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Adobe integrated runtime (AIR)

Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) is a platform-independent runtime environment for Rich Internet Applications( RIA) - interactive user interfaces that use Internet technologies. AIR is available for free download at the link below - currently in version 1.5.3 - for the Windows, Linux and Mac OS Xoperating systems. With Adobe AIR it is possible to use introduced web techniques like HTML, JavaScript, AJAX, Flash as well as Flex independently of a browser also for desktop applications. AIR completely removes the traditional barriers between desktop and web applications. A beta version of Adobe AIR 2.0 has also been available on Adobe Labs since November 2009

Advantages of Adobe Air

One advantage of using AIR is certainly that existing knowledge - especially from developers in the areas of HTML, JavaScript, Scalable Vector Graphics( SVG), Flash, and Flex - can be used purposefully for the development of desktop applications without first having to embed them in a web browser. In this context, AIR is also referred to as a container into which these classic web technologies can then be integrated. From the user's point of view, the possibilities are expanded, for example, in that applications no longer have to be downloaded separately, but can be installed and executed directly from the web. Applications can be executed and interconnected across operating system boundaries with or without a browser. This means that an application can be used to run on almost all operating systems, regardless of whether it is a desktop or web application.

However, there are also critical aspects with regard to the use of AIR applications, as they can both connect to the Internet and have the ability to directly interfere with the local file system. Security experts argue that this allows AIR-based malware to load security-critical software onto the system via the Internet, for example. In this context, Adobe has defined a sandbox concept with two different security zones:

  1. Trusted AIR applications that have access to AIR's Programmable Interfaces.
  2. Untrusted AIR applications that are isolated.

Also integrated into this security model is application signing. In this case, a version signed only by the AIR application developer generates a warning message prior to installation; however, this warning message can then be easily bypassed in a controlled manner by the user.

The Adobe Air development interface

The interface for the AIR developer is an Application Programming Interface( API). In addition to the aforementioned functions for accessing the local file system, this includes interaction with SQLite databases, the establishment of TCP/ IP connections, the use of binary sockets, the association of file types with an AIR application, drag-and-drop functions, and copy and paste functions.

Version 2 of AIR is expected to add desktop capabilities, according to Adobe. Also included are improved support for mass storage devices , native application processes, peer-to-peer connections and more efficient use of CPU power. An additional framework takes the improvement of accessibility and the support of multi-touch screens.

Englisch: Adobe integrated runtime - AIR
Updated at: 09.11.2013
#Words: 481
Links: platform, runtime environment (RTE), Internet, rich Internet application (RIA), user
Translations: DE

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