Thank you to Jonathan Hart (@jonathanhartsf) and others for the heads up on the recent resurgence of ActionScript on the Tiobe Index. Last month ActionScript broke into the top 20. The June numbers are now out and it’s moved up to the 14th spot! None of this would be possible without the awesome support of our AS developer community, creating and inspiring us with their applications and games for both mobile and desktop platforms! Thank you!
Last week at the Google I/O conference, we announced the public availability of the Adobe AIR for Android Developer Prerelease program. This week, we wanted to highlight a few excellent examples of AIR and Android powered enterprise applications developed by two members of our evangelism team, Christophe Coenraets and James Ward.
Both Christophe and James recently recorded inspiring video demonstrations of some of the sample applications they have been working on lately.
Mobile version of Employee Directory application by Christophe Coenraets.
Trading sample application by Christophe Coenraets.
Example of a Flex and AIR application that includes multi-touch support by James Ward.
The Flex team announced an update to the 3.5 SDK that addresses an issue with the Flex-based AIR auto-update UI packaged within the SDK (SDK-24766). It is strongly recommended that all Flex developers building AIR applications update to the 3.5a release. The SDK 3.5a can be found in the "Latest Milestone Release Build" table here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Download+Flex+3.
Both the web and desktop versions of Tour de Flex were recently updated to include AIR 2 samples. If you are not familiar with Tour de Flex, it is an extremely valuable resource for learning about Adobe platform technologies including Flex, Flash and Adobe AIR.
The new AIR 2 examples include:
- Global error handler
- Open with default application
- Native Process
- Socket API
For additional information on these examples, see Holly Schinsky’s blog post. Also, Greg Wilson informs me that more examples are coming soon. If there are specific examples you would like to see, please leave us a comment and we will relay your requests back to the Tour de Flex team.
Christian Cantrell, a member of the AIR team, also created an extremely valuable blog post that provides links to a number of articles, videos, blog posts and samples related to AIR 2.
ChessJam is a beautiful new online chess game powered by Adobe AIR that allows users to play chess with others from around the world. Greg Wilson, one of the developers of the application and an Adobe employee, wrote a detailed blog post on how the application was created using Flex, Adobe AIR, ColdFusion and LiveCycle DS.
When asked why the team that developed this application chose Adobe AIR, Greg responded with the following points:
- Embedded images and sounds dramatically speed-up load times compared to an equivalent web-browser-based app
- User presence detection
- Network detection for handling disconnects and reconnects
- Custom chrome (the team wanted 100% control over UI, sizing, position, etc.)
- Numerous uses of mx:HTML including the news banner, upcoming stats view, etc.
- Auto-update framework to easily push out updates to the application.
- Support for Mac, Windows and Linux
Greg mentioned that there are plans to release other features that take advantage of AIR soon including toast-style notifications, local game history storage using the SQLite database and more. Congratulations to the ChessJam for building a fabulous game.
We noticed that some developers were having trouble overlaying the AIR 2 beta SDK on top of the Flex SDK in Flex Builder and Flash Builder. Looking into the reports a bit further, we discovered that our instructions were not quite accurate. I just updated the AIR 2 release notes with more detailed instructions, so hopefully that will clear things up.
If they’re still not clear, let us know via the comments and I’ll clarify further. Also, we are looking at ways of making this process much easier in the future. Thanks for bearing with us in the meantime.
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!
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.
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:
3D Charts component.
My colleague Dan Koestler and I just released a new version of ShareFire (formerly known as Apprise), a news aggregator written for Adobe AIR. ShareFire has several useful features, but what really differentiates it is the ability to share news stories with friends over various social networks right from the application. We currently support sharing via email, AIM, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, MySpace, and Newsvine. Another nice feature of ShareFire is that it has been localized into 16 languages which you can switch between dynamically (without having to restart the application or download other versions).
The source code for ShareFire is available on Google Code as well as all the libraries it uses:
- as3corelib: Contains general utilities for things like date parsing, and working with various file formats.
- as3localelib: Utilities for helping to localize your Flash applications.
- as3nativealertlib: Library for creating modal alert windows in AIR.
- as3syndicationlib: Libraries for parsing all versions of RSS and Atom.
- as3preferenceslib: Library for managing the storage, retrieval, and encryption of application preferences.
- as3notificationlib: Library for showing Growl-like alerts on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
- wimas3: Code for integrating AIM into your Flash applications.
- Adobe AIR Update Framework: A framework to assist in updating your AIR applications. (This project is now included in the AIR SDK, but it wasn’t at the time ShareFire was started.)
Here’s a screenshot of ShareFire, or for a demonstration, check out the video below. To install ShareFire, check out the ShareFire homepage.