During the past two years, I’ve met a lot of developers going through the process of learning to build desktop applications on Adobe AIR. As they learn AIR, these developers face the same set of challenges — enabling auto-update, setting up icons, creating an install badge, accessing the SQLite database, and using the many other AIR APIs. Even my own blog traffic is evidence of the many developers seeking information on building AIR apps. For example, my blog post titled, “Adding auto-update features to your AIR application in 3 easy steps” has been read 19,828 times! As I was thinking about all of this, I realized that we needed to figure out a way to help developers learn this stuff faster!
Today we launched Adobe AIR Launchpad, a desktop tool that helps Adobe Flex developers get started building desktop applications deployed on Adobe AIR. Simply run Adobe AIR Launchpad and select the capabilities you need; Adobe AIR Launchpad will create a ready-to-import Flex project with your selected features implemented in a way that can be easily modified and extended. You can use the resulting project as a starting point for your AIR application.
Adobe AIR Launchpad creates a folder structure that contains a ready-to-compile AIR application with the selected features implemented. It also creates a ZIP file in the parent folder that can be imported directly into Adobe Flash Builder. If you select auto update as an option, a “server” subfolder will be created that contains the XML file needed on the server to control auto-update. If you select the install badge option, a “install_badge” subfolder will be created containing the files needed to create an install badge.
The generated code is well commented and clearly written. I think you will find that using this tool will dramatically accelerate learning AIR.
The Adobe AIR Launchpad is free and available now at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/airlaunchpad
If you like Launchpad and have never looked at Tour de Flex, check it out at http://flex.org/tour – there are over 500 Flex samples including a lot of AIR-specific samples.
CREDITS: Holly Schinsky (blog / twitter) built nearly all of the application including the generated code and comments. Holly has a unique sense of what developers need when learning a new language or API. Her blog has a large and growing following because her blog posts are very useful and written from one developer to another in a no-nonsense style. Holly has often discussed building code templates that developers can use as a learning resource so this project was a perfect fit for her. Christophe Coenraets, James Ward, Michael Chaize, Ben Forta and I contributed to the overall design and concept.
James Ward created a great demo video:
Michael Chaize also created a demo video: