Archive for March, 2009

Adobe is… Joining Facebook in Making the Web More Social

One of the greatest assets of the Flash Platform is it’s large community of partners and developers who expand the capabilities of the platform with new and exciting features. Today is no exception as we announce the release of the ActionScript 3.0 Client Library for Facebook Platform API. This library, a joint effort between Adobe and Facebook, allows developers to create rich social web applications using Flash, Flex and AIR.

Until now, only a few unofficial libraries existed to support ActionScript development on the Facebook Platform. Many of these libraries struggled to stay up to date with the rapidly evolving Facebook Platform. Today’s announcement makes ActionScript one of three officially supported languages (along with PHP and JavaScript) of the Facebook Platform and illustrates a commitment from both companies to make sure that this library is kept up to date and provides
the best experience for developers building on both platforms.

Along with the development of the actual library, we have created a Facebook section on the Adobe Developer Center with articles, tutorials and videos which will help you get started developing your first Facebook application. We have also included links to examples of live projects built by customers who have begun combining these technologies in new and innovative ways. To download the library itself, track it’s ongoing development, or submit bugs and patches, visit the project page at Google Code.

While this announcement is a great milestone for Facebook and Flash developers, we hope to provide even more support going forward. We realize that social applications are a major focus for developers and we want to make sure and provide the best APIs and tools for you going forward. If you are in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Expo this week, please come by the Adobe booth and visit with us. Facebook, along with a number of partners who are already building Flash based Facebook applications, will be here to talk about their experiences and show off their work. Or if you won’t be able to make it, you can contact me at ddura@adobe.com and visit my blog http://www.danieldura.com for more information as the project progresses.

Building Rich Enterprise Applications with Adobe AIR

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Adobe evangelist Christophe Coenraets recorded a very impressive demonstration (see below) of a sample application he built using Adobe AIR and Flex. The sample application, called Salesbuilder, demonstrates many powerful features including:

  • telephone integration directly within the application using Ribbit (requires an account)
  • simulated data synchronization between a local and remote database
  • local database encryption
  • rich data visualizations including a new calendar component from ILog and an org chart view made possible with Kapit Visualizer
  • drag and drop support between Salesbuilder and Word/Excel

The application is available for install at the bottom of his blog post.

Seesmic Launches a Facebook Desktop Client Built on Adobe AIR

The creative software team at Seesmic launched a new beta application this past weekend called Seesmic for Facebook. If you have a Facebook account and enjoy keeping tabs on your friends through their status updates, this application is made for you. Note: If you do not have Adobe AIR installed, you’ll want to install it before you install Seesmic for Facebook.

From the creators of the very popular social software client Twhirl (Twitter, Friendfeed, etc.) that has been downloaded over one million times, Seesmic for Facebook is powered by Adobe AIR and displays notifications alerting you of updates from your friends. In addition, you can also provide your own update as well.

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Below is a video of Seesmic’s founder and CEO, Loïc Le Meur, discussing the announcement at SXSW. Congratulations to the Seesmic team on both the creation of the Facebook application and for Twhirl hitting one million downloads!

Adobe AIR Development Plug-In for Aptana Studio Now Available

Today, we are pleased to announce with Aptana that the next major update to the Adobe AIR Development Plug-In for Aptana Studio is now available for download. Joelle Lam, an Aptana engineer that worked on the project, has recorded a video overview (see above) and also authored an excellent overview article describing the new JavaScript debugging capabilities.

The full list of features in the plug-in include:

  • Support for Adobe AIR 1.5. (new)
  • Integrated JavaScript Debugger. Watch screencast. (new)
  • Bundled JavaScript frameworks with full code assist (new)
  • Tools for generating application badges (new)
  • Integrated content assist for the Adobe AIR SDK
  • Pre-installed Adobe AIR runtime and SDK
  • Project wizard generates all necessary files for out-of-the box launching of Adobe AIR applications
  • Export wizard bundles and deploys Adobe AIR applications
  • Easily import Ajax libraries into Adobe AIR projects
  • Create and manage certificates for signing Adobe AIR applications
  • Support for localization, menu builders, and source viewing
  • Adobe AIR samples that can be previewed or imported as project
  • Help and online documentation

As we’ve been speaking to JavaScript developers, one of the most requested features has been the ability to debug their applications. While we exposed this capability in Adobe AIR 1.5 released in November of last year and Aptana announced a beta plugin that supports this, today’s announcement is particularly exciting because the final version of this plugin is now available to users and includes many bug fixes and enhancements. Debugging support includes the ability to step in, step over, and step out of code. Errors are displayed in the Console.

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Screenshot of the new debugging view.

Related links:

New Performance-tuning article on Adobe AIR Developer Center

adc.jpgOliver Goldman has written an excellent article titled Performance-tuning Adobe AIR Applications that is now available on the Adobe AIR Developer Center. The article explores how to define metrics, measure throughput and memory, and apply an optimization process to your development process.

It’s a must read article whether you have already deployed an AIR application to your customers or you are simply in the early stages of thinking about building an AIR application.

If you have thoughts or experiences you would like to share, positive or negative, with regard to the performance of your AIR application, please feel free to leave a comment. If you think you have encountered a bug in this area, let our team know directly by sending us a description of your issue to our wish list.

In the coming months, we plan on sharing more articles that describe how to optimize the performance of your applications.

Fast & Furious Desktop Widget Powered by Adobe AIR

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Universal Pictures recently released an Adobe AIR powered desktop widget for its upcoming film Fast & Furious starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. The application allows you to receive breaking news related to the film, view a countdown timer (scheduled for April 3rd), watch trailers and video clips, download wallpapers, connect with other fans real-time, and get directions using its built in GPS map.

This is a great example of an application designed to be completely viral — across websites, social networks and the desktop with AIR. Using the "grab & share" feature built inside of the application, the widget can be easily shared on a user’s social network such as Facebook or MySpace.

As an AIR application, it takes advantage of transparent windows to emphasize the film’s brand in a very compelling way.

My hope is that this is a sign of things to come as more and more film studios begin promoting their upcoming releases with AIR applications. In particular, I would love to see a widget application like this that also takes advantage of AIR’s support for HD video. Who knows, but perhaps some day soon entire films will be released and distributed as AIR applications in HD. Perhaps you have already have seen an example of this (please leave a comment if you have!).

Congratulations to the team at Xtreme Widgets that built this application.

ILOG Releases New Data Visualization Components for Adobe AIR

ILOG, an IBM company, recently announced an enhanced set of advanced data visualization components for Adobe AIR and Flex known as ILOG Elixir 2.0. When I first had the opportunity to see these components in action back in Milan at MAX last year, I was stunned by the richness, flexibility and performance of these components.

In addition to offering a 60 day trial period, the team at ILOG has made interactive examples available. Whether you are building an enterprise dashboard or Tufte inspired data visualization for your analytics tool, these data visualizations components are bound to save you a great deal of time. The components are available for purchase through the ILOG website.

The set of data visualization components include:

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3D Charts component.

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Treemap component.

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Heatmap component.

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Gantt component.

Related links: