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InfoQ Homepage News Merapi Project Utilizes Java to Expand the Desktop Capabilities of Adobe Air

Merapi Project Utilizes Java to Expand the Desktop Capabilities of Adobe Air

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The Merapi project recently was open sourced.  Merapi is a technology that can be used as a messaging bridge between applications that run in the Adobe Flash player or Adobe AIR and applications written in Java.  Air's security sandbox allows some common desktop interactions like systray support, file access, etc.  However, it does not allow other operations such as access to USB devices or launching of native applications.  This is where Merapi comes in by creating a simple messaging framework to allow Flash, Flex and Air applications to communicate Java.   Java can then be used to proxy requests and interation with such sources. Sending messages can be done via a simple API:

var message : Message = new Message(); = " Hello from Merapi Flex.";
message.type = "Reply";
Bridge.instance.sendMessage( message );

One of the higher profile uses of the new technology is in the Tesla Model S car:

...Merapi is a revolutionary solution for bridging traditional desktop and Web technologies, closing the gap between what has traditionally been a separation of the two. Merapi's key advantages include:
-- Access to hardware devices: Browser-based technologies (Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, AJAX) previously did not have native access to hardware other than microphone and Web cam.
-- Access to existing APIs: Merapi makes existing open source and commercial software accessible from the browser or from runtime engines such as Adobe AIR without the need for a server.
-- Improved core performance of an application.

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