Updating the Adobe AIR Framework

January 3, 2009

A new version of Adobe AIR–version 1.5–was released in mid-November in conjunction with the 2008 Adobe MAX conference in San Francisco (it was originally released for Windows and Mac OS X, a Linux version came out a few weeks later). I’ll talk about the features of this new version in a separate post but I wanted to quickly mention what your AIR application’s end user will see when the framework is updated.

For example, I wrote an AIR application (using HTML and JavaScript) for in-house maintenance of the company’s DMCInsights.com Web page. It allows me to easily post updates, view errata by book, and submit new errata for each book. This is all stuff I used to do by going through a secure area, accessing phpMyAdmin, going through the INSERT form, etc. It was a tedious process that could have been addressed by creating admin pages in PHP, but I never got around to it, plus those pages would need to be secured. Anyway, I was very happy with the application I made–these kinds of utilities for managing dynamic Web site content are a great use of AIR technology–and have been using it regularly.

The first time I opened this application after the new version of AIR came out (and, to clarify, I’m just running this application like any other desktop application that you would provide to a client), I saw this message:AIR Update Prompt

If the user clicks on Update Now, the new version of the AIR framework is downloaded and installed. Existing AIR applications will continue to work (these releases are backwards-compatible) and new applications will be able to take advantage of the added features in the latest version of the framework. As I’ve repeatedly said, I’m a big fan of the AIR technology, and this is another good example of how the user experience is simple and streamlined.