Adobe launches AIR, Flex 3 and Blaze DS

Adobe AIR

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Adobe AIRDevelop once; run everywhere on every platform.

Today, Adobe 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.

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.

Adobe AIRVentureBeat 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.

Adam Gross, Salesforce.com‘s vice president of platform marketing –

Salesforce.com also plans to use AIR to supplement Force.com, the company’s platform for third parties to develop business applications and run them as a service on Salesforce.com infrastructure. The Force.com Toolkit for Adobe AIR and Flex extends offline capabilities to Force.com applications. Information such as customer data being managed on Force.com can be brought into offline use.

Check out these Adobe AIR Apps.

Adobe AIR AppDownload/Install
Adobe Media PlayerInstall/Download
TwirlInstall/Download
Google AnalyticsInstall/Download
RichFLVInstall/Download
AgileAgendaInstall/Download
AOL Top 100 VideosInstall/Download
Xdrive LiteInstall/Download

Adobe Flex

Today, alongside Adobe AIR, Adobe also launched Adobe Flex in its full glory. It is a highly productive, free open source framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications that deploy consistently on all major browsers, desktops, and operating systems. While Flex applications can be built using only the free Flex SDK, developers can use Adobe Flex Builder 3 software to dramatically accelerate development.

It provides a modern, standards-based language and programming model that supports common design patterns and includes an Eclipse based development environment; advanced data services; and a fast, enterprise-class client runtime based on ubiquitous Adobe Flash Player software. Flex enables enterprises to create highly interactive, expressive applications that dramatically enhance the user experience, increasing customer satisfaction and user productivity.

Adobe Flex Builder 3 is available for immediate purchase from Adobe starting at $249 or upgrade from an earlier version for just $99. You can also download a FREE 60 days trial of Adobe Flex Builder 3.

There are 2 version of the Adobe Flex Builder 3.

Standard
Adobe Flex Builder 3 Standard is a productive, Eclipse based development tool enabling intelligent coding, interactive step-through debugging, and visual design of user interface layout, appearance, and behavior of RIAs. Key features include:

  • Powerful coding tools: Take advantage of editors for MXML, ActionScript, and CSS; syntax coloring; statement completion; code collapse; interactive step-through debugging; and more.
  • Rich visual layout: Visually design and preview user interface layout, appearance, and behavior using a rich library of built-in or custom components.
  • Integrated media: Seamlessly integrate media into applications.
  • Integration with Creative Suite 3: New Flex Skin Design extensions for Adobe Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Fireworks software make it fast and easy to import ready-to-use creative assets directly into Flex.

Professional
Use Adobe Flex Builder 3 Professional to create business-critical applications. It offers all of the powerful features included in Flex Builder 3 Standard, plus:

  • Powerful testing tools: Memory and performance profilers help investigate memory use and analyze where applications are spending time. Use automated functional testing support for regression testing.
  • Interactive data visualization: Create data dashboards and interactive data analysis by simply dragging and dropping a chart type and linking it to a data source using the Flex charting library.

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Adobe Flexfree open source framework for building and maintaining expressive web applications

Adobe Open Source

Adobe is also going great guns with Open Source. Adobe Open Source presents the definitive view into open source activities at Adobe, including details regarding projects that Adobe participates in and hosts. It also highlights information that will help developers and designers alike get involved and keep up with the latest work in the Adobe open source community.

To put their effort towards Open Source initiatives, Adobe recently release the open Source Blaze DS and today they’ve the Flex 3 SDK. Adobe is also involved with Mozilla’s Tamarin Project.

References

Elsewhere

UPDATES

  • 2008 25th Feb
    • Jen deHaan of Adobe got a new blog for extreme Flash Enthusiasm — Flashthusiast.
    • With Teknopoint‘s help, I was able to do my bit for the Adobe AIR, Flex 3 launch with over 30 Flash and Flex enthusiast joining us. I was able to spend time doing the Flex, AIR Presentation, show the “Behind the Scene” video of Kevin Lynch talking to the AIR team and have technical discuss with everyone present there. View Photos on Flickr.
    • Install FREE Adobe AIR updater for Flash CS3Windows | Mac (read the instructions)