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From the author of Signing the Final Build

Signing the Final Build

Once the product team had determined that all the features for the release were complete and behaved according to the specifications, we created a final build. This build was a special "signing" build that produced a file in AIRI format; this intermediate file allows Adobe to use its official certificate to sign the application. The AIRI file was provided to the product team, which then went through the signing process.

When the AIRI file is signed, an AIR file is produced, and this file was returned to the team for a final testing pass. We used this final signed build to verify that the certificate was valid, it installed correctly, and no other issues were created with the new build.

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