Packaging AIR 3 Captive Runtime for Windows Distribution

This is the first post of 2012 and an attempt to get the year started off well! I wasn’t able to post nearly as much “useful” information in 2011 since I was tied up with so much other stuff… but am definitely working toward changing that by producing more content like this. Happy New Year, all!

Adobe AIR 3 allows a developer to package an AIR app along with the AIR runtime for distribution. This is known as “captive runtime” and is useful because it provides a method of application distribution that does not require a separate runtime installation. With Windows, an additional step must be taken; we have to package the application files into a custom installer for the best user experience on that platform. Thankfully, to do this is a fairly simple task as demonstrated in the recording below.

Here’s an additional recording on other options within Advanced Installer:


  1. Hi ,

    Thank you for the details , very helpful

    I am still prompted with AIR runtime installation and AIR application installation window.

    I have bundled AIR runtime and AIR application using Flex Builder 4.6
    Packaged into an MSI using Advanced installer

    Now when I distribute the MSI using GPO on windows I see the msi is installed as an application but then I have to go the AIR application installed directory and then click on the application exe to install it. After I click on the exe I see the AIR Runtime & Application installation window and it asks for Admin privilege.
    What is that I am missing here? Please let me know.
    I would have hoped the msi would install runtime and application .


  2. Thanks for the response .
    No I did not choose native installer, I selected Signed application with captive runtime .
    I think I got it to work by updating the application descriptor I had to enable the supportedProfile tag and add “extendedDesktop” profile. I wish Adobe had stated this obviously or may be I missed on the details.

    About native Installer I have a question – I have to roll out the application as native installers (.exe & .dmg) reason the application is using nativeApi libs to talk to a local app. Will the captive run time bundling AIR work with Naitve installers too? I tried and it failed so I am not sure if I am trying to do something not supported.


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