First thing I have to say is that this tutorial is for Windows only. I’m sorry, but at this point, developing Flex applications under Ubuntu is a bit too complicated. I am not a Mac user, so I have to use Windows for Flex development. My computer has an i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM, so I prefer to use a Windows 7 virtual machine instead of dual boot, but feel free to go with your own preference here.
Adobe Flash Builder 4.5.1
On June 20th, an update of Flash Builder 4.5 (4.5.1 in fact) was released. It includes more support for iOS and Blackberry tablet. It is now very easy to deploy on iOS devices, as long as you have the correct certificate files (next section).
Before you continue, make sure your Flash Builder is up-to-date:
- Start it as administrator (right click on the program icon and click “Run as administrator”)
- Go in Flash Builder’s Help menu -> Search for Flash Builder Updates…
- Accept and install all updates
- Go back to Help menu -> Software Updates…
- Accept and install all updates
- Restart Flash Builder
Generate required certificates
To be deployed in “development mode” on your iOS device(s), your application needs to be digitally signed. Here’s the documentation on how to achieve all the different steps. Remember to follow instructions for Windows!
Three very important things you need to know:
- Open a DOS shell “as Administrator” to avoid some OpenSSL errors and warning.
- Before generating your key (as you will read in the documentation), execute the following command in your DOS shell: set RNDFILE=.rnd or you will get the following error: unable to write ‘random state’ e is 65537 (0x10001).
- When using OpenSSL, do not ignore error messages. If OpenSSL generates an error message, it may still output files. However, those files may not be usable. If you see errors, check your syntax and run the command again.
Create a Hello World application
Now, let’s create a very simple Hello World application using Flash Builder.
- In Flash Builder’s menu,go to: New / Flex Mobile Project
- Give it a name and click Next
- Select Apple iOS as your only target platform
- Select the View-Based Application template and click Finish
- Add a simple Label object saying “Hello World” or whatever you like in the View that is automatically created
- Let Flash Builder know about your certificates:
- Open the Project Properties window
- In the left menu, go to Flex Build Packaging / Apple iOS
- Browse and select your certificate file (.p12 file created earlier)
- Browse and select your provisioning file (downloaded from your Apple account)
- Build your project (or make a release build for better performance and lighter footprint).
For a video tutorial that might help you even more, please visit this page.
Add your device to your developer account
Just like it is required during standard native application development, your device needs to be “ready” for development. Here’s Apple documentation on how to do that: Provisioning a Device for Development (you’ll have to scroll down a little). I’m sorry for not giving any more help on this point. I don’t know a lot about Apple’s development processes. That part was actually done by another member of my team. But I’m sure Google will give you all the help you need. 😉
Deploying using iTunes
You’re almost there! Here are the final steps, all done using iTunes:
- Import your provisioning profile into iTunes
- Import the ipa file built by Flash Builder (found in the “bin-debug” folder of your project’s workspace) into iTunes
- Sync your iOS device so your application gets installed
That’s it! I’m aware there might be some missing details in this tutorial, but feel free to post any question you might have. I’ll be very happy to help.