AIR applications must be installed. In addition, the AIR runtime must be installed.
AIR applications can be distributed through IT software such as SMS (see http://www.adobe.com/devnet/air/articles/distributing_air_in_enterprise.html), if that is an IT-sanctioned method. If IT wants to lock down user's systems, something like SMS should be available -- your clients should work with IT, not against them.
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To deploy an AIR application using enterprise software such as SMS, apply for the Adobe AIR runtime distribution license agreement. Here's more info:
Thanks everyone. I suspected an install would be the only way to go.
“your clients should work with IT, not against them”
Lol, easier said than done. We’re working with the HR department of a large multinational spanning 14 different business units (about 4500 users per unit). Each of the business units has its own IT department, some cooperative, others not. Most use SMS but even for the cooperative departments we’ve got two problems: 1: The HR department feels they get low priority when dealing with IT which is one of the reasons they farmed the project out to us. 2: Each business unit has a significant number of field reps with “rogue” laptop configurations that are not under the SMS umbrella.
Over the past few years the HR department has been very happy with us for two reasons: 1. The CD-based Director/Lingo projects ran in every environment, just put the disk in and go to work, no alarms, bells, or flashing warnings about admin privileges etc…, 2. We answer directly to the HR department giving them top priority.
This year one of the larger (more influential) business units insisted on doing away with the CD and wanted everything online while the other units would continue to get a CD. Shockwave was out of the question because the plug-in is not included in the standard disk image but Flash is, this forced a change in our code base from Director/Lingo to Flash/AS3. The client is actually very happy with the Flash/AS3 product but until we get all of the business units using the online version the CD will probably have to be a Director/Flash hybrid.
It seems a shame. It looks to me like this is exactly the type of project AIR was designed to address but for now I don’t see a way to make it work.