Flex Builder, Aptana and AIR

Aptana as I briefly mentioned in my post about additional plugins for Flex Builder (or eclipse to be more precise). Is an HTML / Ajax IDE. It also supports AIR development, so you can happily produce specific or hybrid AIR applications without ever having to leave Flex Builder. However what may not be too clear to some is where do you point the AIR extensions in Aptana to allow it to compile an AIR package?

Well it is pretty simple, and for ease of description I will use the standalone version setup – the plugin version of Flex Builder should be identical though.

Follow the steps below and you should be up and running super quick

  • The first things first you need to have the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) installed on your machine. So go and grab that first from here: Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) download
  • Next install the Adobe AIR plugin for Aptana (you’ll need to get that from the Aptana download site in Flex Builder or directly from their site here: Aptana AIR plugin instructions and download.
  • Now we need to add the Flex Builder AIR SDK into the Aptana framework. So if you have the Aptana Start Page open click on step 4 “Configure the Adobe AIR SDK Beta”. If not, open the global preferences for Flex Builder and expand the Aptana entry so it looks like the image below.
  • Select the entry AIR SDKs within the Aptana entry and click the Add button. This will open the settings dialog so you can add in the location and a preferred name for that particular AIR SDK.
  • Click the Browse button to locate your installation of Flex Builder 3 (and the SDKs it contains). On windows this will likely be C:\Program Files\Adobe Flex Builder 3\sdks\. On Mac OS X it’s /Applications/Adobe Flex Builder 3/sdks/.
  • Select the 3.0.0 folder and click OK. Enter your preferred name for this particular AIR SDK. As you can see in the image below I have named mine “FB3 AIR beta 2”.
  • Click OK to close the dialog and make sure you click Apply on the main preferences window.
  • Close the global preferences window. And prepare to test.

So the next step is to actually create a new Aptana AIR project. Once you have created that (feel free to choose any Ajax framework – I chose the Adobe Spry framework), we are going to test it just to make sure it will compile to an AIR application properly. So once you have clicked through all of the dialogs and it has opened the main HTML page we are going to do nothing more than hit the Export AIR button on the tool bar. You should see it exporting the package in the bottom right hand corner of the IDE. Once it finishes locate where you exported it to (by default this is the same directory as your project) and double click the AIr package to install it. If you have any problems go back over the steps above and make sure you haven’t missed out anything.

If it all worked out and you are now looking at a very simple HTML based AIR application. The good thing about this is that it, by default, also demonstrates how sandboxed and non-sandboxed content operates in AIR when developing in HTML / Ajax.

Well that’s it now all you need to do is get coding and congratulations, you can now develop both Flex and HTML / Ajax AIR solutions from within Flex Builder (eclipse) with Aptana.

Mike Jones


  1. I tried to open preferences for Flex Builder and expand the Aptana entry but i do not get exactly whats in the image.

    I do not get the Advanced, AIR Certificates, AIR SDKs entries in the resulting display. Is there something I did not do right?

  2. Pingback: Alternativas gratis para Flex Builder, Flash y AIR | MAWAPE Sistemas

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