Updating AIR applications

Users can install or update an AIR application by double-clicking an AIR file on their computer or from the browser (using the seamless install feature). The Adobe® AIR® installer application manages the installation, alerting the user if they are updating an already existing application.

However, you can also have an installed application update itself to a new version, using the Updater class. (An installed application may detect that a new version is available to be downloaded and installed.) The Updater class includes an update() method that lets you point to an AIR file on the user’s computer and update to that version. Your application must be packaged as an AIR file in order to use the Updater class. Applications packaged as a native executable or package should use the update facilities provided by the native platform.

Both the application ID and the publisher ID of an update AIR file must match the application to be updated. The publisher ID is derived from the signing certificate. Both the update and the application to be updated must be signed with the same certificate.

For AIR 1.5.3 or later, the application descriptor file includes a <publisherID> element. You must use this element if there are versions of your application developed using AIR 1.5.2 or earlier. For more information, see publisherID.

As of AIR 1.1 and later, you can migrate an application to use a new code-signing certificate. Migrating an application to use a new signature involves signing the update AIR file with both the new and the original certificates. Certificate migration is a one-way process. After the migration, only AIR files signed with the new certificate (or with both certificates) will be recognized as updates to an existing installation.

Managing updates of applications can be complicated. AIR 1.5 includes the new update framework for AdobeAIR applications. This framework provides APIs to assist developers in providing good update capabilities in AIR applications.

You can use certificate migration to change from a self-signed certificate to a commercial code-signing certificate or from one self-signed or commercial certificate to another. If you do not migrate the certificate, existing users must remove their current version of your application before installing the new version. For more information see Changing certificates.

It is a good practice to include an update mechanism in your application. If you create a new version the application, the update mechanism can prompt the user to install the new version.

The AIR application installer creates log files when an AIR application is installed, updated, or removed. You can consult these logs to help determine the cause of any installation problems. See Installation logs.

Note: New versions of the Adobe AIR runtime may include updated versions of WebKit. An updated version of WebKit may result in unexpected changes in HTML content in a deployed AIR application. These changes may require you to update your application. An update mechanism can inform the user of the new version of the application. For more information, see About the HTML environment (for ActionScript developers) or About the HTML environment (for HTML developers).