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Flash End-of-Life Response

Migrating Flash banner artwork

Helping facilitate DoD’s efficient transition of more than 10,000 Adobe Flash-based e-courses and establishing the foundation for learning technology modernization.

The Challenge

Thousands of DoD education and training programs use Adobe Flash. However, Adobe announced it will end its support of Flash in 2020 as a response to criticism of its security flaws. Apple ended Adobe Flash support in 2017 for its Safari browser, and other major browsers have announced their phase-out dates for 2019 and 2020. Therefore, the DoD education and training programs dependent on Flash are now at risk due to the deprecation of this software platform. Once fully deprecated, courses that use Flash will no longer function.

The Solution

Coordinate DoD and Federal Government efforts to address the challenges Adobe Flash deprecation has posed to the distributed learning community.

About the Project

The ADL Initiative established the Flash Deprecation Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) Working Group to spearhead efforts to address Flash deprecation. The working group includes personnel from the Office of the DoD Chief Information Officer, the Services, and other DoD organizations. (See full list under collaborators. The working group is open to new members from stakeholder organizations. Click the link above for a point of contact.)

The working group provides technical and policy guidance on the Flash situation to DoD organizations, including tools to identify Flash content in DoD education and training courses, demonstrations of mitigation solutions, technical papers on content conversion techniques, and support for acquisition policy to prohibit new Flash content development in new DoD contracts.

Both within and outside of DoD, failure to modernize online content has contributed to the Flash problem and serves as a cautionary tale for those clinging to dated technology. To expedite the modernization effort, the working group established three near-term goals. The first is for stakeholders to identify redundant courseware across the DoD to reduce the labor required in the conversion process. The second is to incorporate open web standards into the migration process, ensuring compatibility with modern browsers and reducing dependence on proprietary technology. Lastly, the third goal is to facilitate implementation of common courseware metadata and interoperable learner data specifications during the Flash migration process.



Project Details

Period of Performance



DoD Chief Information Officer
Air Education and Training Command
Naval Education and Training Command
Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division
Naval Postgraduate School
Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
Joint Staff 7
Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence
Marine Corps University’s Digital Content Department
Defense Finance and Accounting Services
Air Force Institute of Technology, School of Systems and Logistics