Adobe MAX was just a FAN-TAS-TIC event and we made so many announcements during the keynote. If you want to watch it, check this page: http://2010.max.adobe.com/online/. I was especially very excited by the BlackBerry PlayBook announcement. For the first time, this new tablet has been demonstrated live and RIM confessed that most of the standard applications on this device are based on the Adobe AIR 2.5 runtime. They also officially launched the BlackBerry Tablet OS for AIR SDK. But… the tablet is not available on the market. So why should you start building AIR apps for this device ? First, because this is an amazing tablet: the technical specifications are impressive, AIR 2.5 runs like a charm and I believe that tablets will become a standard in the Enteprise. I’m also convinced that tablets will replace a lot of Enterprise laptops and computers by 2012 as they will fulfill 99% of the knowledge worker needs, and BlackBerry knows how to deal with Enterprise customers. The second reason why you should start building AIR apps for this device is linked to another huge RIM announcement: if your AIR app is approved by BlackBerry and deployed in the AppWorld marketplace, then you’ll receive a PlayBook for free !!! You don’t believe me ? Check this page.
I’ve just recorded a video tutorial that explains how to setup your environment in 5 minutes, and how to debug AS3 and Flex applications on the PlayBook simulator:
If you prefer to discover it by yourself, here are some tips:
How to setup your environment to develop AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook
1) Download and unzip the Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK available here: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/sdk/
2) Make sure that you run JAVA 1.6 on your computer (type java -version to check the current version of your JVM)
3) Make sure you have updated your Flash Builder 4 software to Flash Builder 4.0.1 !!!
4) Download and launch the BlackBerry Tablet SDK for Adobe AIR. In the installation wizard, indicate where Flash Builder 4 is installed (in which folder), and where you unzipped the AIR 2.5 SDK. It will add the BlackBerry SDK on top of FB4, in the classic /sdks/ folder.
5) Download and launch the BlackBerry PlayBook simulator. It will copy an ISO file on your machine. Use VMWare Fusion (on MAC) or VMWare Player (on Windows) to create a new virtual machine based on this ISO file. Give the image 1Gb of RAM, enable 3D acceleration and launch it.
6) In the PlayBook image, click on the Settings icon to enable the Development mode. Click on the hammer to get the IP of your image.
How to develop AIR applications for the PlayBook with Flash Builder 4
1) Launch Flash Builder 4 and create a new Flex project. Select the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK.
2) You can create a pure AS3 project. If you plan to use MXML, you will get a lot of compilation errors like this one: “ Description Resource Path Location Type :Unable to resolve resource bundle “collections” for locale “en_US”.”
3) To correct this, open the properties of your project and check the Flex complier options. Update the additional parameters to indicate the correct path to the BlackBerry SDK installed on your machine. For instance:
-locale en_US -library-path+=”/Applications/Adobe Flash Builder 4/sdks/blackberry-tablet-sdk-0.9.0/frameworks/locale/en_US”
How to debug your AIR applications on the PlayBook with Flash Builder 4
1) Once your Flex application is coded, go to Run>Debug and create a NEW debug profile for the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
2) Click on the browse button to select your project. In the Target field, enter the IP of the PlayBook device (click on the hammer in your image to retrieve the IP address). Click on Apply.
3) Click on the Common tab and check “Debug”. Click on Apply and click on Debug.
4) It will automatically launch your application in the image. You can add breakpoints in your code and have a full debugging experience. If you want to close your PlayBook app, swipe your finger from the bottom of the tablet (on the black border) to the center.
How to deploy your AIR application on the PlayBook device without Flash Builder 4
1) You can use a command line to access the features of the blackberry-airpackager application available in the /bin folder of the SDK. Type:
blackberry-airpackager -package output_fileName -installApp -launchApp projectName-app.xml projectName.swf -device IPaddress
Now you can start building AIR applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook ! Check the following forum to get tips: http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/Tablet-OS-SDK-for-Adobe-AIR/bd-p/tablet?IID=DEVDS04 and download the Developer guide: http://us.blackberry.com/developers/tablet/devresources.jsp