about the improved integration with Salesforce, seen Oracle using Adobe AIR to deliver CRM widgets , and discovered that SAP xCelsius provides support for AIR. We’re also starting to see ISVs deliver applications to the enterprise on Adobe AIR:

And finally, for folks who have asked how AIR is gaining traction in the government, I want to share one of my favorite apps. The Finance Ministry in Poland built an AIR application to assist their citizens in filing their income taxes.