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Adobe Ships Cross-Platform Apollo Alpha

Adobe announced it is shipping an alpha release of its "Apollo" cross-operating system Web applications platform, with commercial release scheduled for later this year.

Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime meant to let developers leverage their existing skills in Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript and XML to build and deploy what Adobe calls "rich Internet applications" to the desktop, according to statements from Adobe Labs.

"Apollo enables developers to create applications that combine the benefits of Web applications -- network and user connectivity, rich media content, ease of development, and broad reach -- with the strengths of desktop applications -- application interactions, local resource access, personal settings, powerful functionality, and rich interactive experiences," the statements said.

Adobe Labs touted Apollo's support for familiar application interaction models, such as drag-and-drop support, rich clipboard access, and desktop and system shortcuts. Applications written for Apollo run as regular applications. The applications do not have to run within another application or shell (as web applications do by running within the browser).

The alpha version of the Apollo runtime gives developers the opportunity to start building applications. Adobe Labs promises that future releases will provide more stability, more desktop integration, and enhanced support for AJAX developers.

Although it is unclear precisely how Apollo will compete, it appears likely due to significant overlap with Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere (WPF/E) platform -- a cross-platform browser plug-in that allows clients to display and play back rich media, 3D and vector graphics, animation, audio and video.

The Apollo Developer SDK, sample applications, and Apollo documentation, as well as technical articles, developer videos and sample applications can be found here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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