(Shibuya-beta) Adobe’s Try/Buy service for AIR applications

Ok so it takes me a while to catch up on the blogging. MAX is over and the secrets are out. One thing I was particularly happy about was the new Shibuya Beta program, where Flex developers could incorporate Adobe’s licensing framework and start selling AIR apps.

My colleague Holly Schinsky and I were invited to be part of the super early beta program before MAX, which was extremely cool. This is huge for AIR developers because we now have a fully supported means of monetizing our applications. In the early days of Apollo (AIR’s beta name) I had come up with the idea for Attest (mock exam software for Adobe’s Flex certification) while studying myself. There was nothing on the market and I had compiled heaps of data while studying, so I thought it would make for a nice side project.

Attest was originally built in Apollo, but at the time it was beta and not ready to use as a release version of a commercial app. So I ended up going with C# to build a desktop app. Of course, there were one or two voices of dissent who asked why I didn’t use AIR at the time, I would have thought it was pretty apparent. Enough rambling, the point is that now, years later Attest PRO utilizes the Shibuya licensing, and makes life a lot easier for us at PXL Designs. Holly and I are still going to support the free version of Attest going forward, but for the upgraded, beefier version you now have Attest PRO available.

For the AIR developers out there, it couldn’t be any simpler to incorporate the Shibuya framework. It is still in beta, so there’s things to tweak and work out, but overall you have creative license to build any trial version of your application that you want.

  • Time-based: If you want a 10 min or 10 day trial for example
  • Feature-based: Turn off any features you want during the trial period

To get the license up and running is cake, there’s really nothing to it. You’ll know from the server whether an app is licensed or trial, and be able to turn on/off features wherever you like. For example, check the license, if it’s trial, set a boolean on your model and enable/disable certain buttons, or views, etc.

Keep in mind, the number of developers for the beta program is restricted for the time being. I’m not sure how many developers they’ll take right now, but it’s definitely something to read up on. Once Shibuya is a full-fledged product, there’s going to be tons of AIR apps for sale out there. For now, you can dream about writing AIR applications that make fart noises and becoming a millionaire (ok maybe not, hopefully you’ll want to actually build something with real purpose).



  1. Mark

    Any idea whether Adobe will be taking a percentage of sales (commission, and if so, what percentage?) or are they just doing this to try to grow the AIR app market?

  2. Dave (Post author)

    Hey Mark,
    Unfortunately, I can’t say much in those regards because it still falls under NDA until the program is a full product. But you can check out the FAQ and pick up some info there http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/shibuya/faq.html

    Sorry, I’m not too helpful yet. I had to keep it hushed before MAX as it was 😛 You can apply to join though currently, I’m not sure of the number of participants.

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