Adobe Releases AIR, Flex 3 And Blaze DS

Monday, February 25, 2008 by Mistlee

Adobe Releases AIR, Flex 3 And Blaze DS

By Brajeshwar Oinam

Adobe today launched Adobe AIR - the runtime environment that lets developers use proven web technologies to build rich Internet applications that deploy to the desktop and run across operating systems.

Adobe AIR allows developers to use familiar tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Flex Builder 3, Flash CS3 Professional, or any text editor to build their applications and easily deliver a single application installer that works across operating systems.

With Adobe AIR, businesses can offer an exciting new way to engage customers with innovative, branded desktop applications, without requiring changes to existing technology, people, or processes. The best part is that, like Adobe Reader and the Adobe Flash Player runtime, the Adobe AIR application runtime is free. The downloadable Adobe AIR SDK is free as well.

In what may be the first big wave, several companies are also launching their AIR-based applications today. eBay and NASDAQ will use Adobe AIR to keep customers up-to-date about site news and account status, cable TV children's channel Nickelodeon has created a video jigsaw puzzle application and The New York Times is using AIR to build the desktop component of ShifD, which will allow Times readers to move newspaper content back-and-forth between their computers and their mobile devices.

Look at all of them at the Adobe AIR Showcase.

With Adobe AIR, a developer need not learn anything new and they can use existing technologies they're used to - HTML, Ajax, JavaScript, Flash, Flex, ActionScript. The major advantage is that once developer, Adobe AIR Applications can be deployed on any platform - Windows, Mac and Linux (coming pretty soon) - as a Desktop Application allowing it to circumvent the limitations of a web-app. Adobe AIR Applications can read, write and access local files, work with other applications on your computer, interact directly with the internet. Nonetheless, with all the freedom, Adobe AIR has its own Security Sandbox that makes it extremely secure for deployment and usage.

VentureBeat wrote that the official launch of Adobe AIR puts it ahead of competitors - JavaFX and Mozilla Prism - which are still in development or beta stage. Michele Turner, Adobe vice president of product management and marketing, says that treating Microsoft Silverlight as a competitor is a misconception, "Silverlight is a browser plug-in, not a desktop runtime environment."

AOL plans to supplement its XDrive online storage application with AIR. Robert Blatt, vice president and general manager of personal media at AOL said,

Today, the XDrive UI is either a classic Java-based Web application or a C++ desktop application. We're basically, building an AIR and Flex application that will either work on your desktop or in a browser to replace the current UI.

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