AlaaShaker's Weblog

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Acobat.com Launched

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This review has been in my Drafts folder for like four days or something!

Adobe Acrobat.com

Anyway, a few days ago Adobe launched their new product, Acrobat.com:

Acrobat.com is a suite of online services hosted by Adobe that you can use to create documents together and share them with others. It helps people get document work done faster, without email attachments or version confusion, and it makes your documents look great so that you and your work look great, too. (Read more .. )

So, let’s go quickly through their suite:

  • Adobe Buzzword: An online word processor for creating and reviewing documents together.http://www.adobe.com/acom/buzzword/
    Buzzword offers a new experience of online word processing. It provides a great dashboard to access and sort documents, role-bases access control (either as author, co-author, reviewer or reader), easily added comments in context, as well as tracking changes and version control. Buzzword currently imports and exports plain text (TXT), rich text format (RTF), Microsoft Word (DOC and DOCX), and Word 2003 XML files, and exports to Adobe PDF and HTML.
  • Adobe ConnectNow: An online collaboration tool for holding full-fledged online web conferences with up to three people, where you can use screen sharing, notes, audio and video inside any browser.Adobe ConnectNow
    ConnectNow provides a unique URL to you meeting room. It also provides a set of panels for screen sharing and remote control, a white board, audio and video conferencing, note sharing, and a chat pod.
  • Adobe MyFiles: An online storage service of exactly 5120 MB, where you can easily upload files and access them from anywhere.Adobe MyFiles
    MyFiles provides a very useful, and easy to use view of your files, so you can list them in different ways, find you files and organize them easily.
  • Adobe Share: Allows you to share your files unique URLs or embed elsewhere.Adobe Share Share allows you to upload your files and forward them using a unique URL rather than worrying about huge attachments. It also allows you to create a list of approved recipients who are only allowed to access the shared file. Moreover, you can embed any uploaded file easily inside your blog, website or wiki by pasting some generated HTML code.
  • Adobe CreatePDF: A free online PDF converter.
    Adobe CreatePDF
    CreatePDF allows you 5 free conversions per month (if you need more: either subscribe to Adobe CreatePDF Service for $9.99 per month or $90 per year, or simply purchase their new Adobe Acrobat 9). CreatePDF can convert the following file types: text (TXT, PS, RTF), Microsoft Office (DOC, XLS, PPT, PRJ), Open Office (ODT, ODP, ODS, ODG, ODF), Star Office (SWX, SXI, SXC, SXD, STW), Word Perfect (WPD), and image files (BMP, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG).

Conclusion:

Pros:

  • The all-the-way Flash environment: It really gives you a unique user experiences – and I guess that what makes Adobe’s products unique – even though I know it has it’s limitations on other aspects.
    You get this message for instance if you leave Buzzword inactive for a while:
    Buzzword Falling Asleep 
  • Buzzword’s comments. It’s like the best thing I found there so far; they look good, noticeable, easy to use, and found them very helpful.
     Buzzword Comments
    (Don’t let this screen shot fool you to think I started the documentation – it’s fake!)
  • Still speaking about user experience, did you notice the scroll bards in Buzzword? They have the page numbers on them, so you can simple click “5” to go to page 5.
  • MyFiles, Share and CreatePDF are integrated as one application.
  • Embedding uploaded files in you blog – We’ve tried that with a PowerPoint SlideShow of one of our graduation project seminars, and embedded it into our weblog, it was great.
  • The black environment: I love it. LOL

Cons:

  • It’s free, yes, but you still need to create and Adobe account to use those services. If you do have a Buzzword account, then you’ll have to migrate to Adobe’s.
  • CreatePDF limits you to 5 free conversions per month. There are tons of other free online and offline services that does it totally for free. I can still do that easily in GoogleDocs.
  • All documents I created in Buzzword aren’t listed in MyFiles. Neither of the three, MyFiles, Share, nor CreatePDF, see any of the files created in Buzzword – It’s like Buzzword is a closed, isolated environment.
  • ConnectNow sucks! OK, hundreds of good-looking tempting options and actions, but very slow and unreliable. LogMeIn does a million times better job.

I guess GoogleDocs is still a strong competitor, perhaps not as good-looking nor providing even-a-mile-close to Adobe’s user experience, yet it’s still more efficient, professional, faster and does many of what Adobe’s cool UI doesn’t do. So, Adobe simply did nothing but provided their own, good-looking version of services that you get elsewhere (GoogleDocs, LogMeIn, Box.net, … etc).

Finally, seems I’ll stick to Google’s solutions for a while .. 😀

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Written by AlaaShaker

June 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with , , , , ,

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