March 10, 2008

Marauder's Map on Adobe AIR

Last week, 3 days after Adobe Flex 3 was released, I attended a product briefing at Adobe in Amsterdam. Although I already knew about much of what was presented, I found it was very interesting and inspiring. Adobe is working hard to create a well integrated enterprise technology suite combined with tools for both designer and developer. These tools will allow designers and developers to work together more effectively.

Thermo is a code name for such a tool. It will have a UI that a designer can work with, very similar to PhotoShop. The designer can add interactivity to the design and export that design to a format that a RIA developer can pick-up and "simply" wire to logic and services. I hope that in the end, Thermo will allow designers to make changes throughout the development of the RIA as well. The designer should be able to edit views that have already been developed.

Recently, Adobe also released the first release of the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR). Using the same development environment and concepts as for Flex, AIR allows you to develop RIAs that run on your desktop, outside the web browser (Rich internet comes to your desktop). Obvious uses of this technology lie in the occasionally online applications.

Adobe has developed a very cool phonebook application using AIR. Of course, it stores a local copy of the phone book that is synchronized with the company phone book when connected to the company network. The cool part is in its ability to show you on office maps where a queried Adobe employee has his or her office. Combine that with WLAN 802.11 Positioning (adding the ability to see the exact current location of the employee) and you get the muggle version of the Marauder's Map!

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