Enabling Access to the Adobe AIR Tools in ColdFusion Builder

I was talking to Charlie Arehart today after his "Hidden Gems in ColdFusion Builder" presentation at CFUnited 2010 and I mention that, for some reason, ColdFusion Builder has the Adobe AIR packaging features of the application hidden by default. So I thought I would write a post on how to enable them for those that would like to use CFBuilder for developing AIR applications.

Develop AIR applications with ColdFusion Builder?

Yes, you can! One thing that Charlie mentioned was that the people in his presentation audience seemed to be either surprised that Adobe AIR application could be developed in ColdFusion Builder, or it seemed that they did not know what AIR was. Perhaps it was something else altogether. Either way, I thought I would point out that ColdFusion Builder can be used to develop AIR applications.

When I say that ColdFusion Builder can be used for building AIR applications, I specifically mean that it can be used to develop AIR applications made with HTML and JavaScript. If you want to develop AIR applications with Flex, then you should be using Flash Builder.

Enabling the AIR tools

Under the hood ColdFusion Builder uses Aptana Studio for HTML, CSS, and JS support. Aptana also has an AIR plugin. That is what were are going to go find.

Creating an AIR project is not hidden. You can create an AIR project by going to File>>New Project and choosing Adobe AIR Project under HTML Projects. This will run you through a wizard that will help you create your project.

You can now develop and debug your AIR application in ColdFusion Builder, but when you are done, how do you package it? These are the tools that are missing.

They look like this.

Left to right, there tools are:

  • The AIR Badge Exported - This is for creating installation badges for on your website.
  • AIRI File Signer - This is for signing AIRI files (Which are just unsigned AIR files)
  • .AIR Package Exporter - This is for creating your AIR packages. It will walk you through signing the app, including all the appropriate files, and building the .air file for distribution.
  • More AIR samples - This button just takes you to a web site with AIR sample applications.

To enable these options (show them in Eclipse) we need to go mess with some Eclipse settings. In Eclipse go to Window>>Customize Perspective and choose the Command Group Availability option. In here, you'll need to check Open Adobe AIR samples option.

Next, go to the Tool Bar Visibility option and check Open Adobe Air Samples here, then click on the triangle next to it to open the submenu. Here, you can opt to uncheck the Go to more AIR samples option, and any other options you want. I typically don't need to sign AIRI files, so I remove that one too.

When you are done, click OK and you will now be able to package your AIR application and create an installer badge from ColdFusion Builder. Awesome.

charlie arehart's Gravatar Thanks for sharing, Jason.

As for the talk and the audience, let me share for those who have not seen it that I share a few dozen tips of various kinds, one of which is this very brief mention of AIR integration. Like many of the topics, I do wonder if most t realize they are all possible, but that's as much because there's just so much to take in (both from the CFB team, and the bundled Aptana, and Eclipse itself for those new to that). But I'm sure some in the audience may also not be familiar with AIR, also. Lots of CFers are still only getting into Flex/Flash, let alone AIR.

Pointing them to your blog (and the CFB docs discussion) will help get more to consider the possibility from inside CFB, I'm sure. Cheers.
# Posted By charlie arehart | 7/28/10 8:44 PM
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