What users are saying about

Adobe AIR

46 Ratings

Adobe AIR

46 Ratings
Score 6.8 out of 101

Visual Studio IDE

310 Ratings
Score 8.9 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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Visual Studio IDE

Visual Studio is well suited for: Developing console, system, mobile, or web applications using a cross-section of popular languages, with a special emphasis on C#. Managing resources in Azure or SQL Server databases. Automated, performance, and unit testing code. Code analytics (cyclomatic complexity, etc). Visual Studio is not as good at Proprietary programming languages with poor third-party support (EG, can't make a Swift app - you can make a Xamarin app on iOS). While one can use Visual Studio to write AI-integrated apps, actual data science applications wouldn't use Visual Studio (EG, not known for writing R applications).
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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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  • Code editing with best-of-class auto-complete, refactoring, and shortcuts
  • Managing source control branches, work items, etc, fully integrated with Azure DevOps
  • SQL Management and Cloud resource management
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Cons

  • Adobe Air applications are taxing on a user's CPU, especially considering how simple a lot of the apps are.
  • Updating and installing Air based applications is very user unfriendly, often asks for updates that are aggressively pushed to the front of the user.
  • As HTML 5 has gotten more and more sophisticated, for basic things a lot of times browser-based apps make a lot more sense.
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  • While stability in recent years is so much better, Visual Studio still crashes from time-to-time
  • Better feature parity between C# and Typescript
  • Since each team at Microsoft builds their own tooling, there are feature sets that you think would work similarly (EG, web apps vs Azure Functions), but they work completely differently.
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Likelihood to Renew

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Visual Studio IDE9.9
Based on 3 answers
VS is the best and is required for building Microsoft applications. The quality and usefulness of the product far out-weight the licensing costs associated with it.
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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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Visual Studio IDE9.0
Based on 1 answer
The thing I like the most is Visual Studio doesn't suffer from Microsoft's over eager marketing department who feel they need to redesign the UI (think Office and windows) which forces users to loose large amounts of productivity having to learn software that they had previously known.
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Support

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No answers yet
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Visual Studio IDE5.0
Based on 1 answer
The support consists of a forum. The problem with the forum is the categories are poorly designed and only reflect a subset of reality. So often you need to put a specific question in a general section. What makes this bad is your question gets reviewed by only the people who feel like it (it seems). If someone with knowledge of your issue sees your question you are in luck. If not, time to look elsewhere.
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Alternatives Considered

Generally stacks up fairly negatively, program definitely has its place, I appreciate what it can allow but now most desktop apps are fine enough as browser based experiences or for personal use mobile is the way to go. Air isn't the best environment for that.
Chris Cookson profile photo
I've used evaluated IBM Rational Developer for i, IBM Rational Application Developer, Android Studio, Eclipse for Java, and a few others. Visual Studio is the best. Other tools require longer setup times, don't always have all the tools integrated into the IDE or require additional 3rd party tools to complete the experience. VS shines at being basically install and go type of software. That's rare in the industry and is remarkable how well it works. A second place would be the Android Studio which has improved dramatically in the past few years. Visual Studio, coupled with supporting services like Azure DevOps (or whatever source control you use), nuget.org, integration of unit testing, various project types, etc makes the other IDEs feel cumbersome and dated.
Gordon Lo profile photo

Return on Investment

  • It's made creating training apps easier and the apps more portable, saving time. No need to create apps for each platform.
  • Since it enables us to use in house talent to create apps, we can save on some outsourcing.
  • Cost of the license is not too expensive compared to the alternatives.
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  • Living in the Microsoft eco-system, the VS IDE really isn't a choice, so much as a requirement for developing applications. The speed at which developers become acclimatized to the tool is a sentiment to the ease of use for the IDE and adherence to good practice. This enables us to onboard new developers and get them up and running in a short period of time vs having to install and configure other IDEs.
  • The VS IDE does include the core set of tools required for development - that alone makes life easier and reduces the need to hunt for 3rd party development add-ons. Though some are nice to have, it isn't required to get going with development. Meaning the IDE is really all you need. Fewer tools to purchase, lower running costs for development.
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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

Visual Studio IDE

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