Tech News

Apollo downed as Adobe takes to the AIR

By Stevie Smith Jun 12, 2007, 17:11 GMT

California-based computer software company Adobe Systems Incorporated has this week announced the beta launch of its Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) cross-operating system – which was, at one time, being developed under the codename of Apollo. Newly released AIR will allow developers to utilise such tools as HTML/CSS, Ajax, Adobe Flash, and Adobe Flex (also in beta) to "extend rich Internet applications (RIAs)" through to the desktop, further blurring the line between dedicated online and offline functionality.

New features being made available via the beta run of Adobe AIR include an embedded local database, support for PDF, enhanced capabilities for JavaScript development, and more in-depth integration with Adobe Flex, which has also been moved into its beta stage this week by Adobe.

AIR has been openly lauded by Adobe Systems as a "cornerstone" of its comprehensive RIA platform, which it states enables developers and designers to craft rich and dynamic branded content applicable throughout all major operating systems (OSs). Further to that, the company claims Adobe AIR will deliver core elements such as being open source-friendly, while also including the WebKit HTML engine, ActionScript Virtual Machine, and SQLite local database functionality.

Adobe has also intonated that it hopes its clear willingness to not only deliver pre-release software but also welcome open source technologies enables developers across the globe to contribute to the progression "of the industry’s most advanced platform for building cross-operating system RIAs."

Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect at Adobe commented that: "Adobe AIR represents a new medium, as the best of the Web and the best of the desktop come together," with regard to AIR blurring the line between applications that function across operating systems both inside and outside of the browser, while also successfully "bridging the gap between the Web and the personal computer."

* Functions and features will include:

* Leveraging of Adobe Reader 8.1 to allow for incorporated PDF

* Support for transparent HTML windows

* Support for drag-and-drop

* Complete access to Adobe AIR and Flash APIs for Ajax developers

* Incorporated latest version of WebKit

* Embedded, cross-platform, open source SQLite local database

* Dreamweaver CS3 projects can be delivered as Adobe AIR applications (via Adobe Labs tool)

"Ajax developers have helped define Web 2.0 by making Web applications more interactive and usable," said Ben Galbraith, co-founder of Ajaxian. "Adobe AIR allows Ajax developers to use their skills to take Web 2.0 to the desktop – without requiring them to learn a whole new set of skills."

Other related news centres on Adobe also officially opening its AIR Developer Derby competition, which is designed to showcase creative applications. Prizes across five separate categories will be awarded by Adobe along with a grand prize for ‘best overall application.’

The beta version of Adobe AIR application runtime and the Adobe AIR Software Developer’s Kit (SDK) can be downloaded for free from:

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