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Add the Extension

The simplest way to install and manage your AIR native extensions and libraries is to use the AIR Package Manager (apm). We highly recommend using apm, as it will handle downloading all required dependencies and manage your application descriptor (Android manifest additions, iOS info additions etc).

However you can choose to install it manually, as you would have done in the past.

Install

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Note: All of the commands below should be run in a terminal / command prompt in the root directory of your application, generally the level above your source directory.

If you don't have an APM project setup, expand the guide below to setup an APM project before installing the extension.

Setup APM

Install APM

If you haven't installed apm follow the install guide on airsdk.dev.

Setup an APM project

You will need an APM project for your application.

There are many ways to do this and for more options see the APM documentation. Here we will just initialise a new empty project:

apm init

Check your github token

We use github to secure our extensions so you must have created a github personal access token and configured apm to use it.

To do this create a token using this guide from github and then set it in your apm config using:

apm config set github_token ghp_XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

If you don't do this correctly you may find the install will fail.

Install the extension

Install the extension by running:

apm install com.distriqt.NativeWebView

This will download and install the extension, required assets, and all dependencies.

Once complete apm will have created something like the following file structure:

.
|____ ane
| |____ com.distriqt.NativeWebView.ane # NativeWebView extension
| |____ [dependencies]
|____ apm_packages # cache directory - ignore
|____ project.apm # apm project file
  • Add the ane directory to your IDE. See the tutorials located here on adding an extension to your IDE.
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We suggest you use the locations directly in your builds rather than copying the files elsewhere. The reason for this is if you ever go to update the extensions using apm that these updates will be pulled into your build automatically.

Application Descriptor

Updating your application descriptor will insert the required extensionID's and generate the manifest and info additions for your application.

You update your application descriptor by running:

apm generate app-descriptor src/MyApp-app.xml

Change the path (src/MyApp-app.xml) to point to your application descriptor.

caution

This will modify your application descriptor replacing the manifest additions and info additions with the ones generated from apm.

You should backup your application descriptor before running this command to ensure you don't lose any information.

If you need to insert custom data into these sections see the guides for Android and iOS

iOS App Transport Security

Since iOS 9, Apple has introduced the concept of App Transport Security (ATS). is encouraging the use of HTTPS

App Transport Security (ATS) lets an app add a declaration to its Info.plist file that specifies the domains with which it needs secure communication. ATS prevents accidental disclosure, provides secure default behaviour, and is easy to adopt. You should adopt ATS as soon as possible, regardless of whether you're creating a new app or updating an existing one.

If you're developing a new app, you should use HTTPS exclusively. If you have an existing app, you should use HTTPS as much as you can right now, and create a plan for migrating the rest of your app as soon as possible.

In simple terms, this means that if your application attempts to connect to any HTTP server (in this example, yourserver.com) that doesn’t support the latest SSL technology (TLSv1.2), your connections will fail with an error.

Basically the repercussions mean that you will need to add exceptions in for any non secure domain you access. For example the following adds an exception for the yourserver.com domain and subdomains.

<key>NSAppTransportSecurity</key>
<dict>
<key>NSExceptionDomains</key>
<dict>
<key>yourserver.com</key>
<dict>
<!--Include to allow subdomains-->
<key>NSIncludesSubdomains</key>
<true/>
<!--Include to allow HTTP requests-->
<key>NSTemporaryExceptionAllowsInsecureHTTPLoads</key>
<true/>
</dict>
</dict>
</dict>

To read more about this there is a great article here

To add these additions you need to add some additional configuration. Firstly add a custom iOS configuration file by running:

apm generate config ios

Edit the config/ios/InfoAdditions.xml file that was generated to resemble the following, adding the NSAppTransportSecurity node:

<plist version="1.0">
<dict>

<key>NSAppTransportSecurity</key>
<dict>
<!-- Include to allow all connections -->
<key>NSAllowsArbitraryLoads</key>
<true/>
</dict>

</dict>
</plist>

Once you have added this configuration run the steps above to update / generate your application descriptor.

Windows

.Net Framework

This extension requires v4.6 or higher of the .Net framework. This should come preinstalled on any Windows 10 or higher machine so if you are targetting those you should not have to do anything. If however you are targetting older versions of Windows you must ensure .Net v4.6 or higher is installed either manually or as part of an installer.

C++ Redistributable

The native code has a dependency on the Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable package. This package contains code that is required to run code developed using C++ in Visual Studio and is very common amongst Windows applications.

There are two ways to ensure this is available to your application:

  • Create an installer that runs the redistributable installer;
  • Package the required DLL files from the redistributable with your application;

The first is the suggested method. Installing the redistributable via an installer allows it to be put into the windows update process, allowing bug fixes and security updates to be handled automatically.

The second method is only advised if you need a complete standalone application, where you don't (or cannot) use an installation process. This requires you to package DLLs from the redistributable with your application.

Creating an Installer

There are many methods to create application installers and many tutorials available. We suggest you find a method suitable to your environment and application and utilise the tutorials online.

Some methods include:

Tutorials:

You need to include the x86 c++ 2017 redistributable in the installer, there are many examples and documentation online to achieve this.

The advantage of this method is that the libraries will be updated along with any system updates and will not require manual updating of the libraries and releasing of your application.

Packaging DLLs

Packaging the DLLs into your application involves copying the DLLs specified below into your application root and including in your application package.

The best option is to install Visual Studio 2017 and locate the Program Files[ (x86)]\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\edition\VC\Redist\MSVC\lib-version folder, eg: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Community\VC\Redist\MSVC\14.16.27012\x86\Microsoft.VC141.CRT

Alternatively, download and install the x86 redistributable from the Microsoft website. This should install the DLLs into C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Open the folder and copy the following DLLs to your application:

  • msvcp140.dll
  • vcruntime140.dll

If you are having issues locating these files, feel free to contact us for help.

You should ensure you are allowed to package these files as per the Microsoft Software License terms but generally these are safe to redistribute subject to the license terms. More information here: Redistributing Visual C++ Files

You should get legal advice if you are unsure.

MacOS

No specific additions are required for macOS.