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About AIR

Adobe® AIR® is a multi-operating system, multi-screen runtime that allows you to leverage your web development skills to build and deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) to the desktop and mobile devices. Desktop, television, and mobile AIR applications can be built with ActionScript 3.0 using Adobe® Flex and Adobe® Flash® (SWF based). Desktop AIR applications can also be built with HTML, JavaScript®, and Ajax (HTML based).

This site is the main portal for getting started with and using Adobe AIR.

AIR enables you to work in familiar environments, to leverage the tools and approaches you find most comfortable. By supporting Actionscript, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, and Ajax, you can build the best possible experience that meets your needs.

For example, applications can be developed using one or a combination of the following technologies:

  • Actionscript / Flex
  • HTML / JavaScript / CSS / Ajax

Users interact with AIR applications in the same way that they interact with native applications. Depending on the platform applications can be packaged with a captive AIR runtime or use the runtime that is installed on the user's computer or device. AIR applications are installed and run just like any other desktop application.

The runtime provides a consistent cross-operating system platform and framework for deploying applications and therefore eliminates cross-browser testing by ensuring consistent functionality and interactions across desktops. Instead of developing for a specific operating system, you target the runtime, which has the following benefits:

  • Applications developed for AIR run across multiple operating systems without any additional work by you. The runtime ensures consistent and predictable presentation and interactions across all the operating systems supported by AIR.
  • Applications can be built faster by enabling you to leverage existing web technologies and design patterns. You can extend applications to the desktop and mobile devices without learning traditional development technologies or the complexity of native code.
  • Application development is easier than using lower-level languages such as C and C++.
  • You do not need to manage the complex, low-level APIs specific to each operating system, but can access them if required through powerful native extensions.

When developing applications for AIR, you can leverage a rich set of frameworks and APIs:

  • APIs specific to AIR provided by the runtime and the AIR framework;
  • ActionScript APIs used in SWF files and Flex framework (as well as other ActionScript based libraries and frameworks);
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript;
  • Most Ajax frameworks;
  • Native extensions (ANEs) for Adobe AIR, which provide ActionScript APIs that provide you access to platform-specific functionality programmed in native code. Native extensions can also provide access to legacy native code, and native code that provides higher performance.

AIR dramatically changes how applications can be created, deployed, and experienced. You gain more creative control and can extend your Actionscript, Flex, HTML, and Ajax-based applications to the desktop, mobile devices, and televisions.