Helisso – A Packager for Symbian devices

As some of you know, learning about AIR, AS3, Flex, Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder has been my side-project for a few months now.  As I mentioned in a previous post, it is essential to prepare for the future and invest now in learning new skills.

For me, the best way to learn new things is to create a project that’s difficult, yet cool enough to keep you interested.  So my first few steps revolved around learning how to use Fireworks, then Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder and ultimately distribute an application using Adobe AIR.

AIR 2.0

One of the amazing new features of AIR 2.0 is the ability to embed and execute native code from right inside Actionscript, an API called NativeProcess.  This means that you can safely run existing services over the command line, as well as install your own native service components.  AIR 2.0 is in beta right now on Adobe Labs, and is mobile ready as designed so it’s a great time to get started.

So what would a Platform Evangelist for mobile and devices create?

Introducing Helisso

What is it?

  • A packaging utility that can produce SIS packages for Symbian devices
  • It targets the Flash Lite 3.x runtime for Nokia’s S60 devices
  • It runs on PC and Mac OS, all versions


  • The tool has embedded Python binaries inside, compiled versions of “Ensymble
  • For signing purposes the tool also includes OpenSSL for certificate signing
  • It is unsupported and without warranty

How do I use it?

How do I install it?

I have been hugely impressed with the capabilities provided by AIR, in this only my first AS3 project.  Looking back on all of the technologies that I have used has really got me excited about AIR applications on Android, and even sprouted a few iPhone applications in advance of that.  Seriously, imagine having all of the power of AIR and this toolchain on mobile phones?

Lastly, a big shout out to Steve Hartley of Oppian, Jussi Ylänen creator of Ensymble, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.

  • http://flashmobile.scottjanousek.com/ Scott Janousek

    Congrats, Mark.

  • http://www.leonardofranca.com Leonardo França

    Great work !!!
    the symbian platform could not stay out

  • http://www.twitter.com/pixologist David Brown

    Not having to install all the usual SDK prerequisites is great. That process was long and hard. This really shows the power of AIR. Not bad for your 1st AS3 app!

  • http://www.dalerankine.com Dale Rankine

    Excellent, just in time for something I need to package :) Nice to see this work finally come out!

  • http://ptm.fi Pasi Manninen

    Excellent Mark.

  • http://www.sajisoft.net.ms SajiSoft

    Great Job! i was also playing with ensymble binaries and thinking to implement it on mobile side but u already make it cross-platform by using python. Thanx :)

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  • http://www.boostermedia.com Peter Moelker

    I was just looking for a good FL Symbian Packager. Thanks for this.

  • http://www.leonardorisuleo.info/ Leonardo Risuleo

    Hi Mark!

    Thank you for sharing this… looking forward to test on some projects :)


  • Daniel Demmel

    Hey Mark, looks great! :)

    Do you plan to share the sources?

  • http://www.e-learningapps.de Wommi

    Hey – thanks – I was looking for such a simple software. Would it be also posible to exclude some of the devices from the 3rd / 5th edition in a future version? – This would be a huge help, since I get some performance issues on the new Music Express because of the large display?
    You might sell a license of this packager to Nokia 😉 They still didn’t sort out their online packager…

    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      Hi Wommi, The Symbian installer does not allow you to exclude devices individually, but it is ultimately up to you to decide which devices can receive the installer. On the OVI store it is possible to distribute on a per-device basis.


  • Jermaine G. Anderson

    Good stuff Mark,


  • http://www.q-interactiva.com Marcos

    Another great resource! Thanks a lot for your support and effort Mark, your work is really appreciated.

  • http://chall3ng3r.com chall3ng3r

    wow, great news!

    // chall3ng3r //

  • Ian

    Hi Mark,

    I really would like to know if this new flash lite will be able to have access to the phone’s music library. In Nokia, android, palm or iphone. Or will I have to use a complimentary language like python?

    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      Hi Ian, this packager is for Flash Lite only but on S60v5 you can use Nokia’s service API to access those features. Check it out at Forum Nokia.

  • http://www.iksmobile.com Greg

    Cool :-)

  • Manikantan

    Awesome work.. There has been really a need for this for the past few months..

  • http://kipup.com/ Damilola Jegede

    Hey Mark, you know, Adobe’s shutting down the distributable player solution has been tagged a mistake worldwide.

    This right here has set Flash Lite back on track. At least, until Mobile AIR and 10.1 breaks the ice.

    Thanks for your pure awesomeness!

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  • starlet

    Hi Mark, awesome app!! the generated .sisx file works really well on tested nokia 5530 xpress – Would it be possible to select the installation target? I would like to install a larger application to the memory card.
    Thanks a lot for your support and effort!

    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      Hi, Changing the target disk is not supported as this would allow content to be copied from the memory card. Using the RAM disk and C: drive for storage is also faster for installation.

  • Supriya Tenany

    Hi Mark,

    I aim to publish my flash lite 3.0 app at the Ovi store for S60 3rd edition up, after getting it a Certified Signed from Symbian. Should I use Adobe AIR 2 Beta 2 or Adobe AIR 1.5.3 or none?

    Please let me know.


    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      Hi Supriya, only the packaging tool is created with Adobe AIR. The packages uses Adobe Flash Lite, so you should use that.

      • Supriya Tenany

        Hi Mark,

        I just meant to ask whether I can use this packager for creating the SIS to be sent to Symbian Signed for getting my app Certified Signed. Refering “Adobe AIR 2 is in the early stages of development which means it contains bugs, and not all features are fully implemented. This software is for evaluation use only, and should not be used for any mission-critical work. ” in http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/air2.html

        • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

          The AIR Packager is based on a beta product, the resulting packages are not. You can submit the .SIS files through SymbianSigned, in fact others have done this already. Good Luck!

  • Supriya Tenany

    Hi Mark,

    This packager surely comes as a breather, but I face a few problems while packaging:

    1. When I do not select the Symbian Signing option, the packaging goes on indefinitely.

    2. If I select the Symbian Signed option and enter the allotted UID and the publisher ID, I get a SISX, which is not permitted for sending for the Certified Signed to Symbian.

    3. Also, this SISX is signed with the Publisher ID, I am unable to test this app on my phone also. I have tried deleting this signature and signing with the certificate from Open Signed Offline, but even that doesn’t seem to work on my phone.

    In the above cases 2 & 3, I get the following error: Unable to install, contrained by the certificate.

    Please help.

    Supriya Tenany

    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      Hi Supriya,
      Some answers…
      1. This happens only once I believe, I’m not sure why but you should just restart the application and try again.
      2. Agreed, this was a mistake – you can change the extension to .sis
      3. It is not possible to do this, you need to generate a developer certificate to install. You can test using the unsigned option, and then using the signing option for release.

      The goal with this tool is to make it as simple as possible for developers and designers to package applications for Symbian. I made some decisions to simplify the process, so for someone who clearly understands the Symbian security and certificate usage it might look strange. The result however, is an tool that’s easier for most people to use, hopefully.

  • Supriya Tenany

    Hi Mark,

    Yes, the indefinite state happens just once. 2 more questions plz.

    1. Shall I rename the SISX through the command prompt (in PC) : move MyApp.SISX MyApp.SIS ; will this work?

    2. Refering to your third option, as mentioned in the Symbian Signed process, I should be using the allotted UID and then do a test on my handset, with the DevCert created through the Publisher ID (p12 file from the trust center), before I submit for the Certified Signed. I guess, this step cannot be perfomed with this packager as for an unsigned option, I can’t enter the protected UID (or can I…?)…is there a workaround?


  • Supriya Tenany

    I renamed the SISX to SIS from the command prompt and then deleted the signature from the SIS
    (generated from the Symbian Signed option) using sis edit tool and then signed with my DevCert. Couldn’t install still. Error : “Unable to install, contrained by the certificate.”

  • http://www.ieroklis.eu joseph

    I just installed Helisso and run it for the first time, but I’ve got an error message: The logfile ‘C:…\Wrap.exe.log’ could not be opened: [Errno 13] Permission denied: ‘C:…\Wrap.exe.log’
    Any suggestions?


    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      This could be a bug, can you restart the app and see if this fixes the problem? Alternatively, create the file at that location and see if that allows it to run. I suspect that this is a permissions problem?

  • http://gamemakers.co.nz Valdimir Wolstencroft

    Hi Mark,

    Great application, this is exactly what I have been looking for since Nokia took down there SiS packager from there website!

    Although I do seem to be experiencing a few problems and it would be great if you could point me in the right direction!

    The application seems to create the the SiS without a problem and the phone also installs it fine, but every time I go to open it the phone asks to download and install “An updated version of Adobe Flash lite”

    After clicking OK, it seems to download and tries to install but then generates the following error:

    “Certificate may nit be valid, is expired or phones date settings may be incorrect”
    But I don’t even sign the SiS with any certificates!

    And the application just quits!!
    Restarting the app just promps the same messages – download flash lite… etc

    Testing the .swf directly on the mobile works fine!!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks very much

    • http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty

      Please ensure that your date and time on the phone are set correctly. Also try installing after a few minutes.

  • Supriya Tenany

    Hi Mark,

    I renamed the SISX to SIS from the command prompt and then deleted the signature from the SIS
    (generated from the Symbian Signed option) using sis edit tool and then signed with my DevCert. Couldn’t install still. Error : “Unable to install, contrained by the certificate.”

  • http://www.squidoo.com/what-is-android-phones What is android

    is adobe air can be use in android?

    • Bibbipe75

      Yes, air is used for android. Thi program (helisso) convert the flash/air file (used for android) in sis version for nokia symbian.

  • Bibbipe75

    Hi, there isn’t setting menù in this program ?

  • Santobay

    is the packaged sis file support all symbion devices which doesn’t have flash lite too?

  • Aarensmith Smith

    Ya sure, air is used for android.
    Regards,Aaren from mobile developer

  • Brusmartin Martin

    Yes, air is used for android.
    Regards,Brus from blackberry app developers

  • Rico

    its take long time? 

  • Tom

    Nice tool but where can I download it? The download links are going to acrobat.com…

  • Dastyleinc

    Need a mirror, the acrobat.com download link is dead.