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Flash Platform Services announced

Flash Platform Services announced

Today Adobe announced Flash Platform Services a brand new business area that aims to make things easier for Flash and Flex developers. The first service out enables easy sale, sharing, deployment and tracking of content across Facebook, MySpace, AIR applications and mobile.

End users will see a small menu embedded in the Flash content that can makes it easy to add applications and widgets to sites like MySpace and Facebook and it can also facilitate downloads for desktop versions (AIR) or mobile versions (Nokia / Windows Mobile installer + iPhone AppStore link). The user just picks what they want and they'll be led through a process that makes installing this as painless as possible. When the user installs the application this way, the developer will get full statistics on the number of installs as well as usage of the application.

For the developer, the process is quite straightforward. Sign into the AIR based Distribution Manager using your Adobe account. Here you'll get a publisher ID that you embed into your app. Next up is adding your application. You'll get a custom ID for this as well that will be used to track installs on an application basis. Next you URLs to where you application can be downloaded from. If you have an AIR version, add the URL to this. If you've made an iPhone version of the app, add the Apple AppStore link and so on. You can also add multiple IDs to track the usage of your application so you can for instance track the difference between downloads and successful installs and so on. These IDs are then added to the Sharing menu in your app and you export the file for deployment.

 

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You can distribute the applications virally, but you can also sign up with Adobe partner Gigya. Gigya delivers more than one million installs per day and here's the kicker - you can buy installs from them for $1 each! It's not exactly the App store, but it can easily get you a solid user base quickly. Imagine that you make a marketing app for a big company. If they can get 100k installations for $100k we'd imagine it's a success to them? Your app is delivered by offering people that are installing other apps via Gigya your application as well. I initially wondered a bit if people really wanted this, but according to Puneet Goel (Product Marketing Manager for Flash Platform services) people really do like this sort of marketing so it really works.

 

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The mobile distribution (Nokia/WinMo/iPhone) is already in place for Canada and the US, but more countries will follow soon (see our article from FOTB09 for more info on making the mobile versions). According to Puneet, this is but one of many services to follow. One of the next services will focus on Social Networks, making it easy to get content out on sites like Twitter, Yahoo as well as Facebook and MySpace. This service will offer authentication, friends lists posting content and more. There will also be a Collaboration service based on AFCS (Adobe Flash Collaboration Service)  that offers features such VoIP Audio, webcam video, chat, multiuser whiteboards, realtime sharing and more. These services will make it much easier for Flash/Flex developers to make anything from fast prototypes to advanced applications without setting up a lot of services themselves.

Adobe has set up a Devnet site for Flash Services as well as a product page where you can read more. You can see a video of how it works on Devnet. There's also an example of how this works there, but we couldn't get it to work due to a timeout on cdn.gigya.com. Not all that promising, but this'll probably work better with some time we guess?

 

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