There’s a lot of excitement around mobile development. When Adobe released Creative Suite 5 last year, they released their Packager for iPhone. It’s a tool that converts Flash/Air applications to native iOS applications. This tool was shipped with Flash CS5 and there are currently 1000′s of applications in the iTunes store that have been built with Flash. Don’t you love the irony?
Over the next week or so, I will be posting a number of videos and tutorials on developing mobile applications. For the tutorials related to iOS development, I wanted to add this blog post to help you get started. This way I don’t have to explain the getting started process each time. For the record, to actually test the applications you create on a device, you’ll have to purchase a developer certificate ($99/year). It’s included in the steps below.
All the steps to get started are located in the Flash CS5 help files. Also, Lee Brimelow from Adobe has a couple videos show you the entire process both on Windows and on OSX. Hey did a great job with those videos and I highly recommend you check them out. I’m not including all the steps below. I will explain the process and point out any places I found some issues.
1) Register for iOS development
The first step is to sign up for the iOS developer program. You don’t need to download any of Apples tools (i.e. Xcode). You just need a developer account. After you’ve registered, you must purchase a developer certificate. This will be needed if you want to test you application on a physical device like they iPhone or iPad. Follow the instructions on Apple’s site to complete this process.
2) Generate a certificate signing request
In order to sign your application with your development certificate, you need to generate a certificate signing request. It’s all in the name of security. The process is documented in the Flash CS5 help files. A couple notes:
- Windows users: When downloading Open SSL, make sure you download the correct version (32-bit or 64-bit) depending on your OS.
- I had an issue with the “light” version on Windows 7 64-bit. I used the full version (named Win64 OpenSSL v1.0.0d)
- I received errors with the Open SSL commands (Unable to load config…). I discovered I needed to tell Open SSL where the config file is:
3) Create provisioning profile from your device id in iTunes
The provisioning profile is a file that is including in your application so it can be loaded on your testing devices. It’s Apple’s way of making sure you aren’t distributing your applications without their knowledge. The Apple developer program will allow you to “provision” up to 100 devices. Just keep following the steps in the help files for this. I didn’t have any issues.
4) Generate your p12 key
The p12 key is your certificate authenticating your application. This file, along with the provisioning profile above, will be selected during the publishing process. You will go back to Open SSL to generate this. If you get a random state error in Windows 7 entered this line in the command line first: set RANDFILE=.rnd
And that is! Easy process, right? Okay, the set up is pretty intense, but once you fight through this, you will be on your way. Again, follow the help files for this process or watch Lee’s Windows or OSX video. Stay tuned for some videos on developing an application with Flash and publishing a Captivate project to the iPad.