Apple iOS development process using Flash Builder

Before developing an iOS application using Flash Builder, it is important to understand the iOS development process and how to obtain the required certificates from Apple.

Adobe recommends

Have a tutorial you would like to share?

Developing Apple iOS applications in Flash Builder

Andrew Trice
Workflow to develop iOS applications - from development in Flash Builder to publishing in Apple’s App Store

Overview of the iOS development and deployment process

This table provides a quick list of steps in the iOS development process, how to obtain the required certificates, and prerequisites to each step.

For detailed information on each of these steps, see Prepare to build, debug, or deploy an iOS application.

Step no.

Step

Location

Prerequisites

1.

Join the Apple developer program.

Apple Developer site

None

2.

Register the Unique Device Identifier (UDID) of your iOS device.

iOS Provisioning Portal

Apple developer ID (step 1)

3.

Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) file (*.certSigningRequest).

  • On Mac OS, use the Keychain Access program

  • On Windows, use OpenSSL

None

4.

Generate an iOS developer/distribution certificate (*.cer).

iOS Provisioning Portal

  • Apple developer ID (step 1)

  • CSR file (step 3)

5.

Convert the iOS developer/distribution certificate into P12 format.

  • On Mac OS, use the Keychain Access program

  • On Windows, use OpenSSL

  • Apple developer ID (step 1)

  • iOS developer/distribution certificate (step 4)

6.

Generate the Application ID.

iOS Provisioning Portal

Apple developer ID (step 1)

7.

Generate a provisioning profile (*.mobileprovision)

iOS Provisioning Portal

  • Apple developer ID (step 1)

  • UDID of your iOS device (step 2)

  • Application ID (step 6)

8.

Build the application.

Flash Builder

  • Apple developer ID (step 1)

  • P12 developer/distribution certificate (step 5)

  • Application ID (step 6)

9.

Deploy the application.

iTunes

  • Provisioning profile (step 7)

  • Application package (step 8)

Prepare to build, debug, or deploy an iOS application

Before you build an iOS application using Flash Builder and deploy the application on an iOS device or submit to the Apple App store, follow these steps:

  1. Join the Apple iOS Developer Program.

    You can log in using your existing Apple ID or create an Apple ID. The Apple Developer Registration guides you through the necessary steps.

  2. Register the Unique Device Identifier (UDID) of the device.

    This step is applicable only if you are deploying your application to an iOS device and not the Apple App Store. If you want to deploy your application on several iOS devices, register the UDID of each device.

    Obtain the UDID of your iOS device

    1. Connect the iOS device to your development computer and launch iTunes. The connected iOS device appears under the Devices section in iTunes.

    2. Click the device name to display a summary of the iOS device.

    3. In the Summary tab, click Serial Number to display the 40-character UDID of the iOS device.
      You can copy the UDID from iTunes using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C (Windows) or Cmd+C (Mac).

    Register the UDID of your device

    Log in to the iOS Provisioning Portal using your Apple ID and register the device’s UDID.

  3. Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) file (*.certSigningRequest).

    You generate a CSR to obtain a iOS developer/distribution certificate. You can generate a CSR by using Keychain Access on Mac or OpenSSL on Windows. When you generate a CSR you only provide your user name and email address; you don’t provide any information about your application or device.

    Generating a CSR creates a public key and a private key as well as a *.certSigningRequest file. The public key is included in the CSR, and the private key is used to sign the request.

    For more information on generating a CSR, see Generating a certificate signing request.

  4. Generate an iOS developer certificate or an iOS distribution certificate (*.cer), as required.

    Note: To deploy an application to a device, you need a developer certificate. To deploy the application to the Apple App Store, you need a distribution certificate.

    Generate an iOS developer certificate

    1. Log in to the iOS Provisioning Portal using your Apple ID, and select the Development tab.

    2. Click Request Certificate and browse to the CSR file that you generated and saved on your computer (step 3).

    3. Select the CSR file and click Submit.

    4. On the Certificates page, click Download.

    5. Save the downloaded file (*.developer_identity.cer).

    Generate an iOS distribution certificate

    1. Log in to the iOS Provisioning Portal using your Apple ID, and select the Distribution tab

    2. Click Request Certificate and browse to the CSR file that you generated and saved on your computer (step 3).

    3. Select the CSR file and click Submit.

    4. On the Certificates page, click Download.

    5. Save the downloaded file (*.distribution_identity.cer).

  5. Convert the iOS developer certificate or the iOS distribution certificate to a P12 file format (*.p12).

    You convert the iOS developer or iOS distribution certificate to a P12 format so that Flash Builder can digitally sign your iOS application. Converting to a P12 format combines your iOS developer/distribution certificate and the associated private key into a single file.

    Note: If you are testing the application on the desktop using the AIR Debug Launcher (ADL), you don’t have to convert the iOS developer/distribution certificate into a P12 format.

    Use Keychain Access on Mac or OpenSSL on Windows to generate a Personal Information Exchange (*.p12) file. For more information, see Convert a developer certificate into a P12 file.

  6. Generate the Application ID by following these steps:

    1. Log in to the iOS Provisioning Portal using your Apple ID.

    2. Go to the App IDs page, and click New App ID.

    3. In the Manage tab, enter a description for your application, generate a new Bundle Seed ID, and enter a Bundle Identifier.

      Every application has a unique Application ID, which you specify in the application descriptor XML file. An Application ID consists of a ten-character "Bundle Seed ID" that Apple provides and a "Bundle Identifier" suffix that you specify. The Bundle Identifier you specify must match the application ID in the application descriptor file. For example, if your Application ID is com.myDomain.*, the ID in the application descriptor file must start with com.myDomain.

      Important: Wildcard Bundle Identifiers are good for developing and testing iOS applications but can't be used to deploy applications to the Apple App Store.
  7. Generate a Developer Provisioning Profile file or a Distribution Provisioning Profile File (*.mobileprovision).

    Note: To deploy an application to a device, you need a Developer Provisioning Profile. To deploy the application to the Apple App Store, you need a Distribution Provisioning Profile. You use a Distribution Provisioning Profile to sign your application.

    Generate a Developer Provisioning Profile

    1. Log in to the iOS Provisioning Portal using your Apple ID.

    2. Go to Certificate > Provisioning, and click New Profile.

    3. Enter a profile name, select the iOS developer certificate, the App ID, and the UDIDs on which you want to install the application.

    4. Click Submit.

    5. Download the generated Developer Provisioning Profile file (*.mobileprovision)and save it on your computer.

    Generate a Distribution Provisioning Profile

    1. Log in to the iOS Provisioning Portal using your Apple ID.

    2. Go to Certificate > Provisioning, and click New Profile.

    3. Enter a profile name, select the iOS distribution certificate and the App ID. If you want to test the application before deployment, specify the UDIDs of the devices on which you want to test.

    4. Click Submit.

    5. Download the generated Provisioning Profile file (*.mobileprovision)and save it on your computer.

Files to select when you test, debug, or install an iOS application

To run, debug, or install an application for testing on an iOS device, you select the following files in the Run/Debug Configurations dialog box:

  • iOS developer certificate in P12 format (step 5)

  • Application descriptor XML file that contains the Application ID (step 6)

  • Developer Provisioning Profile (step 7)

For more information, see Debug an application on an Apple iOS device and Install an application on an Apple iOS device.

Files to select when you deploy an application to the Apple App Store

To deploy an application to the Apple App Store, select the Package Type in the Export Release Build dialog box as Final Release Package For Apple App Store, and select the following files:

  • iOS distribution certificate in P12 format (step 5)

  • Application descriptor XML file that contains the Application ID (step 6).
    Note: You can’t use a wildcard Application ID while submitting an application to the Apple App Store.
  • Distribution Provisioning Profile (step 7)

For more information, see Export Apple iOS packages for release.