By: Pete Freitag | 2008-02-27
I found the AIR Platform to be both powerful, and very easy to develop with. You really just have to spend a few minutes to see how easy it is!
Step 1 - Install Adobe AIR & the Adobe AIR SDK
If you haven't done so already, head over to Adobe to download and install the Adobe AIR Runtime, and the Adobe AIR SDK.
When you install the Adobe AIR SDK, you will want to add it's
bin/directory to your environment path.
Step 2 - Create Some Directories
Next we need to create some directories for our code, create the following directories:
/appname/ /appname/source/ /appname/source/icons/ /appname/build/Step 3 - Create an Application Descriptor
Your application descriptor is an
XMLfile that sets some properties for your application.
Let's call this file
application.xmland place it in
<application xmlns="http://ns.adobe.com/air/application/1.0"> <id>com.example.appname </id> <version>1.0 </version> <filename>AppName </filename> <initialWindow> <content>index.html </content> <visible>true </visible> <width>600</width> <height>600</height> </initialWindow> <icon> <image16x16>icons/appname-16.png</image16x16> <image32x32>icons/appname-32.png</image32x32> <image48x48>icons/appname-48.png</image48x48> <image128x128>icons/appname-128.png</image128x128> </icon> </application>It should be pretty obvious what to put for all the values, the icon values will be used as your application icon, you can omit these if you don't really want to create the PNG's, but it's kind of cool to see your own icons.
There are a lot more optional tags you can add, check out the
templates/descriptor-template.xmlfile in the Air SDK.
Step 4 - Create your Application
The next step can be as detailed as you like, but really all you need to do is create an
/appname/source/folder for those assets, and use them just like you would in a normal web application.
Step 5 - Test your Application
You are probably getting pretty anxious to test your new Adobe AIR application, to do that it's pretty simple.
Open up a command prompt, or shell and navigate to
/appname/source/then run the following command:
adl application.xmlIf all goes well your application should launch. There is a good chance however that you ignored my suggestion to add the
airsdk/bindirectory to your system environment path, in which case you got something like
adl not found. If that is the case then simply append the full path to your SDK bin to the command, for example:
c:airbinadl application.xmlStep 6 - Package Your Application
Once you have tested your application, or are ready to show your friends, or just want see how your icon looks in the Dock you are ready to packing your Air Application.
This step will be a bit cumbersome the first time because all Adobe Air application code must be digitally signed. Code signing, is a bit like using SSL, you get a certificate from a trusted source, and then people will know who wrote the application. This is important because the Adobe AIR platform allows you to access local files, and do all sorts of things that could really screw things up.
Chances are you really just want to show your new application to a few people, and not the entire world. If that's the case then you can easily create a self signed certificate. It is important that the Certificate is not placed in your
sourcedirectory, so let's place it in the root of our application:
adt -certificate -cn SelfSign -ou Dev -o "Example" -c US 2048-RSA cert.pfx passwordNow once we have a code signing certificate we can create an Air application Package. Change directories back into
adt -package -storetype pkcs12 -keystore ../cert.pfx ../build/AirTest.air application.xml.You should now have an
AppName.airfile that you can send to your friends, or simply run it on your own computer.
Originally published at Pete Freitag's homepage.
About the Author: Pete Freitag (http://www.petefreitag.com/) is a software engineer, and web developer located in central new york. Pete specializes in the HTTP protocol, web services, xml, java, and coldfusion. In 2003 Pete published the ColdFusion MX Developers Cookbook with SAMs Publishing.
Pete owns a Firm called Foundeo (http://foundeo.com/) that specializes in Web Consulting, and Products for Web Developers.