How Adobe AIR Works

Adobe AIR Software

In a general sense, nearly all of Adobe's products are meant to benefit three groups: developers, businesses and end users. Developers use programs like Adobe Flash to create an interface or an animation; a company then takes the design and employs it on a Web page or an application; a customer uses the product in unique and entertaining ways. Even the end user isn't limited to a passive experience. Many people can download or install Adobe programs like Flash or Photoshop and find their own ways to exercise their creativity.

Developers who use Adobe Flex, Flash or any other development tool can build applications that sync with the AIR runtime. Because HTML, XML and JavaScript are all supported by AIR, developers don't need to learn an entirely different programming language -- they can use familiar code and keep the transition from desktop to Web nearly transparent.

Adobe also markets its AIR platform toward businesses looking to hook consumers with more attractive and usable applications. If Web surfers can download a company's program right onto their desktops without even opening a browser, they're more likely to keep that program running and stay engaged. Several major companies are already featuring applications that run on Adobe AIR. For example, the online auction site eBay offers an eBay Desktop application built on Adobe AIR. Instead of buyers and sellers logging in frequently to check time-sensitive auctions, eBay Desktop can run independently and give continuous updates on a list of goods on which a customer is bidding.

The general Web-surfing public benefits from being able to move once-Web-based applications to their desktops. Once Adobe AIR is installed on a user's computer, downloadable, easy-to-use applications that are tailored toward a person's interests become available at a quick click.

For a breath of fresh air, see the next page for lots more information on Web technology and developments.­

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More Great Links


  • Adobe. "Adobe AIR." (Aug. 18, 2008)
  • Adobe. "Adobe AIR FAQ." (Aug. 28, 2008)
  • Cheng, Jacqui. "Adobe gives web, desktop development a breath of fresh AIR." Ars Technica. Feb, 25, 2008. (Aug. 18, 2008)
  • Cheng, Jacqui. "Is the standard EULA doomed? Adobe plans to move key apps online." Ars Technica. Oct. 21, 2007. (Aug. 18, 2008)
  • Norton, Eric. "Adobe AIR: a taste of the software of the future." Software Battle! Aug. 21, 2007. (Aug. 18, 2008)
  • Paul, Ryan. "First look: breath in the Adobe AIR." Ars Technica. March 3, 2008. (Aug. 18, 2008)
  • "GUI definition." The Linux Information Project. Oct. 3, 2004. (Aug. 20, 2008)