How to Setting Up the AIR Development Environment

As you begin to work with Adobe AIR, you should begin by configuring your development environment. First, you should install the runtime and SDK. The SDK comes with two command-line tools that you can use to debug and deploy Adobe AIR apps:

✓ ADL is used for testing purposes only, enabling you to run an app without installing it.
✓ ADT is used for deploying your app. It packages the app into an installation package.

Adobe also integrates the ability to package AIR apps inside Adobe Flash, Flex, and Dreamweaver (CS3 and later). However, if you use Dreamweaver, you should install the AIR extension to enable you to create AIR apps directly inside the Dreamweaver environment.

The instructions to set up your environment are explained in the sections that follow.

Installing the Adobe AIR runtime

Adobe AIR runtime is the underlying engine that drives any AIR application. As a developer, you need the runtime installed on your machine in order to test and debug your apps. Users also need to download and install it on their computers in order to run an AIR application.

Fortunately, installing the runtime is a quick, “no brainer” process. To install it, follow these four steps:

1. Go to get.adobe.com/air in your browser. The Adobe AIR Web page opens.
2. On the page, click the Download Now button. The installer file is downloaded onto your computer.
3. Double-click the downloaded Adobe AIR Installer to launch the setup process.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

Installing the Adobe AIR SDK

Although the Adobe AIR runtime has a standard installer that you can use for installing on your computer, installing the SDK involves a few more manual steps. Follow these instructions to get it working on your computer:

1. Go to www.adobe.com/products/air/tools/sdk in your browser.
2. After reading the Adobe AIR SDK license, indicate that you agree with its terms by selecting the check box.
3. Click the download link appropriate for your computer (Windows or Mac). The compressed SDK file — AdobeAIRSDK.zip (Windows) or AdobeAIRSDK.dmg (Mac) is downloaded to your machine.

4. Create a folder on your machine for the SDK. I recommend something easy such as c:\airsdk for Windows or / Users/[username]/airsdk for Mac.

5. Uncompress the SDK file and copy the folders and files into the SDK
folder you created in Step 4.
The directory structure under your SDK folder (for example, c:\
airsdk) will look like this:
\bin
\frameworks
\lib
\runtime
\samples
\src
\templates

You now need to add the bin subdirectory to your system path before being able to execute the SDK utilities. Follow the appropriate steps below, depending on your operating system.

See the next post: How to Setup Path for Adobe AIR Installing on Windows, Linux and Mac

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