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Adobe AIR Development

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Developer
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Registered: ‎11-22-2011
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SuperApp Integration AIR?

I am planning a new BB10 app where i need access to the contacts, which seems to be a "SuperApp" feature. 

Watching these slides http://www.slideshare.net/BlackBerry/mwc-developer-day-sessions (slide 27) i am wondering if SuperApp -APIs will only be available for Cascades and Webworks. Even Native is not listet, so ANEs wont help?

So will it ever be possible to create a BB10 AIR app, where i have access to email/contacts/calendar?

Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

Very good question. We have not heard anything official either way. The NDK is priority one for RIM (including Cascade). WebWorks seems to be #2. AIR somewhere after that. We can hope that the NDK will get all the proper bindings so at least an ANE can be created. We can also hope that RIM would create the needed ANE to these bindings because then there will only be one, and it would be probably be better than outside people trying to do it.  But all this will lag in considerable time from when it is available in the NDK.

 

So assuming it is possible to have this functionality in AIR.  It will be months after it is available in the NDK.  Which will impact your ability to get the product in the market.  I believe RIM only has a handful of people doing anything with AIR.  I base this on observations at JAM and how long it is taking to get BB10 questions answered on the forum.

 

Personally, unless you can roll it yourself, do not expect too much support on the AIR side from RIM.  A new AIR beta SDK should be out soon that will address bugs in the 3.0B SDK, and some new features.  If we are lucky, all this will be in place.  If it is not, then it is safe to assume it may not make it (based on how long it takes the SDK to be updated and the fall release of the devices).

 

You may want to consider another super-app that does not include native contacts and such until we know for certain there is access to this via AIR. 

Developer
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Registered: ‎11-22-2011
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

Hmmm, i just watched the "DEV151 — Developing Adobe AIR Native Extensions" - session. The speaker said, that RIM will offer ANEs for nearly every part of the NDK  or even bake it into the AIR-API.

This means, when the NDK gets access to contacts, AIR will get it too - sooner or later.

 

But i am confused because NDK ist not listed for SuperApp support. It doesnt make sense for me because Cascades is listed and Cascades is only on top of the NDK. Does it mean, that some NDK-APIs will be locked for non Cascases/Webworks Apps? This would be crazy, because then BB10-AIR gets all the nice BB10 controls for a native look and feel, but no access to core APIs? And its crazy too, because the current contact/calender/email apps of the Playbook are AIR apps - so its already technically available and only locked for us Smiley Frustrated.

Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

I think a lot of stuff is still be sorted out. I cannot imagine that a core functionality be only available in Cascades. From what I've seen, it only makes sense to make it available at the lowest level (NDK) and allow the facades like Cascade, WebWorks, AIR have a wrapper (or direct) access to it.

I was at DEV 151 session, and yes, it is hoped that an ANE is available to all parts of the NDK. But that does not mean we will get it in time to have something done by product launch.

All I am suggesting is that if you dont see it "today", dont base a product on something that "may" be there "soon".

I will also assume the current contact/calendar/email apps will be redone in Cascade for the BB10 devices.
Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

Thanks jtegen for the reply. Now i am waiting with two app-ideas, because there is no stage3d support and one app because there is no access to contacts. Its so frustrating. 

OK for now, nobody, even NDK-developer,  has access to the contacts. Maybe, i dont need this feature in the first release and can add it to the app in an update. But i need an official confirmation, that the access to core APIs will come for sure, before i start development.

I will try to get some official statements (having not much hope).

Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

Sometimes it is good to have a bunch of ideas and move them in parallel. You can do a lot with the UI and then when the feature becomes available, then you can hook it in.
Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

I have got a statement from an AIR team member that if the NDK offers an API for that, i can write an ANE. But he was not sure about when or IF the NDK gets it.  I didn't get a positive statement in the NDK forum: "it will most likely come...".

So i am back to the start.

Most develeoper think, we will get these APIs but i am not sure. Android and IOS are known as OS where spy-apps send the contacts to somewhere. RIM will propably find a mechanism to prevent this. Has this something to do with the "SuperApps"? And will an AIR app be allowed to be a "SuperApp" ? If the slide says the truth then NO is the answer.

I hope i am wrong and someone can resolve my doubts.

Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

I cannot speak to when the NDK will have a certain API. If they want all apps to share information and be inter-connected, then having access to contacts, email, calendar, BBM, Facebook, Twitter, etc, should all be directly accessible to all environments. If RIM is not going to do that, there is no reason to offer multiple development platforms (WebWorks, AIR, etc.).
Developer
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?

Given WebWorks is built on top of the NDK (and doesn't use Cascades) I'd consider it certain the NDK will have contacts access. WebWorks is open source, so even if RIM didn't document it you could just look at their implementation. WebWorks isn't a different entry point on the device or anything, every WebWorks app includes the WebWorks runtime, so contact access really can't be hidden anywhere the NDK couldn't access.
--------
Taylor Byrnes
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Re: SuperApp Integration AIR?


taylortbb wrote:
Given WebWorks is built on top of the NDK (and doesn't use Cascades) I'd consider it certain the NDK will have contacts access. WebWorks is open source, so even if RIM didn't document it you could just look at their implementation. WebWorks isn't a different entry point on the device or anything, every WebWorks app includes the WebWorks runtime, so contact access really can't be hidden anywhere the NDK couldn't access.

Very true!

 

WebWorks is built on top of public open APIs. You could think of WebWorks APIs as JSNE's (JavaScript Native Extensions).  Everything exposed at the native layer can be wrapped as an extension.

 

Some AIR "Super App" functionality will be build into the OS, others can be accessed by creating an ANE.  We are also looking at creating an "AIR-Community-APIs" repository on github much like the WebWorks one so that both RIM and the community can share extensions with each other.

 

API access permissions are driven by the manifest in your application and apply to all applications running in all runtimes on the device. So there isn't a security question on if AIR or another runtime has permissions to access content on the device.  If you created an ANE to access contacts, provided the proper entry in your manifest, and the user allows your application to access this information.. then you are good to go Smiley Happy

Tim Neil
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