Posts in Category "MAX"

Adobe MAX Video: The Future of Digital Publishing: Delivering News through Adobe AIR

Another excellent session at Adobe MAX this year was presented by members of our Experience Design team. The session description was the following:

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.

Adobe MAX Video: Explore Deployment and Distribution Options for Adobe AIR Applications

Adobe AIR team member Oliver Goldman presented a session titled "Explore Deployment and Distribution Options for Adobe AIR Applications" at Adobe MAX last week. This is an excellent session for IT administrators, developers or architects that are interested in learning more about the distribution and deployment options for AIR. Oliver also previews some of the new capabilities we are working on related to native installer support in AIR 2 (see 38:30 if you are interested in this specific topic).

Adobe MAX Video: What’s Coming in Adobe AIR 2

Last week, we were thrilled to preview Adobe AIR 2 at Adobe MAX where we unveiled some of the new capabilities coming to the runtime. In addition, there were dozens of sessions covering AIR ranging from application case studies to deployment strategies and more.

During the rest of this week, I will be highlighting a few of the AIR-related sessions. I encourage you to explore and discover the over 250 hours of content in the design, develop and envision tracks that covered topics ranging from Photoshop to ColdFusion to LiveCycle and beyond. All of this content is currently available on Adobe TV. Please note that some of the recordings may not start right away and you may need to fast-forward a bit (the team at Adobe.TV did an amazing job of getting these sessions online as quickly as possible).

The first session I would like to highlight is What’s Coming in Adobe AIR 2 by Adobe AIR team member Christian Cantrell. If you are interested in what some of the new API’s will look like in AIR 2, this is a session you will definitely want to check out.

Previewing Adobe AIR 2 at Adobe MAX

At Adobe MAX in Los Angeles today, we previewed the next major release of Adobe AIR to thousands of Adobe customers and partners. Several exciting new capabilities of the AIR runtime were demonstrated by Adobe’s CTO, Kevin Lynch, as part of the "day one" keynote. In addition, Christian Cantrell, a member of the AIR engineering team, presented a session titled “What’s Coming in AIR 2″ that provided a more detailed sneak peak of some of the upcoming features of the AIR runtime (stay tuned — we will soon be posting a recording of Christian’s talk).

After shipping AIR 1.0, many of developers challenged us to open the runtime up even more by, for example, allowing communication with native processes and providing enhanced networking support. With AIR 2, our goal from the outset was to remove limitations in the runtime that prevented developers from building their applications.

Some of the capabilities that are coming in AIR 2 include:

  • Native process API
    Beginning with AIR 2, developers will have access to a native process API that will enable applications to invoke and communicate with native applications on the local machine. In order to preserve the cross platform nature of the .air file format, applications that take advantage of the native process API must be deployed as native installers such as .exe and .dmg. The AIR runtime SDK will include support for generating basic native installers.  
  • Support for detecting mass storage devices
    Now your AIR application can detect when a mass storage device is connected or disconnected. An AIR 2 application can listen for when a user plugs in a Flip video camera or USB Flash drive so that it can, for example, automatically synchronize files to the local system or prompt the user to upload photos to Facebook or videos to YouTube.
  • Improved support for accessibility
    Runtime dialogs such as the installer dialogs will be readable by supported screen readers such as JAWS. In addition, it will be possible to build accessible Flash-based applications in AIR leveraging the existing accessibility API’s and features available in the Flash Player and Flex SDK.
  • Open document API
    Support for opening a document will be possible from an AIR application. With this API, AIR asks the operating system what the default application is associated with the file. For example, specifying a file path to a PDF file will launch Adobe Reader or a .doc file will open Microsoft Word.
  • Improved performance
    Applications that run using AIR 2 will consume less memory and use less CPU than AIR 1.5 without recompiling the application. We will share more information about this when we launch the beta.
  • Local microphone access API
    Currently, audio must first pass through a server before it can be saved locally. Using the upcoming AIR 2 local microphone API, it will be possible to record audio locally, which can be important if your application is running in a disconnected mode.
  • Multi-touch & gesture support
    AIR 2 will include support for multi-touch (Windows 7) and gestures (Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.6).  
  • Faster, more powerful WebKit
    An updated version of WebKit that includes a faster JavaScript engine and new HTML5/CSS3 capabilities will be included inside of AIR 2.
  • Improved socket support
    It will now be possible to create local servers and lightweight P2P applications with enhancements to AIR’s socket support.

In the coming weeks leading up to the beta, we will begin sharing more information including videos, articles and blog posts about some of these new capabilities. We are extremely eager to get the public beta into your hands so that we can begin incorporating your feedback.

We expect to ship a beta version of Adobe AIR 2 on Adobe Labs by the end of the year. In the first half of 2010, we expect to ship the final version of AIR 2.

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.

Check out the MAX Widget

Adobe evangelist Serge Jespers has released an attractive new widget to promote our upcoming MAX conference (see below). It was built using Flex Builder, the Flex 3 SDK, ColdFusion, Flash Media Server and Photoshop. For more information on MAX and Adobe AIR including session information, be sure to check out my previous blog post. Hope to see you there!

Join us at Adobe MAX in L.A.

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This year Adobe MAX , our annual conference for Adobe customers, will take place from October 4th – 7th in Los Angeles, California. That’s just right around the corner! If you register by August 31st, you can qualify for the "early bird" discount ($200 off the regular conference pass).

As a camp manager for the AIR track, it’s my job to find and recruit speakers and, I must say, I am very excited about the quality of presentations that I am reviewing. Many employees from Adobe will be presenting sessions and hanging out with customers including members of the Adobe AIR team. If you have had not the opportunity to attend MAX, by all means you should consider attending. MAX is a unique opportunity to network with colleagues in the industry, meet the development teams behind Adobe products, and also to have a great time while learning from some of the top experts on Adobe software in the world. If you are interested in tracking the latest MAX developments, be sure to follow the Adobe MAX team on Twitter or on the official MAX blog.

The session catalogue lists a complete set of speakers, but here is a small sampling of some of the AIR related sessions coming to MAX:

  • 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.
  • Roadmap: Flash Platform Runtimes by Mahesh Balakrishnan
    Come see the roadmap for the Flash Platform runtimes: Flash Player and Adobe AIR. Learn about what the runtime teams are working on today for delivery soon, and hear how Adobe envisions the future direction of the runtimes.
  • Building Mobile Applications with Adobe AIR by Aditya Bansod
    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.
  • Flex and Adobe AIR Boot Camp by Duane Nickull
    Attend the updated version of the most popular lab at MAX 2008! Attendees will go from Flex 101, an advanced Hello World, to move through 7 to 14 subsequent applications. Each application project is carefully designed to maximize learning in a short period of time, covering 2 to 4 new concepts of development within Flex and Adobe AIR. The course will cover major topics including setting up your first project; perspectives; compiling and distributing; using MXML and AS3 side by side; working with data bindings; remote service calls; manipulating audio, video, and images; graphing; and more.
  • 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.
  • Building Accessible Flex and Adobe AIR Applications by Michael Jordan and Daniel Koestler
    Learn how to comply with accessibility standards and provide access for people with disabilities within your Flex and AIR applications. This session will provide an overview of how Flash Player communicates accessibility name, role, and state information to assistive technology, such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, and voice input software. Attendees will learn about the recently documented flash.accessibility.AccessibilityImplementation class and improvements in AIR accessibility. We will also discuss the development process for an accessible AIR application.
  • Building a LiveCycle Desktop on Adobe AIR by Sven Claar
    Learn from the presenter’s two plus years building Flex and Adobe AIR clients that use different services from LiveCycle ES. This session will show a finished project called "LiveCycle AIR Desktop" and then delve into all the details encompassing how to build it.
  • Building Flex and Adobe AIR Service Clients 2009 by James Ward and Duane Nickull
    Learn how to build service clients with Flex and Adobe AIR. In this hands-on lab, you will build various service clients using the WSDL Import Wizard, hand-coded ActionScript 3.0, and REST-based services. Attendees should come prepared to write code or to partner with someone else writing code. The following projects will be built: RSS feeds, SOAP endpoints, AMF endpoints (LiveCycle Data Services ES), REST style XML over HTTP, ColdFusion Server (via CFC), PHP, performance (Flash Remoting), fault detection, and best practices.
  • Multi-touch and the Flash Platform by Daniel Dura
    Discover what you can do with multi-touch and the Flash Platform. Learn how you can build your own multi-touch table for a fraction of the cost of commercial products. We’ll also discuss an approach to building multi-touch applications for the Flash Platform on these tables that will open up an entire new world of possibilities not only for experimentation, but for your customers and clients as well.

Hope to see you there!

AIR Passes 100 Million Installs

Today at Adobe MAX in Japan, we shared some great news about the expanding reach of the Flash Platform. We announced that Adobe AIR has been installed over 100 million times. Also, as of December, Flash Player 10 was installed on 55% of computers worldwide. Flash Player 10 is breaking all previous records for rate of adoption for Flash Player, and we expect greater than 80% penetration by the second quarter of 2009. The Milward Brown survey has details on the methodology used to determine the Flash Player penetration.

Adobe AIR is not included in the Milward Brown data yet, so I thought it might be helpful to explain our methodology. The number we announced is the count of successful initial installations of Adobe AIR — this provides a minimum for the total install base of the AIR runtime.

Update:

Why does Adobe talk about installation numbers?

Our developers regularly ask about installation numbers because they are concerned about how quickly someone can install an application and begin using it. Having the runtime installed ahead of time makes that easier by making the download smaller and the download time faster. This the same reason that we focus on keeping the Flash Player very small, and why new versions are adopted so quickly.

What do we mean by "successful installation?"

Software installation can fail during download and also at installation time, so we only consider an installation to be successful when it can be confirmed by code running after the installation has been completed.

For example, the majority of AIR runtime installations occur at the time the first AIR application is installed by a user — usually through the use of an "install badge" using AIR’s seamless install feature. An install badge detects whether the runtime is installed on a user’s system before attempting to install the application. If the runtime is not installed, it will be downloaded and installed before the application is installed. In most cases, a user usually launches the app once the installation process has been completed. Once the application is launched, the AIR runtime checks on start-up to see whether a new version of the runtime is available. This request confirms that the runtime was installed correctly and that an application has been launched.

One thing the number of successful installs does not tell us is where are all the installs are coming from. Some are coming from people who come to Adobe.com to download the runtime, but the vast majority are being driven by great, popular applications. Some of the most popular include:

Are there others? We’d love to know about it. If you don’t mind sharing — put a link to your application below and let us know how many people have installed it…

Update:
We’ve gotten a few requests for more specifics around badge installations, so I did a little more digging into the data. Over 30 million installations have been of applications delivered via AIR badges. That means a lot of people are also downloading applications without using a badge. In some instances the runtime and application are offered separately — such as Pandora Desktop and finetune. In other cases, the application and runtime are bundled within another application, such as Creative Suite 4, Adobe Reader, or raptr.

Monetizing Applications with Adobe AIR

At Adobe MAX in Milan, I presented a session titled "Monetizing Applications with Adobe AIR." The goal of the talk was to provide an overview of known business models used by AIR developers to support the development of their applications. As part of the presentation, I also examined case studies that describe how developers are attempting to monetize and market their AIR applications. My slides are embedded below using Acrobat.com and also available for download (.pdf).

One company that continues to inspire me in this area is Storybook Anytime, creators of Sam’s Interactive Reader. Not only have they created an application that includes a content marketplace of interactive children’s books, but they recently released a companion Facebook application that drives new users to install the AIR-based desktop application. It’s a great example of how to use viral marketing to promote a desktop application using a new distribution channel. Quite impressively, content in their marketplace has been translated to Spanish as well.

Towards the end of the talk, I also highlight a few Adobe products that can help you build and monetize your Adobe AIR applications including:

  • Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server
    A high-performance streaming media server that supports multiway applications, including webcam chat, online games, VoIP, and a range of other interactive possibilities. Features include DVR functionality, Edge server caching, access control APIs, plug-ins, custom video services, and server-side video recording, including new support for H.264 format.
  • Adobe Flash Media Rights Management Server
    Helps protect Flash Video or H.264 (FLV or F4V) video files that are streamed or downloaded to a user’s machine and enforces usage permissions to support business models such as online rental or advertising-funded viewing.
  • LiveCycle Data Services ES
    A framework for building real-time applications that includes a data services API for synchronizing and managing data. LiveCycle Data Services is particularly valuable for AIR applications that need to run offline and quickly synchronize data back to a remote database when a user returns back online.
  • ColdFusion
    ColdFusion 8 makes it easy to create web services, such as application API’s, that can help manage the data and business logic layers of your AIR applications.

There are numerous other products Adobe is working on that can help you build your applications and we’ll be highlighting some of those technologies in upcoming posts on this blog. For example, Flex Builder 3, Dreamweaver CS4, Flash CS4. Fireworks CS4, and the Flex SDK are all powerful tools that can help you quickly build out your AIR applications.

My goal is to keep this presentation up-to-date. If you have thoughts on this presentation such as topics you would like to see covered, please feel free to leave a comment.

Building Desktop Applications Powered by Dojo and Adobe AIR

Dylan Schiemann from SitePen presented an excellent talk at MAX in San Francisco last week titled "Building Desktop
Applications Powered
by Dojo and Adobe AIR." Dylan has made the slide deck (.pdf) from his talk available on his blog.

In his session, Dylan covered numerous topics related to Dojo and Adobe AIR including:

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