Sams Teach Yourself Adobe(r) AIR Programming in 24 Hours

Sams Teach Yourself Adobe(r) AIR Programming in 24 Hours

by Michael Tyler Givens

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This is the eBook version of the printed book. If the print book includes a CD-ROM, this content is not included within the eBook version.

Sams Teach Yourself Adobe® AIR™ Programming in 24 Hours


Michael Givens


Covers version 1.5 of Adobe AIR



In just 24 sessions of

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This is the eBook version of the printed book. If the print book includes a CD-ROM, this content is not included within the eBook version.

Sams Teach Yourself Adobe® AIR™ Programming in 24 Hours


Michael Givens


Covers version 1.5 of Adobe AIR



In just 24 sessions of one hour or less, you will be up and running with Adobe AIR 1.5. Using a straightforward, step-by-step approach, each lesson builds upon a real-world foundation allowing you to learn the essentials of Adobe AIR from the ground up.


Step-by-step instructions carefully walk you through the most common Adobe AIR 1.5 tasks.


Quizzes and Exercises at the end of each chapter help you test your knowledge of Adobe AIR 1.5.


By the Way notes present interesting information related to the discussion.


Did You Know? tips offer advice or show you alternative ways to do something.


Watch Out! cautions alert you to possible problems and give you advice on how to avoid them.


Learn how to…

  • Utilize the AIR SDK
  • Write an AIR application with HTML
  • Write an AIR application with Flash CS3 or Dreamweaver CS3
  • Write an AIR application with PDF integration
  • Debug an AIR application
  • Distribute an AIR application
  • Use the AIR APIs
  • Leverage server-side features for AIR


Michael Givens is the CTO of U Saw It Enterprises, a Web technology consulting firm based in Spring, Texas. He is an Adobe Community Expert and an Adobe Corporate Champion known to share his experience and evangelism of all things Adobe. Certified in ColdFusion 5 and as an Advanced CFMX Developer, he has been using ColdFusion since the days of Allaire Spectra and Flex since it was known as Royale. He is the coauthor of Adobe AIR Programming Unleashed (Sams Publishing) and has written articles for the ColdFusion Developer’s Journal and the Flex Developer’s Journal. He also wrote a digital Short Cut titled Apollo in Flight for Sams Publishing. Michael blogs regularly at


Category: Programming/Application Development

Covers: Adobe AIR

User Level: Beginning–Intermediate

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Pearson Education
Publication date:
Sams Teach Yourself
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Barnes & Noble
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The Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) is a new product from Adobe, released in the spring of 2008. It allows web developers and web designers to use the skills they already have to build rich desktop applications. Revolutionary in many ways, AIR is a cross-operating system runtime that is light-weight yet powerful. Many naysayers might comment that AIR gives you a capability that is already covered in competing products (you can build desktop applications with other tools). But AIR excels in its easy-to-learn application programming interface (API) and in its capability to take existing web applications and add powerful desktop features that are either impossible to do from a browser or prone to browser differences, making them difficult to code. AIR applications, often called rich desktop applications, are springing up all over the Internet. Take a moment and use your favorite search engine to search "Adobe AIR applications". As of this writing, more than 159,000 results come back with these search keywords (double-quoted) on Google. AIR applications can be written in Adobe Flex, Adobe Flash, HTML, in a combination of HTML/JavaScript, or AJAX—the same skills you use today. In the next 24 hours, after reading SamsTeach Yourself Adobe AIR Programming in 24 Hours, you can start building for the desktop today. It's that easy.

This book gives you the knowledge, from a professional developer's perspective, of just how easy it is to program for AIR. From installing the AIR runtime to leveraging popular integrated development environments (IDEs), from creating your AIR applications to packaging and deploying them to end users, from debugging AIR applications to profiling them for improving performance, each hour presents you with new, important concepts, reinforced with a workshop, hands-on section at the end of each chapter.

The first 10 hours of chapters introduce you to getting started with AIR, and include the following topics:

  • In Hour 1, "Taking in a Deep Breath of AIR," you'll learn about the pieces that make up AIR, who benefits from AIR's easy-to-grasp learning curve, a short history lesson about AIR, and just how big AIR is expected to be.

  • In Hour 2, "Ready to Install AIR," safety considerations for the AIR runtime are discussed, along with differences for your operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux), and how to install the AIR runtime on the different operating systems.

  • In Hour 3, "Harnessing the AIR SDK," you learn about the AIR software development kit (AIR SDK), including using the Adobe AIR Debug Launcher (ADL), using the Adobe AIR Developer Tool (ADT), and creating a badge (seamless) installer for AIR application deployment.

  • In Hour 4, "Preparing to Build Your First AIR Application," you learn about the Adobe suite of tools recommended for building AIR applications, including Flex Builder 3, Flash CS3 Professional, and Dreamweaver CS3, as well as a third-party IDE, Aptana Studio.

  • In Hour 5, "Writing Your First AIR Application with Flex 3," you see how to use Flex Builder 3 to build an AIR application. You will walk through building a Hello AIR World application, testing it, and packaging it for deployment.

  • In Hour 6, "Writing an AIR Application with HTML," you see how HTML and HTML/JavaScript or AJAX can be used to build AIR applications.

  • In Hour 7, "Writing an AIR Application with Flash CS3 or Dreamweaver CS3," you see how to use Flash CS3 Professional and Dreamweaver CS3 to build AIR applications, test them, and package them for deployment.

  • In Hour 8, "Writing an AIR Application with PDF Integration," you learn how to add PDFs to your AIR applications and how these integrated PDFs can be controlled within the AIR API.

  • In Hour 9, "Debugging AIR Applications," you learn about debugging your AIR applications, including debugging with the Flex Builder Debugger, the Flash Debugger, the AIR HTML Introspector, and even some third-party debugging tools.

  • In Hour 10, "Distributing Your AIR Application," you see additional information about packaging and distributing your AIR applications, including suggestions on where to distribute them.

The next nine chapters introduce you to the AIR APIs and include the following topics:

  • In Hour 11, "Opening Doors with AIR," you discover how to open one or more windows for your AIR application's user interface.

  • In Hour 12, "Screening an AIR Application," you learn how to control the screens and the screen real estate that your AIR applications utilize.

  • In Hour 13, "File This API with AIR," you get a first-hand look at the AIR File API and how you can interact with the files and folders on the end user's file system.

  • In Hour 14, "Drag and Drop, Copy and Paste in AIR," you learn the capabilities of the AIR API related to drag and drop and copy and paste, two must-have capabilities for a professional desktop application.

  • In Hour 15, "AIR and the Natives," you see how to build native menus on Windows and the Mac OS.

  • In Hour 16, "Connectivity with AIR Networking," you learn how to detect an end user's connectivity to a network or the Internet and how to transition from a connected to a non-connected state in your AIR applications.

  • In Hour 17, "Local Data in an AIR Application," you discover how you can leverage a SQLite local database as an AIR application's data repository.

  • In Hour 18, "Encryption and Security in AIR," you learn about AIR's encryption and security features.

  • In Hour 19, "AIR and User Notifications," you see how AIR can access the operating system's notification capabilities to build a full-featured desktop application.

The final five chapters discuss some important development-related topics for many AIR applications as follows:

  • In Hour 20, "Leveraging Server-Side Features for AIR," you see examples of connecting an AIR desktop application to a server-side infrastructure.

  • In Hour 21, "Building an AIR Application," you see a step-by-step walkthrough of building an AIR application that can help you continue learning more about the AIR API.

  • In Hour 22, "Signing AIR Applications," you learn more about the digital code-signing of AIR applications.

  • In Hour 23, "Updating AIR Applications After Deployment," you discover strategies for updating AIR applications, including suggestions for dynamic updates using a form of pull technology.

  • In Hour 24, "Where Do I Go from Here?" you read some suggestions on how to continue learning about and improving your understanding of AIR.

Appendix A includes details about downloading an AIR Flex 3 API as an AIR application and how to re-create the most recent AIR Flex 3 API as an AIR application.

Appendix B includes a compilation of useful AIR-related links to help you continue to learn and improve your AIR applications.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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