ADM - AIR Application Descriptor Manager

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Main Features

  • A GUI for your AIR Application Descriptor files (1.0, 1.1, 1.5 and 1.5.1)
  • Reduces the risk of entering invalid values, thus ruining your build
  • Automatically generates your icons from one image file
  • Localization support
  • Direct help for each descriptor field via tooltips
  • File output preview

If you like it, please vote for ADM at the Adobe AIR Marketplace.


ADM is an AIR application descriptor file manager. It's a tool aimed at AIR application developers who want better control over their applications' descriptor XML file by providing them a nice GUI to edit the properties and icons of their little child. You can think of it as a design view for your descriptor files.

Here's a short video demo (please excuse my english).

You may think that a whole application to edit a simple XML file is a bit over-engineered. Well maybe it is. However, if you've regularly encountered build failures because of a typo, or a small syntax rule you've forgotten about in this or that particular field, you'll be happy to have a tool that takes care of everything for you. I've used it for my own apps (ADM was of course built with ADM) and now I just couldn't go back and edit the XML file as plain text !

Bug reports and feature requests are welcome.
To avoid any bad surprise, ADM makes a copy of your original descriptor file, right next to it, before re-writing it. However, on critical projects, it is recommended to make your own descriptor backup.

Known Issues

  • ADM cannot be launched directly from FlexBuilder on OSX. Note that it can be launched using a shell script which is placed in the user preferences folder. Simply choose "open with" and select the provided script which will launch ADM

Release Notes

Version 1.2.1

  • Minor upgrade to support the AIR 1.5.1 namespace (ADM itself still runs on AIR 1.5)

Version 1.2

  • You can now create a descriptor from scratch (File>New)
  • Bug fixed : Icons created from a PNG transparent file now preserve transparency
  • Upgraded to AIR1.5

Version 1.1
Certificate Migration

Version 1.0.1
Fixed a bug on the fileType extension field (it now accepts digits)

Version 1.0

  • A MacOS command file has been added to the user preferences folder. This command can be associated with the xml file type in Flex builder : it will then launch ADM. (Windows Flex Builder users are not concerned since they can directly associate the xml file type with ADM).
  • Recently opened files are now ordered from most recent to least recent
  • Better descriptor validity checking (ADM now checks the presence of required fields at opening)
  • Slightly changed the first time greeting message and process
  • The file name can now contain periods
  • You can no longer set the window transparency if the chrome is standard
  • Generated app icons are now prefixed with "appIcon_ " (eg appIcon_16.png)
  • Generated file types icons are now prefixed with their file type to allow multiple file type icons (eg jpg_icon_16.png)
  • Minor bug fixes and cosmetic changes

Version 0.9.2

  • Bug fixed : impossible to add more than one file type under certain circumstances
  • Changed the order of some fields to better reflect their importance
  • Changed the title "Optionnal/Optionnal properties" to "Optionnal/Installation properties"
  • Added a Warning to the Application ID field
  • Changed the file preview for better legibility

Version 0.9

  • You can now generate application (and file types) icons form one image file (png, jpg, gif) of any size
  • Added a Preferences menu
  • Added Native Menu and Shortcuts
  • Modified the "Tip" windows, tab bars and titles for better legibility
  • The "Open File" dialog can be closed (except at startup)

Version 0.8

  • Localization support (name and description tags, AIR 1.1 & AIR 1.5)
  • One tab was added in order to separate Required properties form others
  • Supports AIR 1.0 namespace
  • Deleted files are now removed form the "recently opened" file list
  • Fixed a bug with some icons not being displayed

Version 0.7.1


  • Application window resized to avoid scrollbars on WindowsXP

Version 0.7.0


  • Added an "Open recent" dialog on startup
  • The somehow obtrusive tooltips have been replaced by small help icons
  • Prevents from closing if file has changed
  • Now supports Cosmo (AIR1.5) namespace
  • You can upgrade your 1.1 descriptor to 1.5 (Cosmo)
  • The opened file name is now visible in the upper right corner
  • Improved GUI for icons
  • Made a distinction between required and optional properties
  • Prevented resize or maximize ADM window
  • Various cosmetic changes

Bug fixes
File types related bug fixes.

Version 0.6.4


  • The application now checks the XML namespace before trying to parse it and alerts if the file is not an AIR 1.1 XML descriptor
  • I've decided not to open the file browser window on startup anymore - thought it was a bit too "aggressive" - (tell me if I'm wrong). This will probably be replaced by an "open recent" dialog in future versions.

Bug fixes

  • Windows: File filter fixed : you can now select an XML file from the Open menu
  • Alert on wrong icons can now tell the difference between a broken path and a wrong size
  • OSX : Quitting the app from the menu (or Cmd+Q) now succesfully closes the application
  • About window close button now closes it

Quentin (not verified) on October 17th 2008

You should not associate ADM with the XML filetype without asking because 1. This is quite intrusive 2. Most xml files are not AIR app descriptors I hope you change this!

david_deraedt on October 18th 2008

(updated on Oct 18th, 11h48, for clarifications)

Of course, ADM association with XML files is only meant to give you the choice to open an XML file with ADM (for example when you right-click and choose "open with"), not to associate every XML file on your system with it. That would indeed be very intrusive (and pretty much irrelevant).

From the livedocs:
The fileTypes element allows you to declare the file types with which an AIR application can be associated. When an AIR application is installed, any declared file type will be registered with the operating system and, if these file types are not already associated with another application, they will be associated with the AIR application. To override an existing association between a file type and another application, use the NativeApplication.setAsDefaultApplication() method at run time (preferably with the user's permission).
End of livedocs extract

Needless to say, ADM does not call the NativeApplication.setAsDefaultApplication() method. If ever ADM did associate every XML file on your system with it, that's clearly a bug (and I'm sorry for it). However, I was unable to reproduce it, at least on Mac OSX I have to admit I didn't test the latest build on WinXP, so I'll do it right now and Windows XP. I haven't tested on linux though. Could you please tell me what is your OS and your ADM version (in the About Window)?

The only other possibility I see would be that no software on your system was ever associated with XML files. In that case, the ADM / xml file association is the expected behavior, but I guess that's pretty obvious, and you wouldn't have posted this comment in the first place.

Richard (not verified) on October 30th 2008

It is a shame that I have to have an existing XML file ready to modify. As well as 'open', what about a 'new' option in order to create a new file from scratch. Otherwise excellent - 10/10!

david_deraedt on October 30th 2008

I thought about it but I finally gave up because I thought no one would use it. You prove me wrong. I'll implement it in the next release. Thanks for your feedback (Edit Nov 21, 08: This feature was added in v 1.2)

Muzak (not verified) on November 16th 2008

It seems that when creating application icons from a transparent png file, the generated icons (png's) are not transparent. Other than that, nice work!

david_deraedt on November 16th 2008

Thanks for the input, I'll definitely check that out and (try to) fix this. Edit Nov 21 : this was fixed in v 1.2

Muzak (not verified) on November 16th 2008

If you're creating BitmapData objects somewhere, it takes 4 parameters of which the last one is fillColor: BitmapData(width:int, height:int, transparent:Boolean = true, fillColor:uint = 0xFFFFFFFF) If you ommit the last parameter, it makes the BitmapData white, fully opaque. Note that it's ARGB!! So even if you specify transparent=true, it will still be white, unless you specifiy a "transparent color value" --> 0x00FFFFFF or 0x00000000 That should fix the problem. Mind sharing the code you use to create the icon copies? You can mail me at: p-dot-ginneberge-at-telenet-dot-be

david_deraedt on November 17th 2008

Thank you Muzak. I'm pretty sure my BitmapDatas are transparent (the problem seems to come from the resampler, but I don't want to get into the details). Again, I'm pretty sure this will be fixed in the next release.

Ariel Jakobovits (not verified) on December 22nd 2008

Thanks, helped me resolve errors i was getting when editing the file manually. Nice work.

james (not verified) on January 12th 2009

Does anybody have an idea why Adobe allows only the name and description to be localizable? Why not all the fields in the descriptor?

david_deraedt on January 12th 2009

James, I'm not sure what fields you're talking about exactly. What we're trying to achieve here with those fields is localizing AIR application install dialogs, ie localizing the AIR runtime dialogs (+ the main native window I guess). The application localization is our job.

Anonymous Tipster (not verified) on January 30th 2009

Cool thank u

Nate (not verified) on March 04th 2009

It'd be useful for us HTML AIR devs if we could pick the .html file to use for the initial window.

david_deraedt on March 05th 2009

Hi Nate, can you please elaborate a little bit on this?

Jonas (not verified) on May 02nd 2009

As a FlashDevelop user (Windows) I encountered a problem/bug in ADM. I just created a project in FlashDevelop and I tried to open the application.xml file in ADM but ADM doe nothing... :-s I can see that the file is "opened" because the name is shown, but the overlay stays and everything is still disabled...

Can you look into it? Thanks very much!

david_deraedt on May 02nd 2009

Hi Jonas,

Sorry about that. Unfortunately, I don't have FlashDevelop, so I can't try to reproduce this.

Are you trying to open the .xml file from within FlashDevelop ? In that case, it might be an invocation parameter issue. Does double clicking on the file and right click / open with ADM does the same result ?

Jonas (not verified) on May 02nd 2009

Maybe I can send my file over so you can try it and "find" the problem? I'm tried to open the file from within ADM, from Windows Explorer and from within FlashDevelop. Every time the same result.. Don't know what the problem could be..


david_deraedt on May 04th 2009

Sure, you can send it to me via my contact page.

davsdaa (not verified) on October 26th 2009

I really thank to one who wrote this article. I have always been reading and writing texts like this in blogs. Also, I, as a daily writer, present my respects to everyone. I just watched videos like this in <a href="" title="youtube">youtube</a>. I research in all areas.

I think people must first research before writing...

BambooPoint (not verified) on July 15th 2009

Just wanted to say thanks a lot for this app. It's a true gem! I couldn't figure out for the life of me what was wrong with my AD and your ADM resolved it in about 2 seconds. It's a great little app that you may not need, but when you do you'll appreciate it.

Theo van der Sluijs (not verified) on December 17th 2009

Wow this is a great tool.

But when I started using the new flashbuilder... it created a 1.5.2 xml file....

Could you please update the tool so it can work with 1.5.2 xml files.


Thanxs ! And keep up the great work !

david_deraedt on December 30th 2009

Yes, I'm aware of this issue, unfortunatelay I can't upgrade any of my AIR applications right now because I have trouble migrating my renewed certificates...

Jack (not verified) on August 30th 2010

Hi, when I go to open my descriptor file (generated by Flash Builder 4) I get the following error message: 

This XML file does not seem to be a valid AIR Descriptor (wrong namespace).


What the dilly?

Jason (not verified) on December 14th 2010

Adobe kills me! First they try to "fix" Flash and it gets worts and worst each time they do it. Now the have plan to kill Air. My congratulations! You are almost win. Why do I need to have an existing XML file ready to modify, isn`t it OK? I should read term papers by Adobe to get that thing...