Adobe AIR in eLearning wins Brandon Hall Award

When people ask me what I like most about working at Adobe, I respond by saying that I absolutely love our 90+ products and, more importantly, the way Adobe as a company leverages and tightly integrates technologies across all of our products. In the end, our customers are the ones who benefit the most from our innovations, regardless of the product(s) they are using.  I guess you could say that the adage, “when you marry, you don’t just marry a person, you marry a family” also applies to our customers and our products. When you begin using one of our products, we welcome you into the Adobe family.

Two recent examples that stand out are, first, ConnectNow, a service of, which allows real-time screen sharing for up to 3 people. ConnectNow is built into most Creative Suite 4 products through a simple File > Share My Screen menu option. Second, Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime), which many of our products now support out-of-the-box, including Adobe RoboHelp through RoboHelp Packager for Adobe AIR.

Here is a recent video interview by Beet.TV with our CTO, Kevin Lynch, where he mentions that the Adobe AIR runtime environment has been installed on 35 million PCs and will reach 100 million by the end of the year, due to so many great AIR applications being built by our customers.  Incidentally, one of my personal favorite AIR applications is eBay desktop developed by eBay, which recently announced on their blog that eBay desktop had already been downloaded a million times.

Repurposing technologies is in our DNA, and like all other product teams and evangelists, my team and I are always asking ourselves, how is this technology applicable to our eLearning and technical communication customers?

There are many ways of describing what Adobe AIR is, but for me, AIR is the ultimate information delivery platform. Because AIR supports Flash, PDF, HTML and AJAX technologies and these information systems can be consumed identically by anyone across multiple platforms and without a browser, AIR is a fantastic way to deliver information. In this space, information systems can be anything from online help systems and knowledge bases by technical communicators to job aids and just-in-time performance support systems by eLearning professionals.

In an effort to introduce Adobe AIR in the eLearning world and showcase the impact this platform can have in the way we can create and distribute rich and engaging information to learners on different platforms in the future, I submitted an AIR project to this year’s Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Awards. The competition included over 250 submissions and over 450 judges and in the end, I was presented with a bronze award in the category of “Best Innovation in Learning Technology.” I am very grateful to Brandon Hall and the judges.

In case you are interested, I created a short Adobe Captivate demo of the AIR application I submitted, click here to watch it.

In closing, I have a dedicated session at our second annual Adobe Learning Summit in San Jose, CA on
November 10, 2008,
entitled Adobe AIR in eLearning, where I will be going over what it takes to develop these types of AIR applications for eLearning.


  • Steve Nguyen

    RJ…I love this! I’m curious to know more about how to build a similar application in AIR. How can I contact you to discuss this further?

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