Archive for August, 2010

Jump Start your Adobe AIR Application Development with Adobe AIR Launchpad

Posted in Adobe AIR, Flex/AIR with tags , , , , on August 20, 2010 by devgirl

If you’ve been developing with Adobe AIR, you may find yourself often re-using pieces of code to do things such as centering your application on the screen, adding auto-update, handling network connectivity or using a local database. I just completed work on a new application from the Adobe Evangelism team called Adobe AIR Launchpad that will allow you to jump start your application development. The Adobe AIR Launchpad is an AIR application itself and allows you to choose from various options that will result in a fully generated Flex project with the settings and code selections chosen. The project can then simply be imported into Flash Builder 4 for further editing and development. The Adobe AIR Launchpad consists of 4 steps to take you through the building of your app, from the settings such as size, system chrome etc that you would usually need to update the app-descriptor XML for, to generating install badge files with a custom image if desired on the final step. The settings also allow you to specify icons for your application and the size and type will be validated to prevent error. The settings and code configuration screens are shown below:

The application also allows you to choose from sample code options to be generated which can be especially helpful for newbies to get up to speed more quickly. The samples are derived from our Tour de Flex samples and generated as tabs in the resulting Flex project. They include choices such as how to start a native process, how to use the socket API, and implementing drag and drop. The screen of sample code options is shown here:

The final generate screen is shown below and has the option to include an image for the install badge:

An example of a generated application with all the sample code options selected is shown here:

The code that is generated also has comments inline and adheres to best practices. Here is a screenshot of what some of it looks like:

Note that the code generated from the app relies on features from the AIR 2 SDK, so if you’re not using it, or the Flex 4.1 SDK (which includes AIR 2 and Flash Player 101), then I highly recommend downloading the latest version here. You can install the Adobe AIR Launchpad now from Adobe Labs and can have a stubbed-out full AIR application project with auto-update, install badge files created etc in a couple of minutes or less. The release is beta and we are really looking forward to hearing feedback on the application and things that could be added or changed. I will be working on adding all the mobile options in support of the Flex Hero release as well, which I believe will ultimately make this tool even more of a must-have to get you quickly developing AIR for mobile apps!

Related posts to check out regarding Adobe AIR Launchpad:
Greg Wilson’s Ramblings
James Ward’s Blog – Adobe AIR Launchpad Intro Video
Marcel Boucher’s ‘Mind the Gap’ Adobe blog
Michael Chaize’s RIAGora blog

Also see a demo of it in this excellent video by Michael Chaize: