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48 Ratings
14 Ratings
48 Ratings
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Score 6.9 out of 101
14 Ratings
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Score 6.2 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Adobe AIR

Adobe AIR is well-suited for a developer who is already familiar with Flash and AS3. It is well-suited for 2D app development using Starling or another third-party graphics library. However, to be used appropriately and avoid errors and poor performance, a basic understanding of programming principles is needed, so it's not great for a designer who hasn't studied a lot of coding.
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Adobe Flex

If your site is purely animations (like some company timeline from the start of the company to the current date), it's well suited for this use case.
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Pros

  • Smooth transition from Flash/Actionscript 3, and ability to port older Flash projects to AIR with little to no code changes.
  • Ability to integrate custom and third party native extensions (ANE files) provides access to hardware and other APIs otherwise only exposed via native java/obj-c/swift.
  • Ability to code and test within a single IDE (Flash / Flash Builder / Flash Develop) makes it extremely easy to set up a project and development environment. The ability to use the Flash timeline is a huge advantage when doing animation.
  • The abundance of AS3/Flash examples and tutorials online provide a vast resource compared to other hybrid solutions.
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  • Highly advanced UI platform, well suited for building enterprise applications.
  • Cross browser issues do not exist as it runs the same on every browser via Flash Player.
  • Animations are something that comes out of the box.
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Cons

  • The technology is proprietary, and running apps created on AIR depend on Adobe's runtime to work.
  • It updates a little too often, but this is typical of Adobe in general.
  • No Windows phone support, as far as I can tell.
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  • It's heavy as it needs to load the Flash plugin first before rendering anything to the user.
  • Not future ready as there is no support for mobile and tablet platforms.
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Usability

Adobe AIR7.0
Based on 1 answer
Although Adobe AIR is just an SDK without an actual "UI" it's commonly used within Flash, Flash Builder, or FlashDevelop. Considering the integration with Flash IDE, there are very few tools that can compete with its features.
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Alternatives Considered

Adobe AIR is more friendly to a serious programmer because it supports core programming methodology in a way that Unity does not. Both AIR and Unity have a hidden underlying layer of event management code that can add performance costs. However, Unity is more friendly to a beginner or a designer who has not studied programming principles. It has better error reporting and documentation.
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We are replacing adobe flex with Sencha.
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Return on Investment

  • Using Adobe AIR allows your team to be comprised of Flash/ActionScript 3 developers, which can be easy/cheap to find compared to other disciplines (based on location). This can lower the bottom-line in terms of engineering costs.
  • As the Adobe AIR SDK is free to use, the cost of entry is basically free. Additionally, the Adobe AIR SDK may be used in conjunction with a free IDE, such as FlashDevelop, making the entire stack completely free to use.
  • One negative impact is the stigma against Adobe Flash/AIR. Due to Adobe's less than stellar track record (in terms of support and security) with both Flash and Flash Mobile, there are numerous clients that we've dealt with, that refused to approve Adobe AIR as a tool.
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  • Our users have a great positive feedback from the UI point of view.
  • The ease of use of the application had doubled our existing user base.
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Pricing Details

Adobe AIR

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Adobe Flex

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details