This chapter is an introduction to the specific features of the AIR Application Programming Interface (API).
The capabilities that distinguish a project created for AIR from a project created for the browser generally all stem from the same simple fact. By choosing to download and install your application instead of just navigating to it in their browser, users have made a decision to trust your software.
This requires restrictions on what software can do to, or for, your local machine, depending on your perspective.
To enable an application to act freely on the files stored on their computers, you must always give users the opportunity to accept the risk of trusting your application. By the same token, users should always ask you (the publisher or developer of the software) to provide assurance that the software is safe to use. This is the purpose of the installation process and software certificates.
Once a user has decided to trust an application, a wide array of new capabilities becomes available. Most importantly, the application can freely read files from and save files to the local machine. On the surface, this might sound like a minor step, but in reality it is the basis for several different capabilities of AIR, including storing and connecting to local databases, saving user-generated content, backing up user-generated content, storing user preferences, caching files for offline use, and accessing content stored on the local ...