Formerly called Apollo, AIR is described by the company as a cross-platform runtime technology that enables developers to use their current knowledge of web development to create Internet applications that can run on computers. desk. Currently available as a beta version, its release is expected by the end of the year.
According to Lee Brimelow, “[AIR] creates a new type of application that falls between the traditional desktop applications and web applications. It opens up a new world for web developers, allowing web developers to get into the desktop. For example, this allows you to take an email account like Yahoo Mail and have an offline application that allows you to both read existing messages and compose new messages. One of the main advantages of AIR is that it is multiplatform, so you don’t have to worry if it is a Mac or a PC ”.
AIR is in a way a “wrapper” for Flash, according to Gabor Vida, president of Teknision; but without being coupled to any specific operating system, he continues saying. “We only have to deploy an AIR file and it is exactly the same file for PC and Mac,” with support for Linux on the near horizon, says Vida.
However, AIR is not as powerful as Microsoft’s Windows Presentation Foundation or Apple’s Cocoa development technologies, as Brimelow points out. With such technologies, developers have more complete access to users’ hard drives and also to the capabilities provided by the operating system. But WPF is only available for Windows, Brimelow says.
In effectiveUI, those who have developed the eBay Desktop shopping application using AIR, the president of the company has stated that AIR could complement or displace Java in different areas. AIR could be used for graphical interface creation (a limitation of Java), while Java could reside on the server side.
Adobe Flash and Flex technologies are part of the Apollo framework, or AIR; But AIR differs from Microsoft’s new Silverlight technology in that the latter is more of a competition for the Flash player.