Adobe AIR is cool because
1. AIR allows you to perform all I/O operation with the file system on the user’s desktop.
2. AIR allows you to sign applications and version application.
3. AIR offers an updater to ensure proper upgrades of the applications on the user’s desktop
4. AIR comes with a local database SQLite to keep the data (in clear or encrypted mode) right on the user’s computer
5. AIR applications can monitor and report the status of the network connection
6. You can start and run AIR application even when there is not network connection available
7. AIR has better than Flex support of HTML – creating a custom Web Browser is easy
Adobe AIR is not cool because
1. AIR can’t make calls to user’s native operation system.
2. AIR can’t launch non-AIR applications on the desktop (except the default browser).
3. AIR can’t instantiate a DLL.
4. AIR can’t call an ActiveX component since AIR application are not running in a Web browser.
5. AIR can’t directly access ports (i.e. USB or serial) of the user’s computer.
Clear Toolkit is cool because
It includes an ActionScript component OfflineDataCollection that allows you to program local/remote data synchronization.
Open source Clear Toolkit framework is here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/cleartoolkit/
The source code of the OfflineDataCollection is here: http://tinyurl.com/p23do5
A demo recording of the sample occasionally-connected AIR application is here: http://flexblog.faratasystems.com/?p=394.
To see the demo in person, come to my talk at AjaxWorld in New York City in June.