Running on AIR: Great Office Apps You Can Get Now

No. 2 -- Klok

Klok is intended for freelancers and consultants who need to track their time spent working outside of the office. Before starting development of Klok, Rob McKeown had evaluated other free time-tracking applications but found them frustrating to use. "I wanted the simplest possible way to indicate what I work on throughout the day and have it automatically translate that into a time sheet, without any intervention," he said.

He decided to build Klok using AIR because he wanted an application that didn't need an Internet connection to be used. "Many of the time-tracking applications that are freely available are all Web-based," said McKeown. "The fact that [AIR] doesn't require an Internet connection allows anyone to use it at any time."

He plans to expand Klok so it can also be used by small businesses that have multiple consultants working on the same projects. Version 2 will have a pluggable data-access layer that will easily allow synchronization with QuickBase for QuickBooks.

No. 3 -- scripKeepR

This nifty app lets you archive documents to an SQLite database for later search, retrieval and reproduction. ScripKeepR can be handy if you are writing multiple documents and need to organize them in some basic way or need to manage lots of snippets of code.

Anything stored through scripKeepR is reusable. "With its search ability, it allows me personally to find matching database entries or scripts and easily choose them to display or re-create as exact copies of the original files that were dropped to store in the first place," said Chris Seahorn, the creator of this AIR app.

The latest version was made way back when the AIR platform was still in its beta infancy. Seahorn is now updating scripKeepR and will distribute its source code to the public because he would like to see his app improved and added to by others. "It really needs to be opened up to allow users struggling with [accessing] SQLite [through] AIR to use it as food for thought," said Seahorn.

No. 4 -- Portfolio Viewer

One of the most powerful functions of Portfolio Viewer is its ability to import investment transactions in Quicken and Microsoft Money formats. So it's easy to quickly get things set up and running.

"With AIR, the powerful graphical capabilities of Flash produces a greatly enhanced user experience with animated charts and transitions," said Pete Michel, creator of Portfolio Viewer. "Some of this is possible with other technologies, but not with the same lightweight, cross-platform runtime that AIR offers."

With the exception of a few bug fixes and minor enhancements, there has not been a lot of work done on Portfolio Viewer lately. But its user base has been very enthusiastic, and, thus, quite a few feature requests will be implemented in the next release. Look for a new, major release in the next couple of months.

No. 5 -- BI Widgets on AIR

Developed by Business Objects, BI Widgets on AIR pushes business intelligence (BI) information to your computer through various desktop widgets. It serves as a front-end client for leveraging Business Objects' own BI delivery platform.

This is a prototype/concept app that was created based on ideas suggested by customers and partners of Business Objects, and by the company's internal teams. However, there are currently no plans to produce a final, official release of BI Widgets on AIR, but Business Objects said it's considering it. For now, the company encourages users to download and try this app, and provide suggestions for it and other feedback.

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