Adobe AIR

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Adobe has released Adobe AIR 3.0. Adobe AIR 3.0 is one of a few milestone releases from Adobe which introduce the next generation of the technologies that deliver stunning content and apps to over a billion people across screens including Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows, Mac, and connected TV devices. Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on the web.

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 take these even further by introducing Stage 3D, a new architecture for hardware accelerated graphics rendering that delivers 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10. It enables new classes of console-quality games and immersive apps. Additionally, these releases deliver new features to support theater-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, high-quality HD video conferencing, and a powerful, flexible architecture for leveraging native device and platform capabilities.

Adobe has an MSI package available for download:

These are the steps to deploy:

  • Download the 'Adobe AIR 3.0 Installer' from Adobe's website.

  • The 'AdobeAIRInstaller.exe' is just a compressed file packaged as a bootstrapper (which on itself can also be used with the switches '-silent' and '-eulaAccepted'), which can be extracted by e.g. using WinRAR. I've tried different WinZIP versions, but WinZIP doesn't seem to recognize how this file was compressed. Inside the 'AdobeAIRInstaller.exe' you will find the 'setup.msi' MSI package:

  • In order to configure AIR, Adobe supports several policy related registry keys under HKLM\Software\Policies\Adobe\AIR. These keys are discussed in details on Adobe's website in the 'Adobe AIR Administrator’s Guide' in a chapter called 'Adobe AIR Configuration':

    - AppInstallDisabled (Preventing installation of AIR applications)
    - UntrustedAppInstallDisabled (Preventing installation of untrusted AIR applications)
    - UpdateDisabled (Preventing automatic updates to Adobe AIR)

  • When you create a Transform file (MST) for this MSI one of the suggested options is to disable the AutoUpdate feature in order to be able to manage deployment of new versions of the Adobe AIR Runtime:

  • When you install this MSI, optionally with a Transform file with one or more settings as suggested above, the .air extension is associated with the 'Adobe AIR Application Installer.exe':

  • You can now handle the deployment of popular AIR applications like TweetDeck or Twhirl by applying for a license to distribute Adobe AIR Runtime. If you do so you will get an e-mail with information, documentation and several links to e.g.:

    - the Adobe AIR installer file
    - Adobe AIR documentation
    - the Adobe AIR IT Administration Guide
    - the Adobe AIR for IT Administrators site

    I therefore highly recommend you apply for a license. Strangely enough it's not allowed to share the links, while the the main page is unrestricted and open for anonymous users. The 'Adobe AIR Runtime Redistribution Instructions' document gives you more information about a utility called the 'Adobe AIR Application Installer', Adobe AIR Application Installer.exe, which can be found in 'c:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe AIR\Versions\1.0\'.

    This utility can be used to install the actual 'Adobe AIR' applications which have the extension .air. If you download TweetDeck e.g. you end up with a single file called 'TweetDeck_0_26.air'. By using 'Adobe AIR Application Installer.exe' and some switches mentioned in this documentation you're able to silent install the Adobe AIR application itself.

    The command line options are:

    -silent {-eulaAccepted ( -location <loc> ) -desktopShortcut -programMenu} path

    In this case we can use:

    'Adobe AIR Application Installer.exe" -silent -eulaAccepted TweetDeck_0_26.air' 

    to install TweetDeck without a desktop shortcut or:

    'Adobe AIR Application Installer.exe" -silent -eulaAccepted - desktopShortcut TweetDeck_0_26.air'

    to install TweetDeck with a desktop shortcut. Adobe partly uses an MSI based method for installing AIR applications. That method is based on 'c:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe AIR\Versions\1.0\Resources\template.msi' to install the actual application.

  • Windows XP administrators should be aware of the "Could not access network location (computed)" error when installing the MSI. Either dropping the custom action 'SetSHAREDADDINFOLDER' from the CustomAction table or setting the 'SHAREDADDINFOLDER' property to e.g. 'c:\' solves this issue.